Tag: healthy eating

Morgan Spurlock Listen Up

I have a great idea.  A few years ago the gimmick documentary maker Morgan Spurlock made his movie Super Size Me where he eats McDonalds every day for a month and every time they ask him ‘Do you want to super size it’, he says ‘yes’.

During the month they monitor his health and vitals which all go down the tube.  I don’t know how this is really considered an expose of any sorts, really more of an extreme stunt.

Here’s something that would be more interesting. All of the fast food companies claim you can eat healthy at their restaurants. Some example from their websites:

McDonalds

“Eating right isn’t always easy – we have lots of menu choices to help you.”

Wendy’s

“At Wendy’s, we believe in choice. Choice in toppings. Choice in dressings. And the choice to select from a wide variety of nutritious options.”

KFC

“We believe eating sensibly, combined with appropriate exercise, is the best solution for a healthy lifestyle. KFC offers a variety of menu items for those that want lower fat, lower calorie choices, including Kentucky Grilled Chicken and Honey BBQ Sandwiches, corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans and green beans. ”

Taco Bell, KFC and I assume other Pepsi owned companies all have links to the ‘Keep it Balanced‘ website. To me this is just amazing.  They show a family eating fried chicken, biscuits, cole slaw, drinking soda- probably the worst meal in the world, and then say ‘Its a simple formula, ‘Energy In=Energy Out’.  Do you know how much energy you’d have to put out to make up for that meal? Its so ridiculous.The whole website kind of ticks me off to be honest!

Subway is of course the king of healthy eating marketing, even promoting their food as a diet choice with celebrity athletes such as Apollo Anton Ohno and Michael Phelps.  Here’s the thing- how many people really make the healthy choices at Subway? No mayo or sauces, wheat bread with one of the 8 possible ‘fresh fit’ selections?  Last time you went to subway did you stick by the rules and get the healthy choice?

To their credit, Burger King, Carl’s Jr, and In N Out are all more honest, merely stating their nutritional information and not making claims of health in any way.

Anyway, here is my idea.  Someone should put the fast food companies to their word and do a month of eating fast food.  Order the ‘healthiest’ options and see if it could really be done and be healthy.  Follow vitals and participate in moderate exercise as all the sites suggest.  I don’t think it could be done.

I say this because I am tempted by fast food.  It is sometimes difficult to get the motivation to cook just for myself and fast food is so easy.  The idea of it being ‘healthy’ does sometimes convince me to go and I always regret it. In 2010 I went an entire year without fast food and it was awesome.  Usually I stay away but every once in a while I fall into the habit.

I’m not one of those people that think fast food should be criminalized and monitored like the cigarette companies but it does seem like false advertising to claim health when in truth it is almost always an indulgence.

So there’s my idea! Morgan Spurlock call me!

PB and J Pancakes

Lately food has been a pain in the neck.  Everything just looks gross and I’ve had no appetite to eat much of anything.  I am sure that sounds peachy but it is kind of a pain.  I have food, healthy food, and I’m not eating junk but just looking at my fridge makes me feel nauseated.  I can’t explain it. The odd thing is eating these super small amounts I feel great!  I feel alert, happy, light.   This whole month I have felt really well.  I’ve had painful days but not as many as in other months (I think part of it is this amazing weather we’ve had.  I feel weighted down when the weather is cold and gray).

Anyway, as I bird-eat I find that I have to freeze a lot of what I make because I’m just not very hungry.  Its hard to make meals for 1 anyway but even if I do there is still at least one portion left these days.  Some things freeze better than others.  Like the other day I made these thai peanut noodles.  They didn’t reheat well and kind of turned black.  Still tasted good but looked gross.

The pork I made Sunday has saved well and will be nice to have frozen for quesadillas, pizzas, omelets ect. I am working to come up with recipes that I can freeze so that hopefully we can have a healthy, low GI, freezer meal party.  A couple of my friends are already interested.   The problem is a lot of freezer meals contain creamed soups and preservatives which I do not want, especially hanging around in my freezer for months.  If any of you know of good freezer meal recipes that are low in sugar and white carbs send them my way.  Does anyone know how quinoa freezes?

So, today I decided to make my whole wheat pancakes as previously posted https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/whole-wheat-pancakes/.  This was a recipe given me to my internet friend White Lilly .   These are not the heavy whole wheat pancakes you are used to but are light and fluffy.  (This time I used Stevia instead of sugar.  It didn’t really work.  I would use agave instead.)

Anyway, to shake things up a bit I decided to make PB and J pancakes.  So, I took a bag of frozen strawberries on the stovepot, melted them down (didn’t need any liquid because of the ice but if you made from fresh might need 1/4 water), and a tbsp of stevia.  I let it cook until the strawberries were wilted.  At this point you could blend it to make it smooth but I kind of like the hunks of strawberries.

Strawberries, raspberries, peaches and cherries are all considered LOW GI fruit. Having an index of 32 or below.  Kiwi’s, figs, mangos and bananas are nearly double; however, they can still be valuable for other reasons if used sparingly.

With the finished strawberry topping I spread a layer of creamy peanut butter on each pancake and then poured the strawberries on top (the strawberries will be good on yogurt or ice cream.  Nice way to use frozen fruit, which is cheaper and lasts longer)!

PB and J pancakes. I've been trying to have better food photography on my blog. What do you think? I honestly couldn't eat all of this only 1/2. It was really good though.

And look at all I was able to save, enough for 5 more breakfasts.

5 Breakfasts in the freezer! Ziplocs work the best to stuff things in my little freezer

I’d like to get another smaller freezer because mine is always crammed full.  If anyone has a deal let me know.   This is the kind I would like:  I am hoping to find one used, on sale.  We will see.

Anyway, enjoy the pancakes and start experiencing with freezer meals and please send me your successes. Love ya!

Rachel’s Homemade BBQ Sauce

I love sauces.  One of the hardest things about sticking to a low GI diet is that most produced sauces/dressings are high in added sugar.  In addition, most not only have sugar but have high fructose corn syrup which is like concentrated sugar.  This left me with dry, boring food.  😦

Lately I’ve been experimenting a lot in the kitchen and trying to come up with recipes that are low GI and taste good.  I’ve had 2 less than stellar successes but today I think I scored.  ( I tried to make enchiladas with my own enchilada sauce and they were such a disappointment.).

I have made my own barbeque sauce!  BBQ sauce is usually loaded with sugar, molasses and honey.  Especially my favorite, Kansas city style, which is a dark, rich sauce.   Now I made this sauce with agave but you could use coconut syrup or brown rice syrup or yacon- whatever low GI sweetener floats your boat.  I don’t think stevia would work as well in this recipe because it isn’t a liquid syrup but you can try it!  I am also not a fan of splenda. Its not natural like the stevia or agave plants and to me it has a chemical aftertaste.

(For agave haters read this) The Agave Bad for You Fallacy

One thing you have to remember is that any sweetener is just that a sweetener but some are absorbed less quickly and converted into glucose.  Its kind of like the difference between whole grains and white flour.  They are both grains but one is absorbed more quickly than the other.  Our bodies are designed to taste sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and unami, and I believe it is important that any diet for it to be a realistic lifestyle change must incorporate all of these taste buds.  They are there.  They aren’t going away.  Doing a sugar fast may be helpful to change habits and lessen cravings but unless you cut out your tongue you will always want sweet.

there are areas of your tongue designed to taste sweet. Its how our body is made. Find healthier ways to satisfy those natural cravings

So, my goal is to find ways to satisfy my taste buds without raising my blood sugar levels (and its working I haven’t had a high reading in a year).  I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to take regular dishes and lower the simple carbs and substitute/reduce the sugar in them.  (Any recipes you have in this regard I’d love!).

My sister and a friend are coming over tonight and she suggested we make this soda pop crockpot pork I’ve made in the past.  At first I thought, no way!  If there was ever a dish loaded with sugar this is it.  In addition to 2 cans regular cola an average recipe has 1 cup or more of highly sweetened bbq sauce and an additional 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

One of the things I admire about people like Elana Amsterdam is she hasn’t let her celiac disease stop her from eating anything.  She finds a way to make cupcakes, cookies, crackers, pies all within her food restrictions (she also uses agave and explains why).  Amy Medling is another good example.  Her menus are so full and rich and yet completely PCOS/Low GI friendly.

I think an attitude of looking at food limitations as a fun challenge, not as a burden, is very commendable.  Sometimes I feel like all I get is one more thing I can’t eat each day (especially during the sugar fast, someone told me I couldn’t eat sugar free gum and I about lost it.  I couldn’t take all the no’s anymore!).

Never to be undone by a challenge I decided to go for it.  The pork is brewing in the crockpot right now but I have a feeling it will be delicious.  I used oogave cola soda .  This soda uses agave instead of high fructose corn syrup or sugar.  Again, its not about it being a non-sweetener because it is but it is a better choice.

So, then I added a cup of my awesome homemade bbq sauce.  Even if the pork doesn’t turn out it was worth it just for this recipe I invented. (And remember you are using just a little bit of sauce.  The recipe makes over 4-6 cups.  (I didn’t measure the final amount but it was a lot).

Here goes:

Homemade Low GI BBQ Sauce

1 large can tomato sauce (or pureed tomatoes in a blender and strained)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 c balsamic vinegar (doesn’t have to be the fancy stuff.  I used some I got from the dollar store!  Save the good stuff for bread or strawberries.  I think you could also use apple cider vinegar which has some health benefits but it wouldn’t give you the dark KC BBQ look.)

1/3 c agave (can add a little more depending on taste)

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp yellow mustard

2 dashes of liquid smoke (start small and can add more because it packs a punch)

1/4 c Worcestershire sauce (this does contain hfc and sugar but it is such a small amount for a large quantity of sauce that I wouldn’t worry about it.  If anyone knows of a Worcestershire sauce that doesn’t have added sugars let me know. )

Mix all together with a whisk until it boils and then quickly turn to med low and let simmer for 45 minutes.  Then bottle and store in your fridge.

Rachel's Homemade LOW GI BBQ Sauce!

I’m really excited about this recipe.  I think it will be great on hot dogs instead of ketchup (and I do intend on making my own Low GI ketchup) or with sweet potato fries.  With roasted chicken it would be delicious, or on ribs it would be fabulous.   There is tons of potential.  Hurray!

Let me know what you think and if you alter the recipe in any way.  I will post a photo of the pork tonight.

“It is a far, far better barbecue that I have now, than I have ever had before” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

“It is better to have burnt and lost, then never to have barbecued at all” – William Shakespeare

(Just a little joke!)

Posted later-

Here is the pork

agave bbq pulled pork

The pork is a 5 lb pork shoulder rubbed with salt and pepper.  Then you put it in the crockpot with an onion sliced up, 2 cans oogave cola and a cup of Low GI BBQ.  Let cook on low for 6 hours.  Then drain most of marinade, shred pork and add another cup of sauce, heat on high for 1-2 hours.

The pork was tender and full of flavor.  I really liked it.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

So today I made the most delicious breakfast- whole wheat pancakes.  I LOVE pancakes but most whole wheat are thick and heavy.  These weren’t.  I must admit they tasted particularly good thins morning after having a rocky sleep last night (kept waking up with coughs, the cpap was bothering me etc).  The recipe is from my blogging friend White  Lilly with a few minor modifications from yours truly.

I've been working on learning how to use my pentax. I would like to have better photography for my blog including my food photos. What do you think?

 

WHOLE WHEAT BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own using 1 cup 2% milk with 1 T plain vinegar)
2 T oil (didn’t have oil used 2 T butter melted)
1 T honey (used 1 T light agave instead)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)

I like to put peanut butter, and then maple flavored agave on the top to add some protein and a more low GI sugar.

Whisk wet ingredients together, taking care to sufficiently beat the egg. Then add dry ingredients, mixing well. For smoother batter, use electric beaters (I’m usually too lazy to get them out and just mix it by hand). I like to use fresh ground flour, and I prefer to use soft white wheat (aka, whole wheat pastry flour). Hard white wheat will work as well, but if you go to red wheat you will be exchanging a mild flavor for a stronger one. If desired, add three to five blueberries (depending on the size of your pancakes) to each pancake immediately after dropping the batter onto the grill. Do not mix the blueberries all at once directly into the batter; it will just turn the batter blue! Coat a grill with nonstick cooking spray and preheat to 300-325 degrees. You may want to fiddle with the temperature a bit to find out where it’s optimal. If it’s too hot the pancakes will be dark brown. When the batter starts to bubble, gently lift an edge with a spatula; if it’s a light brown/golden color and seems like it will stay intact, then it’s ready to be flipped. Cook on second side for a minute of two, peaking under the edge frequently to make sure it doesn’t get too dark. Sometimes I flip them back over the the first side for several seconds just to make sure that the pancakes are cooked all the way through.

Healthy Fast Recipes

Last year I did a healthy recipe contest and got some good results.    This year I would like to put out a similar challenge.

As you all know lately  I have been training very rigorously for my races.  This leaves me with little energy to do much else some days including making food/dinner.  I am far too likely to get take out or meals ready to eat at the Harmons up the street then I should.  I know this is not the healthiest option but there are days when dirtying a dish, waiting 30 minutes, chopping anything seems like such a burden.  And then there is the task of deciding what to make and making sure it is healthy…It is hard.

So, here’s what I am looking for.  There are 2 categories.

1.  High fueling snackage- Yes, I know I can eat nuts and some energy bars are ok but I come home from work outs and am starving, ravenous. I would love any recipe for a satisfying snack that quenches my hunger quickly and possibly tides me over to make a good meal.  Remember I have to keep the simple sugars to a minimum so try to use agave instead of sugar/honey where possible.

I also love smoothies.  Especially after a swim there is NOTHING better than a smoothie.  I would love some creative combinations for smoothies you might have.

These don’t have to be your recipes but please make them ones that you have at least tried out beforehand.

2. Quick, easy, healthy meals- My next category is actual meals.  I need meals that are low glycemic, healthy, loaded with whole grains and protein that are easy to make.  This could include a recipe good for making in advance and freezing to have on hand.

I like pretty much any genre of cooking- Italian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican etc.  I am also a pretty good cook and have a well stocked kitchen so don’t limit yourself that way.

Please keep in mind that I am single so the serving size is just 1 person and then the rest either has to be leftovers or frozen.

Egg dishes, breakfast for dinner, pasta, stir fries, curries, soups, salads, sandwiches, would all be good categories to think about.  The healthier the better, the easier the better.

They do not necessarily have to be low in fat- especially if it is the right kind of fat using olive, coconut, or grapeseed oil for instance.  If in doubt, send the recipe over and I will decide if it meets my dietary needs.  (Just a tip- I don’t use splenda but will try recipes with stevia.  I also am open to any gluten free recipes but have no specific allergy in that regard).

I am also more interested in healthy eating then sticking to a strict budget so while I won’t be eating black truffles anytime soon I wouldn’t put the cost of the meal as the primary consideration.

I will give a $25 amazon gift card to the best snack and meal recipes submitted.  Please tell your friends and keep the recipes coming. You can add them as a comment or email me at smilingldsgirl@yahoo.com

Thanks! I look forward to the results.

Fat Stigma

fat shame: stigma and the fat body in American Culture by Amy Erdman Farrell

I want to tell everyone about a book I am obsessed with- Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture by Amy Erdman Farrell.  In this amazing book Farrell goes back two hundred years into the history of what she calls ‘fat denigration’.  In other words, being ‘fat’ has become a way of dismissing people for a variety of reason that have nothing to do with health.  Even more interesting she examines the history of the diet and anti-obesity movements to show how the have always been about profit rather than health.

The Goodreads description summarizes the book well:

“Tracing the cultural denigration of fatness to the mid 19th century, Amy Farrell argues that the stigma associated with a fat body proceeded any health concerns about a large body size. Firmly in place by the time the diet industry began to flourish in the 1920s, the development of fat stigma was related not only to cultural anxieties that emerged during the modern period related to consumer excess, but, even more profoundly, to prevailing ideas about race, civilization and evolution. For 19th and early 20th century thinkers, fatness was a key marker of inferiority, of an uncivilized, barbaric, and primitive body. This idea—that fatness is a sign of a primitive person—endures today, fueling both our $60 billion “war on fat” and our cultural distress over the “obesity epidemic.

Farrell draws on a wide array of sources, including political cartoons, popular literature, postcards, advertisements, and physicians’ manuals, to explore the link between our historic denigration of fatness and our contemporary concern over obesity. Her work sheds particular light on feminisms’ fraught relationship to fatness. From the white suffragists of the early 20th century to contemporary public figures like Oprah Winfrey, Monica Lewinsky, and even the Obama family, Farrell explores the ways that those who seek to shed stigmatized identities—whether of gender, race, ethnicity or class—often take part in weight reduction schemes and fat mockery in order to validate themselves as “civilized.” In sharp contrast to these narratives of fat shame are the ideas of contemporary fat activists, whose articulation of a new vision of the body Farrell explores in depth. This book is significant for anyone concerned about the contemporary “war on fat” and the ways that notions of the “civilized body” continue to legitimate discrimination and cultural oppression.”

I don’t know if I an explain it any better. It is brilliant book and has validated many feelings I have held since I was a little girl.  I can’t agree with Farrell more when she says:

“we often associate certain diseases with specific types of personalities, blaming the victims and shaming them into silence.  In a similar vein I would argue that we have imposed equally dangerous cultural meanings onto fatness. Fatness in the United States ‘means’ excess of desire, of bodily urges not controlled, of immoral, lazy and sinful habits.  Much more than a neutral description of a type of flesh, fatness caries with it such stigma as propels us to take drastic extreme measures to remove it”

She then goes into various dangerous measures some go to rid themselves of their ‘fat shame’.  “Clearly, fatness is a discrediting attribute for which people will go to extraordinary extremes to eliminate.  One has only to think of tape worms and arsenic of the early 20th century or the debilitating gastric bypass surgery of today to recognize these extreme measures. It is a physical stigma or an ‘abomination of the body,’ one that is clearly visible.  Fat people cannot hide their stigma…Because our culture assigns many meanings to fatness beyond the actual physical trait- that a person is glutinous, or filling a deeply disturbed psychological need, or irresponsible and unable to control primitive urges- it also has the traits of a ‘character stigma’…fat people are treated as not quite human, entities to whom the normal standards or polite and respectful behavior do not apply.”

There are so many examples from pop culture of fat stigma it is hard to know where to start.  Everything from Chris Farley to Homer Simpson reiterate that fat=stupid, lazy and incompetent.  (I love the Simpsons btw).  Even a child’s film like Walle reinforces that fat people are irresponsible, lazy and idol.

Now there may be some of you who think ‘she’s reinforcing unhealthy obesity’ but she’s not.  She is meticulously chronicling the history of what it means to be fat in America.  Our society puts all kinds of limits  and stereotypes on overweight individuals including ‘the unfair treatment they receive in employment, medical care, and social life.”

She also shows a number of studies that argue with the direct link between fatness and ill health. “They (diet establishment) argue that studies with headlines that tout the ‘dangers of obesity’ usually demonstrate that a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of processed food result in ill health; and that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and an active lifestyle will improve health, but it may or may not result in weight loss”

Even presentations that on the surface seem to encourage the right kind of weight loss, like the show ‘Biggest Loser’, subtly make the connection of weight loss and increased health.  They also subliminally imply an individual who does not lose weight is a ‘loser’ in their quest for health.

The most impactful part of the book for me is a study she mentions by UC Davis.

“In this study, a group of fat women was divided into 2 groups, one receiving coaching in restrictive eating (diet) and exercise, the other being encouraged to eat a healthy diet, listen to their bodies cues, to foster ways to engage in fun exercise and take part in a fat acceptance discussion group.  Significantly group 1- the traditional diet/exercise group- initially lost weight, but by the end half had dropped out; most had regained weight; blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metabolic measures had not improved and self-esteem levels had dropped.  In contrast, group 2 hadn’t lost any weight, but most stayed with the 2 year program; their blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metabolic measures had improved dramatically; their self-esteem levels increased substantially; and they exercised regularly.  Encouraged to pay attention to their bodies, to stop restricting calories, to fight the discrimination they experienced as fat people, and to enjoy their bodies through physical movement and eating well- the non-dieters showed significant health improvements.  But, and this is the key point, they never became thin.”

Please forgive the long quote but isn’t that fascinating?  I was blown away.  It reminded me of why I started this whole journey.  Losing weight was part of it but a small part.  I wanted to have more energy, to be able to do more of the athletic activities I saw around me.  I may still weigh over 250 lbs but there is no doubt I am healthier now than I was a year ago.  This was such a great revelation for me because I was becoming too focused on the weight loss- seeing it as the full marker of my success.  The fact I hadn’t lost the 100 lbs in one year, despite practically killing myself, made me feel frustrated and a little depressed.  (I might add that these feelings were entirely self-imposed as I have received nothing but praise and encouragement from family and friends).

For some reason I have always found it comforting to read about the history of philosophies and trends.  Through understanding how our culture got to where it is helps me understand those around me and my own feelings at the same time.  It was this sense of understanding the world that caused me to eat up philosophy and political science books in college and it is something I still love to this day.  Farrell’s book helped me to understand my own feelings of inadequacy in a new way and to finally get why a nation saw me as a fat person through a particular lens.   After all, they’ve had over 200 years to develop these bad habits and judgements!

It also makes me want to prove the haters wrong and be a shining light to those who feel depressed over their weight.  I want them to know they do have value, even if society says they are worthless.  I see the worth.  I know how hard it is to get healthy, but getting healthy should be the goal and if weight loss comes with, so be it!

Here’s a clip of Amy Farrell on the Colbert Report talking about her book.

http://t.co/7jiT9Ox

I couldn’t embed it because of comedy central’s copyright.

I know this is a long post but I really wanted to get the word out on this book.  It is a bit academic (incredibly well researched) but I wish that everyone would read it.

Product Recommendation Almond Flour

Hi out there! I decided to try something new for my product recommendations.  I’m really excited about this almond flour from Honeyville Farms.  If you want to order go to the Honeyville Farm website. If anyone is interested in buying it in bulk with me I’d love it.  I have enough to last me a few months but after that I’m confident I will want more!

I just got Elana Amsterdam’s cookbooks and they look fantastic (and are priced under $10 each!). I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to explore them.   Her new one is called Gluten-Free Cupcakes and her old one is the Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  It would be cool if someone else got these cookbooks and we could dive into them together.  It will take me a while to get through them all by myself (but don’t worry I will persevere through all the yummy baked goods!).  Most of her recipes call for agave which still must be eaten with moderation but at a glycemic index of 38 it is pretty good.

Anyway, I’m just grateful for products and companies that help me to feel good, eat right and still enjoy life!

.

Brownies

seriously brownies that are actually good for you- omega 3s and protein from the almond butter, flour and sugar free! Wow! May be the best day of my life.

Yes you read right.  Brownies.  Have I flown off the diabetes band wagon?  No sir!

The last two days I have not felt well and been a bit depressed.  Actually I don’t know if depressed is the right word- exhausted is more accurate.  Exhausted in every sense of the word.  I feel wrung out emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Today for some reason I feel a lot better.  I don’t know if it is seeing my sister or having voice lessons or what but I just feel a little more energy than the last 2 days.

I am particularly happy about a new recipe I tried for BROWNIES!!!  You won’t believe this recipe actually works.  It has NO FLOUR and NO SUGAR!!  How can that be?  I was skeptical but it is delicious.  The chips have a tiny bit of sugar but you can use chips with cane juice, agave or other sweeteners.

Chocolate Chip Brownies
1 (16) ounce jar salted almond butter, smooth roasted
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup cacao powder
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips 73% cacao

  1. In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with a hand blender
  2. Blend in eggs, then blend in agave and vanilla
  3. Blend in cacao, salt and baking soda, then fold in chocolate chips
  4. Grease a 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish
  5. Pour batter into dish
  6. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes

I wish I could take credit for this recipe.  It is from an amazing blog called Elena’s Pantry written by Elena Amsterdam.  Ostensibly she is a gluten free author but her recipes also are low glycemic and use natural sweeteners.  She’s even introduced me to new sweeteners/flours such as yacon powder and spelt flour.

These brownies are AMAZING!!!!!

I feel I have been blessed to not care much about food but after two bad days I must admit these brownies made me happy and smile. One thing about being a medical freak show is it makes you appreciate the little things. 🙂

Try out these brownies and other recipes from Elena’s Pantry and let me know what you think.  I have been blown away.  (Unfortunately these are not cheap but you can’t have everything!)

PCOS Product Recommendations II

As promised here is my regular product recommendations for PCOS patients (or anyone who wants to eat more healthy).

The last few weeks have been challenging especially with my chest pain; however, I do feel like I am becoming more accustomed to the low GI diet and the various meds I am on.  I feel like it is part of my daily life- more normalized than than ever before.  I have gotten pretty good at finding things I can eat going out and getting back to my pre-diagnosis routine.

Maybe this is a bit sad but one of my greatest thrills comes when finding a product that works for me, helps me feel good, and believe it or not TASTES GOOD!  (It does exist!).

Here are some of my recent scores:

1. Tree Street Grains 16 Grain Pancake Mix- I love this mix. Even my dad agreed they are light and taste good. They are made in Provo but I am not sure how available they are other places. They do have a website and the prices seem fairly reasonable.  http://www.treestreetgrains.com/store/pancakes/16-whole-grain-pancakes/

2. Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave Flavored Syrups-  to go with those delicious pancakes this line of agave flavored syrups are good and totally fulfill  my need for maple syrup.  They also have strawberry and vanilla.  You don’t want to use too much of any sweetener but I’ve never had a bad insulin response to agave.

3.  Another genre of cooking that has been good to me is Mexican food. Since I can have corn tortillas, tacos, fajitas and whole wheat burritos work great.  I can even have nachos on occasion! Be careful because some salsa has sugar but some don’t. Of course you can even make your own salsa with fresh cilantro, tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno.  Yum!

One of my favorite foods has been the La Tortilla Whole Wheat Tortillas.  These are available at Costco and have 8 grams of protein per tortilla and 4 grams of fiber. They also make good wraps.

http://www.latortillafactory.com/

Another product I really liked is the Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce- They are a liquid sauce packet with fresh herbs and spices and uses agave as a sweetener. The flavors I have tried have all been delicious.  There are 7 different choices and all that is needed is meat and any veggies you like such as onion or green pepper.

http://www.fronterakitchens.com/shopping/category/products/mexican-Everyday-sauces/

4. Clif Twisted Fruit Ropes- For some reason since I started the low GI diet I have experienced candy cravings- particularly for sour candies like sour patch kids. The weird part is I didn’t really eat much candy before but for some reason I crave it bad!  Most fruit leather/fruit roll ups are bitter and didn’t do much to satisfy the sweet cravings.  These ropes are the closest thing to candy I can eat.  They have no added sugars- just fruit.  I also like that they are individually wrapped so I can easily eat just one.  There are also 6 different flavors including grape and sour apple.  It is a great item to help me boost my sugar when it is feeling low.  Save a lot of money by ordering them at http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_clif_kid_twisted_fruit/

Well, I have more but I think that is enough for one post.  Please continue to send me your product/recipe suggestions.

One More Recipe

Today I had another successful recipe and I couldn’t resist posting about it.  It is a sweet potato goat cheese spinach frittata.  I am very excited about this dish because it can be made with so many different variations.  Also it is high in protein, full of veggies, and omega 3 eggs.  Most importantly it tastes good!

I encourage everyone to learn how to make frittatas.  They are so easily adaptable to nearly any diet/lifestyle. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Spinach Frittata.
3 small white sweet potatoes peeled and cooked
8 eggs beaten
6 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheddar
10 ounce bag frozen spinach
1 green bell pepper diced
(onion would be good but I didn’t have one)
1 cup diced button mushrooms
olive oil
cook bell pepper in olive oil and mushrooms until soft. Add spinach until it gets soft
Remove veggies onto plate. Make sure side and bottom of pan are covered with olive oil.
Slice potatoes and put in bottom of pan
Add eggs and then dollops of goat cheese on top.
Once eggs get slightly cooked add vegetable mixture
sprinkle cheddar on top and place in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
You can add anything to this recipe, any vegetable or cheese that you like. It could also be made with meat such as ham, bacon, sausage or chicken.