Life isn’t fair, so get over it. I find myself thinking this more often than not. I’m so tired of hearing people lament about their lot in life. I’m sure some will wonder how can I possibly say this because we have been blessed in many ways. We live in a home with running water, a toilet (three in fact), heat, clothes in our closet and our pantry is full. Even our family is intact. By all accounts, we are in the top 1% when compared to the world. I’m even more fortunate because I have a dog at my feet and a cat in my lap. [Read more…] about Is life a game, or a box of chocolate?
Don’t let puff pastry fool you into thinking these are difficult to make. After seeing this recipe, I decided to try my hand. I used Golden Delicious apples because it is what was in my pantry. I substituted a cinnamon glaze for the apricot preserves which gives it more of an apple pie flavor and isn’t as sweet.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2 apples, cored and sliced thin
2 tsp. lemon juice
Place the apples in a microwave bowl, add enough water to cover, cook for 3-5 minutes
1 sheet puffed pastry.
Even the pastry by rolling out. I dusted with tapioca flour, but regular flour can be used. The original recipe called for 6 strips, but I only was able to get 5.
Blend the following and brush on the pastry:
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. butter, melted
Place the apples on the pasty and gently roll. Because I used a min-muffin tin, I cut the strips in half and put then popped the roses into a greased tin.
Cook for 40 minutes. Remove the roses from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven so they don’t stick.
Dust with powdered sugar. Eat them as soon as they are cool enough not to burn your mouth, but room temperature is good too. These apple roses are decadent, but not indulgent due to their size. Yum!
If you want something even more indulgent, have you tried crack bacon? It lives up to it’s name.
We completed our Whole30 and there is much to report.
Giving up sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, junk food and anything that had sugar as an ingredient wasn’t difficult. Finding food that didn’t have sugar listed in the ingredients was the challenge. I’ve always made my own salad dressings, but for this, I needed to make our own catsup and mustard because they both have sugar, as well as mayonnaise (because it uses soy oil). Butter was not allowed, but clarified butter (without the milk solids) was acceptable. Hollandaise sauce is allowed, yum, but soy sauce was a no-no. Substituting riced cauliflower for rice didn’t have a warm reception. Nothing worse than have something look like one thing but taste like another.
Before we began the Whole30, our menu was boring and was in a serious cooking rut. I took this challenge as if I were a contestant on Survivor. Only fruit, meat and veggies for us!
As for the results, Jess was the biggest loser and lost ten pounds. Husband also lost ten and I was the slacker losing only seven. We all lost inches and now I wish that we had taken our measurements. Other benefits were not being hungry or needing to snack. Our complexions improved, energy level was boosted and we did not feel any afternoon slump.
We are now at day 54. For the most part, we are still avoiding bread, pasta and sugar, but we each have had some food that had been 86’d. After 30 days, we were to reintroduce the eliminated foods to see how we feel, but haven’t wanted to do this yet. Even though we are on a plateau with weight loss, we are still losing inches.
We each had foods that we missed. For Jess, it was ice cream, husband wanted a beer and the hardest part for me was not being able to have a sandwich. However, the benefits totally out weighed the negatives.
Finally, I do miss mindless eating. It makes football games go by faster and it gave me something to do with my hands, but in all seriousness, seeing my family look leaner and healthier is the best reward.
This recipe is for one serving, so multiply the ingredients. Typically I times this by three.
1 Banana, mashed
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 cup Raisins. reconstituted
1 tsp. Butter (clarified)*
- To reconstitute the raisins, let them steep in hot water while you go to the next step.
- In a non-stick pan, using a dab of (clarified) butter, cook the apple with cinnamon till fork tender.
- mash the banana, add the eggs, vanilla and pinch of salt, blend till it makes a batter. You don’t need to get all the lumps out.
- Drain the water from the raisins and combine all ingredients together.
- Heat non-stick pan with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter, add all the ingredients and cover (I like to use a clear glass lid so I can see how it is cooking).
- originally, I made two pancakes, now I just make one big one which is 2 ladles (one cup). Once the base has formed and the edges are solid, it is ready to flip. Then cook till it is no longer runny.
hint- If you are using regular butter, you will need to wipe the pan after each pancake. it will make it easier to flip. If you don’t feel confident to flip, just turn it over with a rubber spatula, it will taste just fine!
* if you are doing a Whole30, clarify butter in order to remove the milk solids
After sitting on the sides lines for months, I finally decided to commit to a Whole30. Husband didn’t need any convincing and Jess came along for the ride. Didn’t think it would be possible to get the family on board. In our case, the more the Mary-er!
Why now? For me, it was to avoid taking antidepressants and remove some of my middle. For Jess, she tends to be sedentary and extra weight is a result. Ataxia is part of her Angelman Syndrome. She isn’t comfortable on her feet. Jess rolls her right ankle which makes walking great distances uncomfortable. She had a tendon transfer surgery when she was 12. She wore an orthotic on her right foot for many years and all that did was deform the foot. Her right foot was stunted a whole size because the hard plastic orthotic prevents proper feedback from the foot to the brain. There may be a place for orthotics and I’m sure there are exceptions, but I believe that this is medieval and does more damage than good. Anyhow, back to the Whole30, Jess carries her weight in the middle, as does someone else, not going to mention names, who has hit middle age… For the most part, a t-shirt can cover the problem areas, but that doesn’t solve the health concern.
For thirty days, we are cutting out all dairy (no cheese), sugar, flour/ grains, legumes and of course, no junk food. What this leaves us is vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs and potatoes are allowed, just not French or fried. I have to admit, I had a Home Alone moment when I was at the market. I cut through the junk food section and felt like waiving my arms up in the air and scream as I shot down the aisle, gasping for a breath of air when I finally excited out from the land of temptation. That is not easy for a chip-o-holic to do…sigh…
Part of the meal concept is to cleanse and eliminate foods that cause inflammation. Once the thirty day has been completed, you slowly add food groups back to see how your body reacts. As for carbs, they are not nutritionally dense. The body will use the carbs for energy first before tapping into the weight i.e. energy stored on the body. Fat is not a bad thing, but just like anything else, too much of anything is not a good thing either.
The first to cheat was Jess. Yesterday when she came home she grabbed a breakfast bar. She only had a bite, but this means “do not pass go, do not collect $200” and she has to start over. Today, when she came home, she reached for tuna salad and watermelon, grasshopper is learning. That moment of satisfaction slipped away when I found a partial bag of Cheez-its in her backpack. It is difficult, if not near impossible, to control outside forces. I’m sure her friends saw her puppy dog eyes as she stared at their snack and then gave her some. Back to day one.
Husband was invited to spectate (just in case you thought I was implying he was playing) the Barklays golf tournament yesterday. He said he had a Falafel which is made with chick peas which is a no-no… go to jail and do not collect $200. He did not realize that this was forbidden food, but the rules are the rules.
What does this all mean? It means that we all have to start our Whole30 over from day one if you go off the menu plan, even if inadvertently. We are all in this together. We all need to make wise choices, focus on our health and address our plump little bodies before winter arrives. We are house bunnies who like to sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate when it is wicked cold. To be clear, we aren’t doing this so we can indulge once we reach our goals, but so we can establish a healthier diet and have the occasional treat.
So far, our favorite recipes have been a cold Thai salad (this link isn’t the recipe I used, but close enough) and watermelon salad. Last night I made chicken and sausage burgers with a side of mashed cauliflower which I refer to as faux-tatoes. Yum! Yes, we are a little tired of eggs. Thank goodness hollandaise sauce is allowed. For the most part, everything else has been pretty yummy.
After only eleven days without sugar, fruit tastes sweeter and vegetables from our local farm have even more flavor. Our meals are filling and there has been little desire to snack. Sure, I miss my sweet, creamy morning cup of java and not having chips with a burger is sad, however, not feeling hungry or having trouble sleeping is its own reward, at least it is for me. Jessie misses oatmeal for breakfast, cheese and ice cream socials. It’s okay little bird, once we claim our figures back, you can have some Angel food, but for now, we need to pay the price for our days of making not such wise choices.
Every so often, a recipe catches my eye and I just have to try it. I get giddy when it’s a success and I love to share. [Read more…] about It’s fresh and exciting….watermelon salad