September 30, 2009

How I Got Here - Part II

A few years ago, I was reading one of those free "health" magazines you can get at health food stores. In the back it had 10 Affirmations for 2007 by Elson M. Haas, MD. By no means have I stuck to this but I refer back to them regularly and find that they help me refocus when I am out of sorts. I have copied what was there below. Click on the name above to be taken to Dr. Haas' website. I don't know much about him but it looks interesting.

Adapted from 10 Affirmations for 2007 (or any time!)
  1. I will eat the most wholesome foods as Nature provides them.
  2. I will eat the right amount for my body and eat only when I am hungry.
  3. I will chew my food thoroughly and take time to eat.
  4. I will avoid junky foods and artificial ingredients as much as possible.
  5. I will let go of any regular use of troublesome SNACCs: sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and chemicals.
  6. I will stretch my body and mind to be my most flexible.
  7. I will exercise daily with enjoyable physical activities.
  8. I will drink plenty of good, clean water.
  9. I will allow myself enough sleep to rest my body nightly, recharging my batteries and supporting my immune strength to protect against illness.
  10. I will pay attention to my emotions and stresses and find ways to develop non-aggressive, non-hurtful ways to express my feelings and let go of stress.

September 29, 2009

Oh Shit Chocolate Cake...or How I Gained Two Lbs This Weekend!

This recipe is one of those that you just cannot make that often...because it goes straight to your...well you know! My mother designed it originally and now I've made it gluten-free. I think I have a bit of refining to do yet but it's good enough I thought I'd go ahead and share it today. It's not slightly's totally indulgent. And, just fair warning, don't eat four pieces in the course of a weekend or you really will gain at least 2 pounds. As my husband, Andrew, says..."It's gluten-free not glutton free!"

Oh Shit Chocolate Cake (as in oh shit that's good, and oh shit I ate too much!)

Sift together:
3/4 c millet flour
1/2 c corn starch
1/2 c tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

2 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c oil
1 T vanilla

Mix well at medium speed for 2 minutes and then add 2/3 c boiling water (coffee would work well here too.) Pour into well greased and floured bundt pan.

8 oz cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips (I like dark or semi-sweet)

Mix first four ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop filling in center of pan all of the way around. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, then remove from pan and let cool completely. Top with cream cheese frosting and chill.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c butter (at room temperature)
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 2/3 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Mix well.

September 27, 2009

How I Got Here - Part I

I haven't really spoke about my weight and emotional problems on this blog. I have a bit on the blog I share with my cousins. However, I feel it's time to share it here as well. Below is a bit of text that I shared on the other blog. I have edited it to be current. Let's start with that and then another day, I'll tell you a bit more:

I can't point to one day when something changed in my brain. I, however, can point to a personal low...December 25, 2006. My dad, my husband (Andrew) and I were hiking at Coquille Falls. It's 0.5 miles downhill to see the falls. The downhill was just fine. Coming back out my blood sugar got low, I was fat and out of shape, and that half mile was hell. At one point, I just sat down in the rain and the dirt and cried. Andrew tried to cheer me up saying, "You are doing what you like, with people you love." It just didn't wasn't fun anymore.

I had just left an organization that required much of my free-time. Later that day Dad suggested, if I could devote that much time to the organizatio
n before, maybe now I could devote that time to me.

I will never know what my highest weight was...I refused to own a scale. And, it would take another 9 months before I got "serious." I tried counting calories over the summer, although I'm not sure how effective that was. I do think it got me in the right frame of mind. I also know jealousy played a role. At our annual August family reunion everybody was excited about my cousin Mandy losing 40lbs since April. What the hell? I could do that. I didn't want her to be the only "skinny" one!

At the same time we got a dog and I started Weight Watchers. A dog with lots of energy that needed walks everyday. At first we just went around the block. That's all I could handle. Then pretty soon it was half a mile and by the end of the winter we were walking 2-3 miles in the morning and more in the afternoon. The dog had to leave but the exercise and Weight Watchers stuck.

I believe that without exercise I would never have lost the weight. I started riding my bicycle, I've added dragon-boating, I worko
ut to clear my mind during my lunch break, I walk downtown with my husband in the evenings. Two years ago I rode 3 miles to church. As soon as I got there, I called Andrew and asked him to pick me up after church. I just couldn't imagine riding the 3 miles home. Seriously, I thought I was going to die.

What a difference 2 years makes! From sitting in the dirt, crying in the rain in the woods, to a 41 mile bicycle ride a year ago, and competing in a 500m dragonboat race with 19 other people in June. I have more energy and I've lost 60 lbs. I haven't "arrived" and I don't think I ever will continue to be a daily struggle. But, it's one I know I can continue and not end up where I was. And, I can inspire others to make changes in their lives that benefit them - physically, mentally and emotionally! That's a good start for now.

Cherry "Sorbet"

I don't have a pretty picture or hardley even a recipe for this week's entrance into Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free's Slightly Indulgent Mondays but I can tell you it's easy and great. This is one of those almost too easy to be true "recipes"...if you can call it a recipe. We freeze pitted cherries in the summer when they are ripe and sweet. Then, when it's hot or we just want a cool treat...I defrost them in the microwave until I can just barely puree them with the immersion blender (and yes, it really is an immersion blender that works best). Once all the fruit (approx. 4 c frozen) is pureed, I add a bit (1/4-1/2 tsp) of almond extract. If you have cocoa nibs to put on top that's great...if not...that's fine too! Sometimes this makes one serving and sometimes it's two. Just depends on how generous I feel that day! This works well with strawberries and blueberries too.

September 21, 2009

Fresh Nectarine Pie (GF)

Can I just say oh my goodness?! I love this pie. Really, I hate cooked fruit so this is just perfect - a pie and eating a fresh nectarine! But, since I know gluten causes problems for me and my mom, I wanted to make a good gluten-free crust. It's hard enough for most people to just make a good regular crust. As you can tell, I'm a bit of a crust snob. This isn't 100% there but it's pretty darn good! I adapted a recipe. We typically aren't huge rice flour fans around's usually gritty so I avoided it. And, I am starting to veer away from potato starch as well. So, here it is...try it. I think you'll like it!

Fresh Nectarine Pie

For 1 nine inch crust (the bottom crust):
1/3 c millet flour
1/3 c tapioca starch flour
1/3 c corn starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c shortening
1/4 c cold butter
1 lg egg, cold
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together millet, tapioca flour, corn starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.

Cut shortening and butter into dry ingredients. Blend with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles small peas. Beat egg and vinegar together and mix into dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out between plastic wrap or wax paper until slightly bigger than the pie pan (approx. 1.5 in) (NOTE: I use a gallon ziploc freezer bag, cut into two pieces. Stuff doesn't stick, it's pretty heavy and can be washed and reused multiple times!) Gently peel one side of plastic off and then lay it back down, flip over and gently peel the other side off. Then flip onto your hand, cover with the pie pan and flip over into the pan. Now, re-peel the first side off (you peeled it the first time so it would be easier this time). Make it look nice in the pan, trim the edges and crimp or whatever you like to do. I like to cover mine with a pie crust shield so the edges don't get too brown. Since we are going to use this as a pre-baked crust, poke the crust with a fork.

Bake in the oven 12-16 minutes or until it starts to brown a little. Let cool.

Fruit Filling
4 c nectarines, peeled and sliced
1/4 c sugar + 3 T cornstarch mixed together
1/4 tsp almond extract, optional

Measure 1 c nectarines and add enough water to bring it to 1 1/2 c. (if using almond extract add it now). Put into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, without stirring. Once boiling, add sugar/cornstarch mixture all at once and stir. Continue to stir and boil until the mixture thickens and gets clear (approx. 2 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes to cool. Put remaining sliced nectarines in the cooled pie shell. Pour cooled mixture over the top, making sure you cover all of the "raw" nectarines (this keeps them from turning brown). Chill for two hours...and try not to eat it all at once!

NOTE: Works great with peaches, blueberries (I increase the amount, pack them in), and strawberries. It's okay to have fun with it!

This is my contribution for Simply Sugar & Gluten Free's Slightly Indulgent Mondays.

September 17, 2009

September 10, 2009

Banana Coconut Pecan Muffins (Corrected!)

These are great! I adapted this recipe from Karina's Kitchen. By the way, if you haven't checked out her so. It's full of yummy gluten free recipes.

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 8-12 muffins tins (I used the silicon deals).

Mix together in large bowl:
2 c banana puree (give or take a cup)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c olive oil (I forgot this the first time I posted it! So sorry.)
1 T vanilla
1 egg

Sift together in a separate bowl:
1 c sorghum flour
1/2 c potato starch (or corn starch)
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon, heaping
1/4 tsp nutmeg, heaping

Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well. Add 1/2 c pecans if you like them. Spoon into the muffins tins...go ahead and fill the tins really full if you like! Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for ~5 min and then pop out of the tins.

These are excellent right away or the next day with peanut butter.

NOTE: I don't like a really sweet muffin...if you looked at the original recipe you might have noticed I increased the bananas a bit and cut the sugar back a lot. Feel free to add more sugar, but if your bananas are really, really ripe...well then these should be sweet enough. I also prefer the unsweetened shredded coconut. If you have regular, that will make the muffin sweeter too.

This is my contribution for Simply Sugar & Gluten Free's Slightly Indulgent Mondays.

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