Sunday, July 13, 2014

{The Healing Has Begun}

Oftentimes, life can turn out so differently from what we anticipate.  We begin on one path, sure of our direction, only to look back awhile later in awe over the curvy path that has been created. And thus, this is where I now stand, in the crux of circumstances and events, reflecting over my journey thus far.

When I began this blog, I desired to record my health journey, and sought to bring healing to others through my adventures. I began with a problem, a desire, and passion to fix the circumstances that I had been given. As I was met with each dietary struggle, I sought to conquer it through my creativity, which I enjoyed sharing with the world.  I enjoyed each moment of creating, imagining, and sharing with others what I learned in the kitchen. As with anything I do, I fully immersed myself in this task, convinced that I would do it with one hundred and ten percent effort.

Now, I recognize that desire soon consumed my life.  My struggle against my dietary limitations became obsessive and seeped into every part of my life. It coated my conversations, became a coping mechanism, allowed me to help others through my experiences, and made time slip away. 

I sought to bring healing to others, but in the midst of it, I lost my own health. I sought to advise people on healthy living, but neglected to listen to the truth I proclaimed. I became so consumed with searching for a way to manage my diet, that in the midst of it, that I let my dietary restrictions have power over, and take away my life.

 I realize now that I need to bring healing to myself, and part of that healing is to resign from my self-made position as a health coach through this blog. It has been fun sharing with the world my creations. It has been a blessing to be able to write about something I loved. There were moments of joy, as something I experimented with, after numerous failures, became a success. I learned many important life lessons in the kitchen, such as patience, accuracy, creativity, and the freedom to imagine.

But now I need to let go of the past, for the obsession that my search for "health" became is unhealthy. If I am to succeed in the goal I sought to obtain when I began this blog, of encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and if I am truly going to be the example that I claimed to be,  I need to say goodbye. I'm learning the art of moderation, of letting go, and what true healthy looks like. I am exposing the lies, and seeking true health in every aspect of life. 

So, goodbye. Goodbye to days spent agonizing over ingredients. Goodbye to the piles of reciepe ideas. Goodbye to the moments spent imagining new ideas. Goodbye to the stress of a severely restricted diet. Goodbye to the role of diet adviser, counselor, and helper.  Goodbye to obsessive habits, and any strings that I could seek to cling to.  As much as it pains me, I'm saying goodbye to these memories, and hello to the life ahead.

Hello to the healing that has begun in my body and in my mind. Hello to freedom, hello to a life beyond food. Hello to simple moments of joy that have been missed. Hello to true health, found in a lifestyle of balance and moderation. Hello, Life.

 

Monday, February 17, 2014

{Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Creole}

 Happy Monday everybody! It is a beautiful day, and even more beautiful because there is no school this week. That means I get to catch up on some homework, prepare for track season, and COOK! 

I have been so inspired by all the 21 Day Sugar Detox and Whole 30 recipes that are circulating the internet. That said, after trying to figure out what to do for dinner with an end-of-the-week refrigerator and a spaghetti squash, I decided on this spicy seafood delicacy. 





This is definitely my new favorite way to eat spaghetti squash. I love all things with tomato, and this is certainly no exception. It is really easy to make, and a delicious creation. I only made enough for myself, but this recipe is easily adjustable to an amount to feed more mouths. Simply increase ratio if cooking this for more than one serving or for making more than one batch.

One of my favorite parts of this recipes it that I have another excuse to use more bone broth. It is so yummy and so good for my health. I have added it as a regular part of my Paleo plus/21DSD/Whole 30 lifestyle. I have seen significant improvement in my health since  following a 21 DSD and Whole 30 diet for about 3 months. I'll admit, I do sometimes eat more fruit than I should- which is still only two servings in a day instead of the usual five servings per week. With so many vegetables and healing recipes, I feel so energized, healthy, and great. This shrimp creole is a new staple in my favorite recipes!

I hope you enjoy this yummy seafood delight!







 {Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Creole}

Serves 1
 Ingredients:
 1/2 spaghetti squash, baked
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon homemade taco seasoning

1/2 cup bone broth or chicken broth
4 ounces tomato paste
3 ounces cooked shrimp

Instructions:

1. Begin by baking the spaghetti squash, cut in half and with seeds removed, at 375 F for 35 minutes.
2. While the spaghetti squash is baking, heat coconut oil in a non-stick pan. Add green pepper and celery. Saute until softened, about 5 minute. 
3. Next, add the tomato paste, bone broth, paprika, oregano, taco seasoning, and garlic to the pan, mixing thoroughly. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes. If you desire a thinner sauce, add water or more broth. If you like a thicker sauce, add coconut flour, a teaspoon at a time.
4. Remove the baked spaghetti squash from the oven and "spaghetti" it with a fork. Put the spaghetti in the pan, mixing to coat with the sauce.
5.  Finally, add the prepared shrimp and let it all cook together for at least 5 minutes.
6. Serve and enjoy!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

{Berry Coconut Yogurt}




I finally made coconut yogurt!!!!!!! I have been craving this stuff so long!! I used to eat coconut yogurt everyday until I cut out all grains, because the conventional companies use rice starch as a binder. Ugh! So for about 2 years, I have been craving yogurt, drooling whenever my brother eats his Yoplait, dreaming of the coconut yogurt I used to have. 


But now I've made it and the wait is over! "Yum" is not enough to describe the joy I felt when I took a savory bite of my yogurt this morning. Maybe sweet victory is closer...

Using a Christmas gift of Great Lakes grass-fed gelatin, I was finally able to make my coconut yogurt. I've been researching a lot about gelatin and how to make allergy-friendly yogurts, and this brand kept popping up. So far, my body is loving it! I also made fruit gummies the other day. They weren't as delicious as my yogurt, but they sure were a nice snacky treat. Though this yogurt doesn't have cultures (because frankly, they are way out of my budget), the gelatin is said to help digestion, along with strengthening and supporting joints. As a runner, I need all the joint support I can get! :)

Furthermore, this yogurt does not require a fancy yogurt maker. All you need is a saucepan and a food processor!  

Another thing that makes this yogurt so great is that it is sugar and sweetener free!! If you are able to have sweeteners, add a bit of honey. But if you're like me and avoiding sugar like the plague, you may just jump for joy. :)

For my yogurt, I blended in berries, but you can certainly omit that step and have plain yogurt. Other options include sprinkling your favorite granola on top, making parfaits, adding a bit of vanilla extract for a vanilla version, or add some seeds and shredded coconut for an extra protein punch. Be creative- it is your grain-free, unprocessed, homemade yogurt! Be proud! :)



{BERRY COCONUT YOGURT}

for a single serving 

INGREDIENTS:
 1 cup coconut milk (I used Trader Joes' canned light coconut milk), divided
1- 1.5 teaspoons gelatin (depending on desired thickness)
Juice of 1/2 a lime 
1/4 cup berries, frozen or fresh

INSTRUCTIONS:
 
Heat 3/4 cup of the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. In a bowl, combine the gelatin and rest of the coconut milk (1/4 cup) until it forms a smooth paste. Add the paste and lime juice to the coconut milk in the sauce pan, constantly whisking the ingredients until they are smooth and thoroughly combined. 

Pour the coconut yogurt into a container and let it chill in the refrigerator for one hour up to overnight. 

Once chilled, place the yogurt and the berries in a food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Serve and enjoy immediately with toppings or as is.

*If the coconut yogurt is too thick for your taste once is chilled, add water until it reaches desired consistency.  
 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

{Parsley-Basil Kelp Noodles with Broccoli and Chicken}

Happy New Year! I'm starting 2014 off right with a Whole 30/21DSD/AIP combo. NOT a diet, or a detox, but a readjustment. I've found myself snacking on more fruit than I would like, and occasionally drifting to dried fruit when I was hungry and looking for a quick go-to snack. I know, hand-slap! So not only am I doing this combo readjustment to rid myself of sugar, but also to heal my gut. Lately, it has taken a beating with cross-contamination from my family's "un-Sydney-friendly" kitchen and baking, despite drastic efforts. However, as the only one who has severe reactions, I've suffered the brunt og Christmas baking. I mean, if I'm going to feel sick, I'd like to actually eat something good, not just get sick off of cross-contamination!!

Anyway, so far I am enjoying this readjustment because it has sparked a refreshing new creativity in cooking. After only one day, I'm feeling a whole lot better! I'm excited to see how I feel after a month. I'm not really sure what I'll do after a month, but since it is a readjustment, I'm sure I'll continue this lifestyle, with room for some treats here and there. But mostly I'll stick to just eating the good stuff, like my beloved vegetables! :)




This kelp noodle bowl was absolutely delicious! Besides the pesto, it's kind of a loose recipe because I threw in some plain chicken leftover from another time and pre-chopped broccoli from my zoodles and broccoli. Feel free to add lemony chicken, spicy chicken, or other meats for some variety!



There will be plenty of pesto leftover for other days and other recipes. I'm so glad that I found a pesto recipe that is nut-less (because I can't have nuts...) and not chunky. Today for lunch I plan on eating zoodles with pesto! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


INGREDIENTS:


1/4 package kelp noodles (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh broccoli, chopped into little florets
 Chicken, however much you like, prepared however you like, and chopped
                * I think I used roughly about 1/4 cup of chicken

For the Parsley-Basil pesto-
1 cup fresh parsley
handful of fresh basil (about a 1/2 cup)
1/4- 1/3 cup olive oil (add more or less depending on how thick/thin you want) 
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste


INSTRUCTIONS:


Boil kelp noodles and chopped broccoli until both are softened, about 10 minutes.

While the kelp noodles are cooking, begin making the pesto. In a food processor, combine the pesto ingredients and process until smooth, adding more oil if needed.

Drain the kelp noodles and broccoli and place in a bowl. Add about a tablespoon of pesto (depending on how much kelp noodles/broccoli you used) to the noodle bowl and stir until evenly coated. Enjoy!!