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Banana Cake + The Great Dairy Phase Out

Monday, July 25, 2011

I typed up this entire blog and then came to find that everything had disappeared! Thatís always fun! So now Iím going to try to recreate everything I just said.

Bullet Points:

I have been slowly phasing out all of the foods that offend my stomach, intestines, and body in general. This has led me to cut out:
Gluten, soy, onions, whey, quinoa, xanthan gum, almonds and now has led to me attempting to phase out dairy.

Itís quite an impressive list! In fact, I can only think of three things right now that Iíve cut out based purely on taste/texture alone and thatíd be meat, coconut and mushrooms. BLECH!

For some reason coconut ice cream and coconut oil seem fine by me, but not shredded coconut and especially not coconut water. I bought some unsweetened coconut milk to try, so weíll see whether I can handle that or not.

But this has led to some interesting decisions on what in the world TO eat! Iím especially worried about my protein levels. See, I can eat some nuts and beans, but not too much in one sitting. Iím really worried Iím going to have to start eating every two hours, which will have me thinking about food and hungry all the time.

And while I am not actually allergic to any of these items, don't think I'm not in some serious pain if I eat them. I try not to be too graphic on my blog, so I don't really get into the full details of what happens when I rebel and eat what I want. Let's just say it involves a lot of pain pills, laying around, and frequent trips to the restroom.

Moving right along!

After I had to cut back on grains I realized I had increased my dairy intake a lot to fill in for my protein needs. Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt especially. I have yet to find a protein powder that fits my food intolerances and doesnít taste terrible (brown rice and hemp powders Iím talking about YOU!)

The hardest thing to cut out for me will be the Greek yogurt.

I LOVE Greek yogurt. I have it every morning with breakfast, I often add it to smoothies, and I add it to any recipe that calls for mayo or soft tofu. I have added it to pancakes, muffins, breads. I eat it straight out of the cup. Whatís not to love? Well, my stomach has a few ideasÖ

I am also taking some digestive supplements. Iím hoping that if I give my stomach a chance to rest and to heal that it will slowly allow me to enjoy my favorite foods again.

Like this:

Which doesnít look appetizing, but is a very yummy (and FAST) dinner. I made up a bunch of short grain brown rice in a rice cooker over the weekend and dished it out into single-serving cups. Then I pulled it out for dinner and topped it with a mixture of salsa, pinto beans and yup, Greek yogurt! On the side I had a huge salad.

I added carrots after I realized I needed just one more color for it to be even prettier. I have been obsessed with purple cauliflower. I love every summer when it comes to the local farmerís market. It is sweeter than white cauliflower and has a more tender texture. YUM! And radishes we grew ourselves. Well, technically this would all be Aubreyís doing. He has been attempting to grow a few things out at his grandmaís house. And they have been huge.

That would be our homegrown radish, a store bought radish, and a quarter. Yeah, big! Although unfortunately not big on taste.

But my salad was also topped with my homemade ranch. Thereís that stupid dairy again. Mocking me.

I was bitter about gluten and I think I would have been bitter about dairy if I had done it first too. But since Iíve already cut out so much, this just feels like a gut punch. Am I doomed to a raw food diet by force? If I had chosen it, I donít think I would care so much. But it feels like my body is rebelling. And I have too many control issues for this.

When I whine too much, I remind myself that things could be so much worse. I actually have quite a lot to be thankful for. So I donít want anyone to think that I donít realize that. Especially when I made the most amazing cake for my husbandís birthday yesterday.

I have made it before as you can see here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

Except I swapped in cashews instead of almonds and sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter. (Ugh, did I mention I miss almonds? Ok, done whining!)

It was still ridiculously delicious. Who knew banana and sunflower seed butter paired together so well?

In fact, it was so good that between the two of us we almost polished it off. But thereís still some left, which is in the fridge. And Iím being a good wife and leaving it there so he can have it when he gets home from work. Iím obviously gearing up for sainthood.

What food have you been enjoying lately? It doesnít have to be something allergy/intolerant-friendly, I promise Iím not jealousÖ


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRISHP1961 7/27/2011 11:28AM

    I don't eat dairy, wheat, peanuts or corn. Actually it came as a recommendation from an acupuncturist so I just quit eating all four at the same time. If I stick with it, it is amazing how much better I feel. I found rice to be a staple in my house. My kids have pasta and I have rice with the spaghetti sauce. Beans have a lot of fiber. You need to add them a little at a time to your diet..Once your body is used to the fiber, you will be amazed at how many you can eat!

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TRISHP1961 7/27/2011 11:27AM

    I don't eat dairy, wheat, peanuts or corn. Actually it came as a recommendation from an acupuncturist so I just quit eating all four at the same time. If I stick with it, it is amazing how much better I feel. I found rice to be a staple in my house. My kids have pasta and I have rice with the spaghetti sauce. Beans have a lot of fiber. You need to add them a little at a time to your diet..Once your body is used to the fiber, you will be amazed at how many you can eat!

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AUBREYINGMAN 7/27/2011 9:23AM

    I LOVE that banana cake. I would ask you to make it all the time but we would just keep eating and eating it. Best birthday cake ever! Thank you honey.

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SEPPIESUSAN 7/25/2011 3:21PM

    I'm so sorry you might have to give up Greek yogurt. It's one of my daily staples! It never occurred to me to mix it with rice and beans though - sounds good, thank you for the idea!

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Summer Means No-Cook Eats

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For future reference: When you are making a smoothie, make sure the lid is on VERY well. Otherwise you might do this:

Smoothie all over the counter, all over the base of the blender, and all down my front. Basically everywhere EXCEPT for in the cup. Fun, right?
I won a contest a while back on Averieís blog www.loveveggiesandyoga.com for NuNaturals Stevia.

I tried it in a smoothie with frozen banana, cottage cheese, cocoa powder and vanilla almond milk to attempt to make a chocolate cheesecake frosty.

I was successful! This was delicious and thick enough to eat with a spoon if I wanted. To make it more smoothie-like you can add more milk or just blend it up some more.

With hot weather I crave ice cream like crazy and this is a way to enjoy a cold creamy treat that also packs a nutritional punch! Another thing Iíve been enjoying is frozen banana, cocoa powder, a splash of milk blended together and topped with a crumbled raw cookie dough ball.

I highly recommend you make this, and/or the other options on Angelaís blog ohsheglows.com/2011/07/15/double-cho

Perfect for hot weather! Then again, as I type this it is only about 60 degrees. It has been cold and rainy here for awhile now. I hear itís quite hot in other parts of the country, and I have to admit that I am JUST fine with the weather. I happen to enjoy putting off the extreme heat. I havenít even bought an air conditioner yet (the one we had last summer died, so sad). And I am super sensitive to heat, so anything that means Iím not overheating is fine by me.

Even so, I enjoy meals that donít involve cooking. They are just easier! The other night I had a mish mash of summery foods.

Cucumber, potato salad (which looks like a really small portion in this picture for some reason), FSTG multigrain chips, baked beans and sugar snap peas. Okay, so I did zap the baked beans in the microwave for a bit, but otherwise no cooking! And thatís fine by me.

Is it hot where you are? Whatís your favorite no-cook meal?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINK9305 8/25/2011 12:23PM

    Hi I'm back :-) I cant wait to try your smoothies. I will get back to blogging soon Amy wish I wasn't already eating breakfast. Soooo gotta try this :-) emoticon

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TINK9305 8/25/2011 12:22PM

    Sorry for so many posts :o) big hugs to you !!!

Comment edited on: 8/25/2011 12:27:26 PM

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TINK9305 8/25/2011 12:21PM

    why can't I delete a post ???

Comment edited on: 8/25/2011 12:26:48 PM

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JILLIAN40 7/22/2011 11:45PM

    Ah yes, Angela's blizzards....they look yummy. I haven't made one yet, perhaps this week-end. Your smoothie looks tasty. I am addicted to green smoothies, I've gotta have one every morning! I'm also a fan of Angela's VOO (Vegan Overnight Oats) - I eat that for lunch almost every day as well. So filling!

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AUBREYINGMAN 7/20/2011 12:34AM

    MMM frozen banana!

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*AMBER512 7/19/2011 4:46PM

    Smoothies are AWESOME when it's hot out!

You can even leave the cottage cheese out of the first smoothie if you want it completely dairy-free, and trust me it's still delicious!

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NPA4LOSS 7/19/2011 4:39PM

    Day 13 of temps 103-108. I am so glad to find some smoothie recipes that don't involve yogurt. emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 7/19/2011 2:19PM

    Thank you for the smoothie recipes!! I just made my "Mocha Choca Latte" in my blender - brewed coffee, milk, cocoa powder, ice, and one packet of Diet Swiss Miss hot chocolate. For smoothies I always include banana because of the texture. I really like the sound of that chocolate cheesecake frosty. I crave ice cream all the time in summer. Can't believe it's only 60 where you are! There's extreme heat all over the place according to NPR. I could use a little 60 for an outdoor run right about now! Oh, and I have made all kinds of smoothie messes - happens when you make smoothies every single day, I guess. One time some of it got down INSIDE the glass door of my oven and stayed there forever. I have since moved, that's the only way I was able to get rid of that mess!

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Clafoutis: A Patriotic Treat, New Recipe & Pictures

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I hope you had a great Independence Day (or just a great Monday for those living outside the States)!

I had a pretty relaxing day, with just a few errands to run. I knew I wanted to try to make some new recipes and make something really yummy to enjoy while I sat back to the view of illegal fireworks from my balcony.

For some reason, every year more and more people around me drive up to Washington to purchase fireworks. I would assume that people would want to save their money and not waste so much of it on something that is pretty for all of two seconds. But hey, their loss is my gain? They were REALLY close this year too, so I had a few freak out moments. Please, letís not set my car on fire, k? Thankfully, everything seems to be well!

So after running around to two different stores, it wasnít until I got home that I realized I was missing a key ingredient for one of the recipes I was going to try. Major fail! So that shall be saved for another day. So instead, I will share a patriotic version of clafoutis for you.

I had never even heard of it until I saw it on Averieís blog: www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/07/m
You can click over there to see the full recipe and actual pretty pictures. She definitely knows how to turn food into art!

To start out I got my fruit out and made sure to put the blueberries in the left hand corner and the strawberries filled in the rest.

Then I mixed up the filling. In my food processor I combined heavy cream, eggs, vanilla, Bob Red Millís all-purpose gluten-free flour, and sugar.

After thatís mixed up itís time to pour it over the berries.

Red, White, and Blue!

The result would have turned out much better if I could use regular flour. I think it burned a little because I kept waiting for it to firm up and bounce back when pressed. Unfortunately, it never did! Which I have to assume is because of the flour I used. Iím sure another blend would have worked much better.

Aubrey really liked it, but I wasnít impressed. It definitely tastes sweet, but the actual flavor wasnít quite there for me. I loved picking the berries out and eating them, but the actual filling wasnít that great. I think my texture problems got to me again!

Definitely pretty though! I NEED water when I eat something sweet and this was no exception. I did like that you could eat a nice big hunk for only about 200 calories. Me, being the big volume eater that I am, loves that kind of stuff!

What did you do for the 4th? What summer foods are you enjoying?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBREYINGMAN 7/6/2011 2:28AM

    I thought it was very good. I liked how the berries turned out and I like the filling. I think I ate more then I should have.

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BEACH_BOUND120 7/5/2011 8:11PM

    Yummy! looks good I am going to try and make! emoticon

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    Great pictures! Too bad about the texture. It looks good! I haven't experimented with any flours yet or done any baking.

Hey do you like squash? I found a link for zucchini pizza bites that I am going to try. I posted the link on the celiac spark team if you are interested.

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Beans and Greens: Eating For My Health

Monday, June 27, 2011

Last week I got it into my head that I wanted to try eating gluten again. Why after all this time? Because I was seriously curious if I could possibly handle it in small doses. I had the test done; I know I donít have Celiac, so I wouldnít be massively endangering my health.

So I gave in to the temptation and I got an ice cream cone. Except for some heartburn, I seemed pretty fine. This planted an evil little seed in my brain. I was then determined to see if I could handle a bit more. So two days later I upgraded from one small ice cream cone to a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. And not a small bowl, no of course not, that might actually be rational. I had a nice huge bowl.

Definitely had heartburn again, but then I had some other issues. Mild ones like some fatigue, mind fog, and the heartburn. And some major issues also. Such as random extreme stomach pain (thatís funny it doesnít LOOK like someone just ran a sword through me). A majorly scratchy throat/esophagus (did I swallow a hand that decided to take its revenge by scratching me all the way down?). And finally gastrointestinal stuff I wonít even mention (yeah, trust me, Iím not going there).

Why would I put myself through this? Because 1. Iím insane. But 2. I think I just really missed gluten and was hoping that I was wrong. I hoped and prayed that maybe it was something else entirely and I could go back to eating whatever the heck I wanted in moderation. The phrase ďeverything in moderationĒ really irritates me now because my first thought is ďWellÖnot for ME!Ē Iím working on the bitterness in my life, reallyÖ.lol

Sometimes I can overcome this by making something really delicious like some of my previous raw chocolatey desserts. Or even an awesome tasting salad like this.

But I didnít have much time to really think about being bitter, because the worst was yet to come. So there I was thinking everything was finally getting back to normal after my gluten insanity when all hell broke loose. And I mean literal hell.

You see, during dinner Saturday night I kept feeling this roll of something throughout my body. I couldnít figure out what it was. Nausea? No. Was I feeling faint? Lightheaded? Dizzy? No, no no. Then I realized it was cold. I was getting huge waves of cold. Then the shivers started. With my teeth chattering like crazy I started massively shaking. My temperature rose from its usual 97 to 99, then over 100, before finally making its way to 103.8 and it stayed there.

The hell part came from my crazy feverish dreams of a man trying to kill me, a man I determined in my dream to be the devil. He had killed my husband was trying to kill me. Why canít fever dreams ever be good ones?? You know dancing around with Care Bears singing songs about jellybeans or something?

Apparently when you get a very high fever you arenít actually cold, but I didnít care. I felt cold! I wanted every single blanket we owned on top of me. This is also apparently not the best plan, but itís what I wanted. Eventually I started to feel warm and then hot, but my temperature didnít want to go down. I took some fever reducers, laid a cold washcloth on my head and went to bed. Sunday morning I felt a lot better, my temp was down to 99.5, but I still had a major cough and a runny nose.

Today my temperature is back at normal, which for me is 97 degrees even. I still have a major cough and a massively runny nose. Does any of this have to do with my gluten eating? I have no idea. Maybe eating the gluten weakened my immune system enough to let some bad germy guys in to wreck havoc? No idea. But Iím not going back there again. Ok, I donít make that promise. But Iím certainly not doing anything like that anytime soon!

What makes me feel better when Iím sick? Well, like the title of my post says. Beans and greens! Beans are full of protein and fiber and greens are full of antioxidants and yumminess to satisfy me and make me better. Green monsters might not plague my dreams but they sure are tasty.

Looks like green mud, tastes like chocolate! Yum. Oh, and that bean salad I showed you above is pretty darn tasty too. I saw it on Angelaís blog here:

I followed her recipe except I subbed bell pepper in for the onion and regular mustard in for the Dijon. Used what I can tolerate and what I had on hand. It was really tasty!

Blended up the spinach from this:

To this:

Then took that out and put it in the bowl with a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas. Then I made the cilantro pesto mixture.

Poured it over the top of the chickpeas and spinach.

And made myself a little portion; smaller than I would have for a meal, but I wanted to see if I liked it first so I had it as a snack.

Thereís definitely a punch of flavor! And hopefully Iíll just keep getting better and can make even more yummy stuff. Because yummy food is SO much more fun than having the devil coming after you.

Tried anything new recently? Iím in a food rut again! Please share!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*AMBER512 6/30/2011 11:25AM

    I'm glad too, silly boy :)

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AUBREYINGMAN 6/30/2011 2:07AM

    I am glad that the devil did not kill me! I am sorry that gluten is still a problem for you honey. I love you.

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Vegan Cheesecake and Thyroid Talk

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ever since my doctor finally acknowledged that I do have hypothyroidism, things have been going a bit more smoothly for me! I am now on some medication that will hopefully kick-start my hormones and get them back into gear.

I have had a few questions about what symptoms I was having to make me feel so horrible, and while I *attempt* to keep my complaining to a minimum, it wasnít always easy.

I actually have thought I had thyroid problems for years, because I had a good 75% of the symptoms for hypothyroidism, as well as a long family history of it. You can see a list of a few of the symptoms here: www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroi

My main symptoms related to the extreme fatigue and sluggishness, aches and pains. But I am also very sensitive to both cold and heat, I have pale, dry skin, I often felt just plain down, anxious, and irritable. My menstrual cycles have certainly been abnormal since they have disappeared for the past three years, amongst dealing with bowel issues and often feeling lightheaded, weak and dizzy. Not exactly fun, huh?

But every time my doctor ran blood tests they came back as normal. Well after I finally asked to see a specialist, they discovered that I did actually have abnormal results. And while my primary doctor insisted on redoing the blood tests herself, they thankfully came back abnormal as well. I have no idea why it worked all of a sudden, but Iím thankful for some sort of answer.

With my long list of complaints I am unsure if one tiny pill in the morning can fix everything, but I can certainly hope for the best. I have been reading about adrenal stress fatigue and a lot of the symptoms for that seem to match as well, so Iíll have to see if thereís anything I can do about that. I saw a test you can buy online, but I donít exactly have an extra $250 lying around and every recommendation Iíve read said you have to see a holistic doctor about it.

So since it apparently can take up to two months before I feel completely better Iíll focus on my thyroid issues for now. Especially as I work with my doctor on finding the correct dosage for me. If you have the ability to see a doctor and you think you have problems, definitely ask to get tested! Sometimes we ignore those gut feelings that truly are telling us something is wrong.

Vegan Cheesecake

But while I work on getting better, I know whatís more fun to talk about. Dessert! I recently attempted a gluten-free vegan cheesecake. While I wish I could share an awesome recipe, I have to admit that I didnít like it. My husband really did and Iím always amazed when I can find a pleasing vegan dish for my meat-hungry man.
I followed Averieís recipe which you can see here: www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2009/09/r

I loved the idea of using cashews in place of the usual dairy, but I neglected to remember that Iím not a big fan of cashews in the first place. Maybe I could use peanuts to make a peanut buttery flavor? HmmmÖ.but thatís not what I tried!

First up was making a crust which I did by blending dates with almonds in my food processor.

Smoothed it down.

After soaking the cashews I blended them with lemon juice, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.

It definitely made a smooth, creamy filling.

I cut myself a wedge andÖ

ÖI just wasnít impressed. Apparently Iím crazy since it was liked by my husband and a good friend. And pretty much anyone else who has made the recipe if I can take the comments as any suggestion. So I feel pretty confident recommending the recipe, but if you donít like it, hey, I didnít either!

Has it ever taken a long time for you to get a correct medical diagnosis?
Do you like vegan desserts?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHELSEABIRD 6/27/2011 4:18PM

    Hi, I started to read your blog for the gluten-free recipe, and I wanted to respond to the hypothyroidism bit. I hope that you are feeling much better now, but if not, I urge you to look into a natural thyroid replacement if you don't already take one. A lot of people do not do well with the synthetic thyroid replacements. You can learn more about this at the web site Stop the Thyroid Madness. Best wishes!

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AUBREYINGMAN 6/16/2011 2:39AM

    I am just glad we have some idea of what is going on. I love you.

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SIMPLYTHAT 6/13/2011 6:30PM

    Thanks for talking about your symptoms and replying to my comment on your status.

I've put nearly 20 pounds back on since I lost the weight and I am having the damndest time taking it back off. It doesn't seem to want to come off no matter how diligent I am with my routine. Of course, I'm having a hard time keeping up with any routine.

I just feel tired most of the time...like even after 8 or 9 hours of sleep. I also sleep through my alarm clock and need 3 different alarms in the morning. I forget things a lot and sometimes struggle to find the word I am looking for in conversation. I've had several experiences in recent history where I've been in the shower and just came over all dizzy and nauseated (I even fainted a couple of weeks ago after being in the whirlpool....which was scary and had never happened before). I definitely struggle with irritability, mild depression and anxiety. I went off of hormonal birth control a few months ago because I thought that was the culprit. I see improvement, but it is still not quite right.

Lastly, I seem to have problems working up the motivation to do things I want to do. "I WANT to go to the gym really badly...but I just feel so tired. I think I will stay home." "I WANT to go to the movies...or I WANT to hang out with friends...but..."

All of these things could be nothing, but maybe they are something. I also have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which are autoimmune diseases and I hear that there is a decent co-morbidity rate for hypothyroidism and autoimmune diseases. I dunno. I made my appointment for my annual physical today...I will ask for the blood work to be done, just to see if this is some kind of missing puzzle piece or a sign I have just spent too much time on WebMD! ;)

Anyway, thanks again and I hope your treatment helps you feel yourself again soon!

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CANADIANKIM 6/13/2011 3:43PM

    I have had hypothyroidism for years and have taken medication ever since my diagnosis. It was not difficult for me to get diagnosed, but I live in Canada and the tests are run pretty routinely.

The medication has helped, but I find that I am still sensitive to temperatures, and still struggle with my metabolism. A one-pound weight loss each week is good for me. (This week I lost an amazing four pounds, but that's very rare!) One doctor told me, "the hypothyroidism led to your weightgain, but now that you have it, you need to do the work to get rid of it" and that's been quite challenging for me. Eating cleanly and cutting out refined carbs has made all the difference in how I feel, however, and my thyroid levels are now considered "very good". Good luck!

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BUBBLES1541 6/13/2011 2:22PM

    Looks good!

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