Fudge Pudding Mug Cake, Sugar Free

Yesterday was a perfect day!  It was in the 80’s, the kids got the pool cleaned out, and we sold our last three goats.

Baby Kiko goats

Just look those cute little overexposed faces!

If you’ve ever been around baby goats you know they’re seriously cuter than puppies.  I’ll miss their cute little mugs and playfulness but soon they’ll be big and smelly so I’m so thankful they’re gone.  Huge blessing!

I had a hankerin’ for a snack and since I can no longer indulge in nuts (grrr!) I decided to experiment with mug cake.

I used to make it quite a bit with “real” ingredients and have tried several paleo, low carb, etcetera type recipes and they have always been dry and nasty.  I experimented with ingredients and made several cakes and came up with a winner that tastes amazing.  Really.

As the kids were in and out of the house yesterday I’d stop them to try some cake and the one I’m sharing with you was everyone’s favorite.

The key is to not overcook it which is so easy to do in the microwave.  (I know, microwaves are so bad!)  Cook it just long enough so that only the outer cake is set and the center is still jiggly and glossy as you can see in the photo below.

Fudge Pudding Mug Cake, sugar free

Everyone kept referring to them as “mud” cake which might be more suiting anyway since I baked them in bowls instead of mugs.  I think making it in a mug might change the cooking time but I haven’t tried it to see.

Fudge Pudding Mug Cake, sugar free

This recipe was so rich and gooey and super satisfying.  If you have a couple of spare minutes you can indulge in this sweet cake and not even feel bad about it!

Printable

Fudge Pudding Mug Bowl Cake:

3 T unsweetened applesauce

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 T cocoa powder

1 T xylitol

1/4 tsp stevia concentrate powder, or sweeten to taste

2 T coconut flour

Combine all ingredients in order in a small microwave safe bowl and mix well.  Microwave on high for 35 to 40 seconds** or until the outer portion around the cake is set and the center is still jiggly and glossy.

Serves 1 or 2 people and is extra amazing with a tablespoon of heavy cream poured over the top.

*Microwaves vary a lot so keep an eye on it to keep from overcooking and thus drying it out…yuck!

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Coconut bread that actually tastes good!

So it’s been exactly one week since we made the dietary changes of cutting out nuts because of phytic acid and adding in more dairy, bone broth, and fermented cod liver/butter oil and my daughters teeth have improved dramatically.  This time last week they were extremely transparent with lots of brown etching marks and decay and this week all of her teeth, with exception of the three teeth she’s had troubles with anyway look better than they ever have.  It has worked that fast.  Her three molars that have the original cavities in them still have a ways to go but they’re looking a lot better too.

Phytic acid is a killer!  I have a hard time believing it doesn’t have some important role but historically, most people haven’t relied heavily on raw nuts for a large part of their dietary needs.  It’s probably guilty of wreaking havoc on a lot of folks these days thanks in part to low carb type diets and the ease of accessibility of nuts.  I know we went from eating them only occasionally to eating them all the freaking time!

Okay, on to the food!  Coconuts are low in the antinutrient phytic acid and are allowed on lots of diets so it’s really gained a lot of popularity lately.  I’ve used coconut flour off and on for several years and really only enjoy it when my palate is fully cleansed and I don’t crave real bread and sweets.  However, even then it usually leaves a lot to be desired.

Coconut flour is very dense and absorbs a lot of moisture so the end product is always either very heavy and soggy from the loads of liquids needed otherwise it’s heavy and dry to the point that it’s difficult to swallow.  I’m okay with sweets made with coconut flour to be soggier and just tell myself it’s like bread pudding but anytime I try to concoct a breadlike recipe it’s only tolerable at best.

Well not any more!  This bread recipe uses a mixture of coconut and tapioca flour and is hands down the best I’ve had.  It’s hard not to eat it slice after slice with just butter slathered all over it…all by myself.

Coconut bread that actually tastes good!

I won’t try to convince you that it tastes just like wheat bread ’cause that would be a lie, but you really can use it like wheat bread without it falling apart the second you touch it and it really does taste good.  It even gets a little crispy when I put slices under the broiler.

The tapioca flour is what makes this recipe and is worth the effort to hunt down although I can’t find a straight answer on the phytic acid content of tapioca, so I’m not making it all the time just in case it’s high.

The kids love it and even Hubs eats it plain and he’s a really picky eater.  (Not saying he’s in love with it, but he does eat it voluntarily which is a big deal.)

So, without further ado, here’s a link to the original recipe.  I double the recipe and bake it in a 9 x 5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper.  My baking soda and/or cream of tartar must not be super fresh because my bread never rises as high as you see in the link but it still tastes great and holds together well…Oh, and it’s not dry or soggy! 😉

Grapefruit Julius

I’ve been on a grapefruit kick for the past few months, partly because it’s one of the few fruits that are allowed on the antifungal diet and also because I love winter grapefruit.  It’s so much sweeter and juicier than at other times of the year.

I love to segment it then chop it up into bite size pieces and mix it along with frozen blueberries and stevia into plain yogurt.  You might never assume grapefruit and yogurt go well together but, boy do they!

Last week was such a busy week for me I didn’t use up all of the grapefruits I had and I didn’t want them molding so I juiced them.  I froze the juice in ice cube trays so I could add them to smoothies or to make grapefruit julius.  I also made almond milk and froze that too.  (I used some leftover ground almonds from the milk for the crust in this cheesecake and froze the rest.)

grapefruit julius

Growing up, my older sister used to make orange julius for the two of us using the recipe she learned in her junior high (middle school…incase you’re that young) home ec class.  Oh, how I loved her orange julius!  So orangey, sweet, and creamy and with a hint of vanilla.  Of course, plain milk and oranges are banned from the diet so I had to come up with my own version of the icy treat.

grapefruit julius

Now that warmer weather is (finally!) here we had a little celebration and broke out the bendy straws.  What’s a celebration without bendy straws?

The grapefruit julius was a hit and even my two littlest who won’t touch grapefruit with a ten foot pole finished theirs fast enough to get brain freeze.

grapefruit julius

It doesn’t have an overly strong grapefruit flavor but you can most definitely taste it.  So, for all you health conscious grapefruit lovers out there, give this one a try.

Grapefruit Julius

2 c frozen grapefruit juice

2 c frozen almond milk

1 c coconut milk

1 c yogurt, plain

1 t vanilla

1/4 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4 to 6.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake

Last weekend, Hubs and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe I’m old enough to be married so long!  It’s seriously been the best fifteen years of my life.

Part of our celebration included a creamy, chocolatey cheesecake.  Cheesecake is one of the very best desserts in the world for accommodating a sugar free, grain free diet.  Tartness is key in disguising the taste of stevia and cream cheese and sour cream both have just enough to do the trick.

I have used stevia every single day for the past seven or eight years in all of my sweetened drinks and I love it.  When it comes to baking however, it’s noticeably not a perfect sugar substitute.  It doesn’t work in every application, but cheesecake is an exception.  There’s more flavor and texture going on with a cheesecake than just the sugary sweetness of say, a cookie and that goes a long way to making a stevia sweetened dessert truly enjoyable.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake (sugar free and gluten free)

This cheesecake has two layers, one being chocolate cream cheese and the other being vanilla sour cream.  It’s also a little time consuming since there are three parts including making the grain free crust, but it really is a simple recipe and worth every minute it takes to make it.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake (sugar free and gluten free)

I had a constant stream of interruptions while trying to make this particular cheese cake and wound up rushing through softening and blending the cream cheese and cocoa which led to a unique looking chocolate layer.  I’m no perfectionist so I just rolled with it and when we were eating the cheesecake Hubs and the kids all commented on how cool it looked.  I told them it was confetti, like it was supposed to look like that.  Heh, heh.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake (sugar free and gluten free)

It still tasted heavenly and was completely devoured with everyone wishing for seconds.

I’d say cheesecake and all it’s variations, is in my top three favorite sugar/grain free desserts.  If you haven’t tried it yet you should.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Printable

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake

Crust:

1 C almonds, ground

1/4 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1 t cinnamon

3 T butter, room temperature

Mix ground almonds, stevia and cinnamon together then add butter and mix with a fork or pastry blender to get butter well incorporated   Press the mixture into a 9″ pie plate and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bottom layer:

2 large eggs, room temperature

2, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1/3 C granulated xylitol

3 T cocoa powder

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t salt

Either in a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer or in a stand mixer, start by beating the eggs then add the remaining ingredients and continue mixing just until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake in a preheated 375° oven and bake for 20 minutes until the cheesecake has puffed up but still not completely set in the center.  Turn off the oven and crack the door open leaving the cheesecake in the still hot but cooling oven for another 20 minutes to set the center.  Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before adding the top layer.

Top layer:

1 and 1/2 C sour cream

1/2 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1 t vanilla extract

Either in a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer or in a stand mixer, beat together the sour cream, stevia, and vanilla.  Spread over cooled bottom layer of the cheesecake and bake in a preheated 425° oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Once cooled, add the chocolate sauce in swirls.

Chocolate Sauce:

2 T coconut oil, melted

1 t cocoa powder

1/8 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

a tensy, tiny dash of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl or coffee mug and drizzle over pie.  (If the sauce thickens before you can drizzle it, reheat it.)

Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 4 hours or longer before serving and store any leftover, covered in the refrigerator.

Note:  You’ll notice that I also use a little xylitol in a lot of my desserts which goes a long way to making a dessert taste and feel closer to the real deal.  You can leave it out and up the amount of stevia and the cheesecake will still taste way better than most stevia only sweets.  However, because xylitol is a sugar alcohol, I never use more than about 1/3 cup of xylitol in a recipe.  Sugar alcohols are notorious for causing digestive upset and although xylitol is typically a lesser offender, it can cause trouble for some people.

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam

Over the weekend I did some experimenting in the kitchen and came up with a tasty little cookie that even my pickiest eaters scarfed down and asked for more.

It’s a dessert, of course, and who doesn’t love sweets?  I always had a major sweet tooth and baking has always been the only cooking I’ve really enjoyed.

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam (sugar and gluten free)

These cookies are sweet as well as sugar and gluten free!  As I was sampling my first one I thought I couldn’t really tell they were sugar free but assumed it was because I’ve been off sugar for a few months.  Then, as my oldest was eating some, she also mentioned she couldn’t tell they weren’t made with sugar.  I think having naturally sweet and tart blackberries helps.

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam (sugar and gluten free)

My oldest, whose 14, picks wild blackberries every summer and we freeze bags full of them.  They’re smaller and the seeds seem larger than store bought blackberries but they also seem sweeter with a stronger flavor.  They are sooo yummy!

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam

Dry ingredients:

2 C almond meal

1/4 C coconut flour

1/4 C xylitol

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1/2 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

Wet ingredients:

1/2 C butter, softened

1 egg

1/4 t raw apple cider vinegar (you can’t taste it at all and it helps them rise)

In a bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients and mix until very well incorporated   Divide and shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Press your thumb half way into the center of each cookie making a well to place the jam in after baking.  Bake them in a 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown.

Once cookies are baked and cooled fill the center of each cookie with 1 1/2 tsp of jam.  Store uneaten cookies in the refrigerator.  This recipe make 24 cookies.

Blackberry Chia Jam

2 C frozen blackberries

2 T lemon juice

2 T chia seeds

1/2 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

In a small saucepan heat the frozen berries and lemon juice to a simmer and cook until berries are soft.  Remove pan from heat, stir in chia seeds, and smash up the berries with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.  Stir in stevia and allow the jam to cool in the refrigerator or stick it in the freezer for about 5 or 10 minutes.

Printable Recipe Here

Tapioca Fudge Pops (sugar and dairy free)

Spring weather is back for just a few days so yesterday I made the kids some tapioca fudge pops.  Yum!

Tapioca Fudge Pops

 

I forgot to include the coconut milk in this picture…oops!

They’re supper easy to make.

Tapioca fudge pops

Tapioca Fudge Pops:

5 1/2 c. coconut milk

6 T instant tapioca

4 T cocoa powder

2 eggs

1/3 c. granulated xylitol

1 tsp stevia concentrate powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything but the vanilla in a sauce pan and let it sit for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, heat to rapid boiling over med-hi heat while stirring.  Once you reach rapid boiling, remove it from the burner and let it cool for a few minutes before adding the vanilla.  (If you add it while it’s boiling hot, it will dissipate.)

This recipe makes a lot but I have five kids so I need a lot!

You can serve it as pudding warm or cold or freeze it in popsicle molds.  The kids love the popsicles and I love it as a bowl of cold pudding.

I’ve noticed that when I use stevia in sweets that the desserts taste better after they’ve cooled completely than when they’re still warm, and this recipe tastes just like Jello brand chocolate pudding after it’s been completely chilled in the refrigerator

Salt is also necessary when cooking or baking with stevia as it brings out the sweetness without having to use quite as much stevia which also improves the flavor and helps cut any bitter aftertaste.

On another note, my photography skills are horrific!  I have a Nikon D3000 that Hubs surprised me with a few years ago…after I whined and begged for one forever.  I know it’s not an amazing camera but it’s capable of producing much nicer photos than the ones I always take in auto mode.

Every time I decide to figure out how to really use it I become instantly overwhelmed but yesterday afternoon I was perusing a favorite food blog with beautiful photos and finally decided to read her photography 101 posts.  Wow!  She really knows how to cut the crap and make it simple and understandable.  It was so good I even made a few notes on 3 x 5 cards.

Her blog is edible perspective and she’s a foodie and self taught photographer.  Her recipes and pictures always look so delicious!

It will take time and lots of practicing I’m sure but I think I’m getting the hang of it already.  I dreamed about it all night long too.  Ha, ha!

On even another note, I never meant for this blog to become another food blog…I don’t really even like cooking per se.   I don’t know what I meant it for but I enjoy blogging so much that I started this blog with no purpose or reason other than I felt like I managed to blog myself into a corner with only one topic on my other blog.  Am I already doing it again??

Kefir Basics

Kefir Basics

Basic instructions:  Use a ratio of 1-2 tablespoons of milk kefir grains to 1 cup of milk (cow, goat etc…not nut or seed milk.)  Place it all in a glass container with cheesecloth or a paper towel over the top to keep stuff from falling in (and to keep out gnats in the warm weather, they LOVE this stuff!) and to allow the gasses formed by the kefir to escape without busting your jar.  Also leave a few inches of head space in the jar because it will expand.  (You may have noticed the lid…outside of gnat season I just set the lid on top without screwing it down.)

Leave the jar on the counter for anywhere from 12 to 48 hours…basically till the curd separates from the whey like in the jar above.  Times will vary and you can make it weaker or stronger using the 12 to 48 hour guideline.

After the whey has separated, stir it with a plastic or wooden spoon.  Metal is supposedly death to kefir, but I’ve found that it tolerates some metal contact just fine as you’ll see.

straining kefir grains with metal strainer

Next, strain out all of the kefir grains leaving you with fermented milk.  I use a fine metal strainer for this part and less than three months ago I only had about a cup of grains.  Now I have 5 or 6 cups so it’s still alive and growing.  I have to assume it’s only harmful to the grains if it’s in prolonged contact with metal.  I haven’t tested that though.

strained kefir grains

Lastly, store the strained kefir in the fridge and put the grains in a jar of fresh milk to start the process over.

kefir

 

So there’s the finished product.  Now you can sweeten it however you like or drink it plain or blend frozen fruit into it for smoothies etc.

Almost eight years ago, I bought two tablespoons of kefir grains from a guy off of ebay.  I started out making one cup of kefir at a time, but through faithfulness and a warmish kitchen, those two tablespoons quickly grew into four cups and I started giving it away left and right to friends and family who asked for some…only for every one of them to throw it away later.  Some even became repeat offenders.

One of Hubs friends asked for some grains and Hubs told him, “Sure, I’ll just have my wife go ahead and throw yours in the trash to save you the trouble.” He was confussed by that and asked why.  Hubs told him that’s what everyone else has done so that’s what he’ll probably do too.  The guy thought it was funny and swore he wouldn’t do that.  I gave him about half a cup of grains which he placed in the fridge at work and left it there for a few weeks before he threw it in the trash.  He figured it had surely gone bad by then.

Ha, ha!  It didn’t even make it home with him!  I thought it was funny among other things.

I’m not an overthetop, passionate, zealot about kefir so I’m no expert, but I have learned a few things over the years that I think are worth sharing.

It’s really, really hard to kill.  I’ve never managed to and I’ve abused it in so many ways.  I’ve done everything from leave it on the counter till it smells like 3 day old road kill in the summertime to leave it starving in the back of the fridge for months at a time.  I even manhandled it with kefir murdering metal!  Gasp!

The first picture is one of my current gallon batches.  I have between 5 and 6 cups of grains right now and make about a gallon of strained kefir every day or so.  That’s enough grains to make more than twice that amount if you figure you need about 2 tablespoons per cup of milk.  But, I don’t need that much and I like the taste and texture of this ratio better.  It comes out thick and frothy after about 24 hours on the counter with the perfect amount of tartness.  Another day on the counter and it’s even thicker, but looses it’s frothiness and is at least as sour as sucking on a fresh lemon wedge…which is not my favorite.  It’s like the difference between lemonade an lemon juice.

Sometimes I don’t have time to strain it when I need to so I stick the jar, grains and all, in the fridge till I’m ready which has been three to six months on many, many occasions.  Once I’m ready to get back into making kefir, I pull my last batch out of the fridge, smell it then strain it.  If it smells fine I go ahead and drink it and so far I’ve never had a batch smell off even after several months.  My mom says she has had some turn bad that way but her sense of bad and mine might not match up.  I haven’t died from doing that yet so my method works for me.

However, if you’re not as gutsy or you’ve left it on the counter till it smells rotten, strain out the grains and rinse them in chlorine/flouride free water and start over.  The time I left it on the counter and it stunk to high heaven and grew a light brown fuzz across the top, I scrapped off that fuzzy layer, strained and rinsed the grains really well, poured the fermented milk down the drain, put the grains in a small amount of milk and changed the milk every couple of days (tossing the fermented milk each time) till it smelled normal again.  That was within the first year of my kefir making and it’s still alive to tell about it (and so am I!)

Once you’ve left the grains in the fridge for months at a time, it can take a while for the grains to get back up to speed so I help them along by placing the jar in a big stew pot of warm (not hot) water, which I change a couple of times to get them restarted quicker.  This also seems to help the grains multiply quicker too but it may only be necessary in winter when the kitchen is cooler.

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

I recently jumped into the chia pool and tried a recipe called, Chia Tapioca, or something like that.  It was pretty good but it’s not an exact replacement for tapioca since the little gelatin like balls now have a hard, slightly crunchy center, but if all the hype is true it’s surely better for me.  I’ve adapted it a little to include maca, another supper food, and it turns out to be my favorite way to get maca down my gullet.

 

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

I don’t eat maca that often and when I do I have to use very small amounts and only in the evening.  I know it’s supposed to be energizing and all, but it actually makes me feel sleepier than usual for several hours before it kicks in…in the middle of the night while I’m actually trying to sleep.  If I only use it as an occasional dessert in the evening I seem to be okay, but even one small serving any other time of the day equals an energy fit filled night and if I don’t get my eight hours of shut eye I turn into a crazy woman!

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

Back to the pudding…I think maca and chocolate go together pretty well flavor wise.  The chocolate kind of hides the cigarette butt flavor of the maca.  Mmmm.  I made some yesterday and took some slightly fuzzy pictures of it.  Here’s the recipe:

1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk

3/4 c water

1/3 c chia seeds

2 Tbs cocoa powder

1 tsp maca powder (adjust the maca to your liking and here’s the brand I use.)

1/4 tsp salt (I’ve been using Real Salt, tasty!)

Stevia to taste*

Mix all the ingredients together till clumps are gone.  Refrigerate for at least thirty minutes then mix again if needed.  You may eat it at this point or save it for later in the fridge.  It makes four servings.

I bet there are all kinds of ways to play with this using other ingredients like protein powder or even raw eggs.  We have our own chickens so I do this sometimes in shakes and it makes them so creamy.  You can coddle the egg first if you don’t have a good, clean source for healthy eggs.

Stevia concentrate

Stevia concentrate

*It’s hard to put a measurement on stevia since there are so many varieties and they all vary in sweetness and measurements.  I started using the brand in the link above about seven years ago and haven’t looked back.  I use it every single day in my tea so I’m very used to eyeballing just how much I need and I even cut a bendy straw to use as a little scoop.  For this recipe I used four scoops which seems to be about the equivalent of one cup of sugar.

Homegrown green stevia

Homegrown green stevia

I also grow stevia and dry and grind my own, but green stevia has a green taste to it so it’s less versatile.  I use it mostly in juices that are bitter and don’t have enough carrots to sweeten it up.  It’s not quite as strong as the concentrate, but it’s surprisingly close so I use a snipped straw to measure it out too.

Champion Juicing

 

Juicing carrots, cucumbers, celery, and ginger.

Juicing carrots, cucumbers, celery, and ginger.

Back in November, Hubs persuaded his coworkers to have a “Biggest Losers” starting in January which would run for four weeks.  It would operate like the TV show but they named their contest the “Big Fat Loser” contest.  They had entry fees and a small weekly money prize for the guy who lost the highest percentage of weight each week ending with a larger money prize for the one who lost the highest percentage of body weight over all.  The rules were, you couldn’t use any pills or do anything so extreme as to put yourself into the hospital.  Pretty simple.  Diet and exercise.

Well, midway through, one of the guys confessed to drinking tons of water before the initial weigh in and then taking laxatives before each weekly weigh in so that combined with his low carb diet meant he won.  He should have been disqualified, but he’s a manager and no one wanted to be the one to tell him.  Evidently the name of this contest was a double entendre.

Anyway…Hubs wanted me to help him with his plan and motivate him and cook for him and tell him what he could and couldn’t eat et cetera.  Not my thing, I’m a middle child.  I didn’t have any plans of doing this with him either because I’ve done this particular diet enough to know it cuts to the core it’s so hard.  I was too stressed all the time and needed my comfort foods badly.  They were tasty distractions that I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to so it’s a miracle that two days before the contest we went grocery shopping for what Hubs needed and I bought enough for the whole family because I was in.

I wouldn’t weigh in or pay a fee, I’d just participate quietly on the sidelines and cheer my husband on.  I had high blood pressure and needed to loose some weight so I was willing to give it another try for as long as I could stand.

As of today, I’m still doing it!  Two and a half months into it and I’m still going and I don’t have plans to quit.  I want to be one of “those” people all the time.  You know the kind.  They always eat right because it’s what they want to do not because they have to.  Hubs is  a little more off and on, mostly on.  I’m convinced he’s got a major fungal overgrowth in his digestive tract and possible something like Chrone’s disease.  He’s a mess, bless his heart.  We’ve never been into going to the doctor for things we can fix and he doesn’t want to start now because he’s convinced we can fix this (and so am I.)

We’re following the Phase One diet of Doug Kaufmann’s and Know The Cause.  It’s an antifungal diet that’s been our go to health plan that we’re convinced can fix most any health problem.  Doesn’t everyone have one of those kind of plans?  No?  Of coarse you have to continue to eat right to maintain the benefits.  It always cracks me up when people scoff at a “diet” because, as they say, as soon as you go off the diet all your problems  come back.  Well, duh.  You are what you eat.

Well, I feel great!  My blood pressure has gone from 140/90ish to 110/70ish, my weight has come down, although I still need to lose more (I’m a really slow loser,)  my skin is softer and clearer, no more breakouts, and no more cravings for foods that I shouldn’t be eating.  Hubs had serious blood sugar problems being hypoglycemic and so did our oldest but eating the way we do now has eliminated all their woe’s and will hopefully fix Hubs digestion too.

 

Champion Juicer

Champion Juicer

As part of our new routine I juice every day.  My favorite is cucumber, celery, lots of carrots, and a bit of ginger.  It is so good.  Some days I crave large amounts and I drink all I want and most other days I’m good with 16 ounces or so.  Every now and then, I skip juicing and I’m usually dragging a little when I do.  It really does make a huge difference and as an on and off juicer since my teens, I can tell that it makes the biggest, quickest difference in the appearance of my skin.

 

Carrot, cucumber, celery, and ginger juice.

Carrot, cucumber, celery, and ginger juice.

Yesterday I juiced 3 pounds of carrots, 1 pound of celery, 2 large cucumber and a chunk of ginger.  It made just over 80 ounces and tasted amazing.  I give it to my kids too and they drink it without protesting so I think they like it too, especially if it has plenty of carrots to make it extra sweet.

Juicing is only part of the Phase One diet and as the name suggests it does have multiple phases.   I’m still on the first phase because it’s very doable for me and I think that’s what it will take for Hubs and I to get our bodies in order.

This post is too long already so more some other time.

Best Chili Seasoning Recipe…In The World!

 

Bulldozing pasture 034My husband looooves chili and has for as long as I’ve known him. In the  first couple of years of our marriage I always made chili using premixed seasoning packets from the store. Those usually have a few ingredients that aren’t necessary if you make your own or even good for you, but they always tasted pretty good. (Probably because of those same nasty ingredients like MSG!) Chili was and still is one of my go to meals if I haven’t planned ahead since I usually have everything I need, or at least most everything I need. I occasionally would forget to buy those little premixed packets and would experiment with recipes until I found, “the one.” It was such a big hit with Hubs I quit buying those packets all together.

Over the years, I have served chili to company using this homemade mix and I have yet to have, even once, any chili left over when I do even though I make a huge vat of it when I make it for guests. It really is that good. Serving chili with a little shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips makes it extra tasty, but it’s definitely good enough to stand alone too. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t follow the recipe perzactly (FYI: how we say exactly around here) I just eyeball it with all of the herbs and spices I use. Here’s the basic recipe I use:

1/4 c chili powder

2 T + 2 t onion powder

1 T + 1 t garlic powder

1 T + 1 t dry mustard (don’t skip it!!)

1 T + 1 t ground cumin

1 T + 1 t paprika

1 T + 1 t ground oregano

1 t ground black pepper

1/4 t salt

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a sealed container. It makes a little more than 3/4 cup and you need to add 2 tablespoons per 1/2 pound of meat. I can’t tell you how good this mix is so you’ll need to try it for yourself. If you make it don’t skip any of the ingredients. You can adjust the amounts to your liking but trust me, everyone of those herbs and spices is absolutely essential in making chili taste amazing!