Behind starburst eyes

What’s Turkey Without Stuffing???

I love all the things about Yule, and Christmas. I love the lights, the trees, the songs, even the snow. But the thing I love the most is the feasting!

However, a big part of the fest for me is the stuffing. I make my grandfather’s recipe every year, but it’s filled with bread and potatoes so what’s a girl to do?

Re-vamp her grandfather’s recipe into a keto one of course! šŸ˜‰ Below is exactly that:

Ingredients:

1 loaf of hearts of palm bread

2 heads of cauliflower

2 Tbsp of Poultry seasoning

1 whole garlic minced
1 cooked sausage of your choice

1/2 of an onion finely chopped

1 egg

1lb of bacon chopped

2 Tbsp of butter

2 Tbsp of heavy cream

1 Tsp of pepper

1 dash of salt

Instructions: 1) Roughly chop and then cook cauliflower in a pan on medium heat.
2) Remove from heat, add butter and cream and mash.
3) Dice onion, garlic, sausage and bacon and then add to the cauliflower mash.
4) Rip (or cut) up hearts of palm bread into small pieces and add to mash.
5) Add whisked egg and poultry seasoning.
6) Stuff Turkey and cook as usual.

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Toasting with Toasted Coconut

As of this week’s measurements, I’ve lost a total of 13.4lbs, 1.5in off each area: waist, hips, & thighs, and 3/4in off my upper arms šŸ˜ So I’m going to toast my success with toasted coconut šŸ˜‰ So I headed over to Twosleevers.com and found this lovely keto coconut macaroons recipe. Each macaroon has 2net carbs.

Ingredients

1/4 cup Almond Flour

2 cups Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut oil

4 egg whites

1/4 cup Swerve

Instructions

Preheat an oven to 400F. Line a 9 x 13 cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut, coconut oil or butter, and vanilla extract and set aside.

Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat together the egg whites and Swerve until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the egg whites into the almond flour mixture.  

Spoon the mixture onto the cookie sheet to get 10-12 scoops.

Bake for 15-16 minutes until the coconut tops start to brown lightly.   

Remove from oven and let cool before removing from the cookie sheet.

A delicious keto friendly cookie šŸ˜‹

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Hold On Just A Little Longer

Sometime when I wasn’t looking he became too big for bed time cuddles. I missed noticing the last time his older brother asked for bedtime cuddles, and I swore I wouldn’t miss it with him. Yet, life, my own inability to stay in the present made me forget to pay attention as carefully as I swore I would. I was always thinking of what needs to be done before I go to bed, tomorrow, next week, next month, next, next, next. Never focusing on the now, always on the next. So I missed noticing when the last time he asked for cuddles happened. He slipped out of that stage without a whisper, or a warning.

He still asks for his heart song…most nights. I’ve taken to holding his hand while I sing, a part of me can’t bear to let him go just yet, but I know I must, so I compromise by just holding his hand instead. Normally as soon as I’ve finished his heart song he lets go and repositions himself, his hand firmly tucked beneath his head. Only tonight, tonight he didn’t let go. It was such a small gesture, the gentle extra pressure he used to squeeze so delicately that if I’d not been focused on the present I wouldn’t have noticed…I would have missed his fingers stroking my hand, searching…reaching…connecting with me. So I stayed, my arm outstretched to his big boy loft bed, holding his hand for just a little bit longer. He held my hand tonight not just for his heart song, but until he fell asleep, and my heart overflowed with so much love for my sweet not so little boy. One day he’ll stop asking for his heart song…his brother has, and I’ll stop singing it…but for at least tonight I got to hold on just a little longer…

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If You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again!

For my weekly weigh in and measurements this week, I’d lost a total of 9.6lbs since I started 3 weeks ago, and 1.5inches off my waist!

Then I had a rough day, I’ve gone back to university, so I have papers due because it’s nearing the end of the term, I was struggling to write one of them. Add in being scared about going for a CT Scan for the lump on my sternum and I made the bad decision to eat my feelings.

For the last 2 days I have enhaled carb filled, processed crap. I’ve also gained back 2lb cause when I go overboard, I’m damn good at it! So, I’m back up 2lb but I say it was a bad choice not a terrible one because I’m learning. I’m learning how deeply I really connect food with comfort. I am reminded of how many times that special time with my mom who passed away almost 3 years ago included “special foods”. I’m learning how vital it is for me to have at least a couple of pre-made comfort style keto foods frozen for myself.

To that end, I’ve found a delicious keto friendly chicken pot pie recipe, that at 3g net carbs means I can have 2 servings if I feel the need to do so without sabatoging my hard work!

The delicious recipe below is the creation of Kasey Trenum who you can find cooking up all kinds of fantastic recipes on her blog: Kasey Trenum

Ingredients
For the Chicken Pot Pie Filling:
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup mixed veggies could also substitute green beans or broccoli
1/4 small onion diced
1/4 tsp pink salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves minced
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp rosemary
pinch thyme
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken diced
1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
For the crust:
4 1/2 tablespoons of butter melted and cooled
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons full fat sour cream
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 1/2 tsp parsley (to sprinkle on top)

Instructions

  • Cook 1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken in the slow cooker for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Sautee onion, mixed veggies, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in 2 tablespoons butter in anĀ oven safe skilletĀ for approx 5 min or until onions are translucent.
  • Add heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, poultry seasoning, thyme, and rosemary.
  • SprinkleĀ Xanthan GumĀ on top and simmer for 5 minutes so that the sauce thickens. Make sure to simmer covered as the liquid will evaporate otherwise. You need a lot of liquid for this recipe, otherwise, it will be dry.
  • Add diced chicken.
  • Make the breading by combining melted butter (I cool mine by popping the bowl in the fridge for 5 min), eggs, salt, and sour cream in a bowl then whisk together.
  • AddĀ coconut flourĀ and baking powder to the mixture and stir until combined.
  • Stir in cheese.
  • Drop batter by dollops on top of the chicken pot pie. Do not spread it out, as theĀ coconut flourĀ will absorb too much of the liquid.
  • Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 min.
  • Set oven to broil and move chicken pot pie to top shelf. Broil for 1-2 minutes until bread topping is nicely browned. Sprinkle dried parsley on top.

Nutrition

For 1/8 of the pie: Calories:Ā 297kcalĀ |Ā Carbohydrates:Ā 5.3gĀ |Ā Protein:Ā 11.6gĀ |Ā Fat:Ā 17gĀ |Ā Fiber:Ā 2g

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Second Week Down = Time For Ice Cream!

While my weight loss isn’t nearly as impressive this week (1.2lb) as it was last week (6.8lb) I’ve also lost a full inch off my hips and 1/4 inches off my arms, and that brings my grand total weight loss to 8lbs so I’m still very pleased!

Of course for this week’s celebration, I want a special treat lol. Only I don’t want a cake this time (I know strange for me!) Instead I want ice cream, or at least a frozen treat that reminds me of ice cream!

Hubby has been experimenting in the kitchen to make a frozen treat and so the recipe below is what he made, and is what we’ll be enjoying tonight after dinner. He said he was inspired by the drink “Flying Gorllias” that we had in Cuba on our honeymoon for this flavor combination. While it doesn’t have the “kick” of white rum, rum also doesn’t have carbs, therefore if one is so inclined, a shot of rum alongside it wouldn’t be amiss.

Picture of Chocolate Ice Cream in a glass bowl with a spoon behind it. Set on a table with a flower motif on it.
  • 3/4 can of Kosa Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Monkfruit Sweetner
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar free peanut butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of Toasted Coconut Flakes.
  • Carefully scoop the thicker coconut milk (cream) into a bowl and discard the thinner more watery portion.
  • Add Cocoa powder, Monkfruit, salt and peanut butter to cream and stir until well mixed and fluffy with a hand mixer.
  • Freeze for an hour.
  • Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of each serving then enjoy!
  • Nutritional Information PER SERVING: (Makes 3 servings)
  • Net Carbs: 7g
  • Calories: 320
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 29g

I’ve listed the nutritional information for the entire batch below to make it easier to calculate if you decide to divide it into a different amount of servings.

  • Nutritional Information For ENTIRE BATCH:
  • Net Carbs: 21g
  • Calories: 961
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fat: 87g

Notes: While 7g for net carbs IS higher than one of my mug cakes, so long as one is careful, OR divides it into smaller portions (when divided into 4 portions it’s only 5g of net carbs) it’s still a fun keto friendly treat. Kosa’s coconut milk is super thick and creamy for 3/4 of the can with only a small amount of thinner milk at the bottom, we used all of the thicker part and discarded the thinner milk by not mixing it together. While you can simply buy coconut cream, Kosa’s coconut milk was on sale for $1.08 per can at our local wholesale club so definitely cheaper for us to to make it this way.

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One week at a time

I am now on my 7th day of Keto! So far I’ve lost 6.8lbs, and 1/4inch off each measurement (waist, arms, legs, and hips). I know some is water weight bloat disappearing, and I’m fine with that šŸ™‚ I’m super excited to see what I’m at next week for my measurements and weight!

To celebrate, I of course made another mug cake lol. This time I went for lemon flavored šŸ˜ƒ I couldn’t find any specific recipe I wanted so I altered one. As I’ve realized that the base of most of the keto mug cakes is the same for the almond flour, butter, coconut flour, baking powder, and sweetner. Below is my Lemon Mug Cake Recipe and Nutritional info for it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TbspĀ butter, melted
  • 2 TbspĀ sweetener (I used Monkfruit with erthyitol)
  • 1 TbspĀ coconut flour
  • 1/4 cupĀ almond flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tspĀ baking powder
  • 1Ā egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel
  • 2 TbspĀ of heavy cream (35%)

Recipe:

  • Melt the butter in the microwave
  • Add all wet ingredients to the melted butter
  • Mix all dry goods in a bowl together
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  • Divide batter into 2 microwave safe mugs
  • Sprinkle a half a teaspoon of the lemon peel on the top of the batter
  • Bake each mug cake for 90 seconds in the microwave
  • Top with your favorite keto cream cheese icing, keto whipped cream or keto ice cream
  • Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest on top
  • Enjoy!

The nutritional information was calculated using the app CarbManager and does not include icing, whipped cream or ice cream and is per mug:

  • Calories: 280kals
  • Total Carbs: 18.7g
  • Sugar Alcohols: 12g
  • Net Carbs: 3.1g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Protein: 7.1g
  • Fat: 26g

A note about the carbs, while the original carbs appears high, and the net carbs does not appear to add up to the total carbs minus fibers, that is because of the sugar alcohols. Normally for keto you need to minus half the sugar alcohols plus the fiber from the total carbs for the net carbs. Only, because the only sugar alcohols in this recipe are from the erythritol they all can be subtracted as our bodies don’t tend to digest sugar alcohols from erthyitol. I got that information from:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/net-carbs#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4 and from: https://www.atkins.ca/how-it-works/library/articles/ask-the-nutritionist-the-scoop-on-sugar-alcohols

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My Secret Salvation

As I previously wrote, I’ve started being on a Keto meal plan again. I started full of desire and determination, and after what felt like months but really was only a couple of days I nearly caved.

I have a sweet tooth, and not just a little one, but like a full on I could eat cakes and donuts and pastries all day, everyday. Which clearly is not a thing I can do while also maintaining a Keto meal plan!

Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake topped with keto icing and low calorie caramel sauce: 380 calories and 4 net carbs for this delicious treat.

Enter the magical recipes of Melissa Sevigny! She’s the author of the fantastic blog I breathe I’m hungry (which I mentioned in the last post too lol) Her chocolate brownie mug cake recipe is DELICIOUS!!! Best part it’s also keto friendly šŸ˜€ and it totally kept me in ketosis while satisfying my intense need for baked goods!

My humble suggestion to anyone starting out with keto is to 1) check out her blog, and 2) buy yourself some almond flour, coconut flour, and monkfruit and dark chocolate (90%) and keep it in your cupboard for if you get hit with a late night craving like I did!

I admit I could have held out if I’d made my kiddos go low carb with me cause then there wouldn’t have been regular baking goods in my house anymore. But I didn’t make them do it, and for Mr.N with his limited diet due to sensory issues it would be cruel of me to force him to go hungry. So wheat pastas, breads, and mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets will still be staples in my house for him…

But so will almond flour, coconut flour, monkfruit sweetener, and dark chocolate šŸ˜‰

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Here We Go Again…

Like countless other adults I have gained more weight than I would like, and tried to lose said weight. So it seems a bit silly to announce I’m attempting it again, cause what if I fail, again? Which of course worries me as I’ve been on and off my quest to lose weight so I could book my hernia surgery for at least 4 years now. While I admit I usually have good success for at least a couple of months, it’s around 2-3 months into my journey that I start skipping my workouts and “treating myself just this once” over and over.

I’ve gone through this cycle many many times, and I’m hesitant to say I’ll be successful this time, but more than anything I NEED to be successful this time. I finally have a definitive consultation with a surgeon and I’m told by her receptionist that I’ve got approximately 4-8 months after that appointment for a surgical date. While 4-8 months is quite a vague timeline, it’s far more definitive than waiting till the weight is gone to even begin booking my appointments.

So, I feel I should have the weight gone by the beginning of that window just incase, as the less abdominal fat I have the greater my chance for a successful, pain free (as in no long term pain due to issues or complications) procedure. That means I have 5 months to lose 50lbs. Which is actually reasonable timeline so long as I combine exercise and diet and ya know stick to it.

(Picture of a road with the words: 5 months, 50 pounds, I can do this! written on it.)

For the exercise portion we have a small trampoline, and resistance bands already so it’s just about designing an interval training plan.

For the diet/nutrition portion I’m heading over to I breathe I’m hungry as every time my partner and I have attempted low carb her website has been my go-to for delicious low carb recipes. Last time we attempted this, my partner lost 3 pant sizes and I lost 2 pant sizes with her delicious meals. Had we of stuck to it, we would have lost more and it wasn’t because we got bored with the recipes or they were too hard, it was…

Well to be totally honest it was self (and accidentally partner) sabatoge as I knew I wasn’t going to book my appointments until I’d lost the weight and I was scared of having surgery. I’m still scared, but my hernia has gotten worse and I know if I let it go much longer I’m risking far more serious issues with an emergency surgery for bowel obstruction than a calm, planned hernia repair surgery.

Plus I tell the kiddos all the time “it’s okay to be scared, but you still have to do the things” and I’m a mom who believes in less “do as I say” and more “do as I do”. So now it’s time for me to “do the things” as well.

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Value and Worth Aren’t The Same

I’ve noticed that many people seem to be attracted to or pulled towards those that see their value. Western society seems to equate someone noticing all we could do for them with importance and therefore we crave our value being recognized by others.

What I’ve also noticed is that we seem to view our value to others as being the same as our worth. Only, I don’t see it that way. For me, my value is what I can do for another, my worth is what I bring to the table as a whole. One is about what I can do for them, the other is simply about me as a person.

For example, when Mr.N was a year old my value to him high as he needed allot of things because he was only a baby, but my worth was low because I was not viewed as an individual so much as I was the provider of food, comfort, clean diapers and security. However, now at almost 10, he can feed himself, cook basic meals, wash and dress himself and so on and so my value is lower but my worth is higher because he sees more of who I am as a person. This is a natural progression for children of course.

However, I think for many adults we still get stuck looking and evaluating people based on their value instead of their worth. Basically, we get stuck focusing on what specific dishes they bring to our table that we can consume instead of the worth they bring to our table with their presence.

While I’m sure part of this is due to a primitive survival mechanism that makes us seek out those that can help us have a better life (or thrive), I wonder if it’s something we need to consider as no longer inherently necessary.

How much better would it be if we attempted to develop relationships (platonic as well as romantic) with those who’s worth we saw instead? Would we be happier overall if we stopped focusing on what others can actively do for us and intentionally developed relationships based on the worth we saw within others instead?

I ponder these things because secretly adults that primarily view my value feel like a burden to be honest, I feel like the only reason they ask me to their table is for what I can provide that they will use/consume. I want to be invited because they see my worth as a whole person, not for what I can do for them, and I don’t view my value to another and my worth as a person to be the same thing.

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Corona’s Effect on Mental Health

It’s been months since Covid-19 became a worldwide epidemic, and while I am truly, deeply thankful that my family has not experienced this virus directly, sadly it still has had an impact on my children through their mental health.

He used to be gregarious, he used to be fearless, he used to be happy and confident…Used to be…

It makes my heart ache to see the changes in him, to see how scared he is to even leave the house because as he puts it “It’s invisible, I can’t see it, I can’t fight it” He used to be thrilled to pop over to the store for me, and he’d always ask if he could pick up something for dessert for everyone in addition to the bread or milk I was usually asking for. Now, his first response is “Or I could not go” with a pleading face as he says it. He used to love going for runs, now he says “there’s too many people”. He would rather forgo takeout or new toys if he has to go outside for them.

So instead I don’t ask him to go for me, but I do ask him to go with me. I’m willing to walk with him, because I’m determined to make him go out (while of course allowing precautions such as a mask and hand sanitizer) because he can’t stay locked inside for the next however long. It’s not healthy for him.

I know this might be a long road for him, but I remember when he was 2 and would have uncontrollable meltdowns when we’d walk different routes home from Airzone, he’d cry that it “wasn’t the right way home”. Back then I knew he had to learn there were many ways to get to somewhere, physically and metaphorically. I would hold him and tell him over and over he was loved and safe and I understood and he was my wonderful brave boy as he cried for hours even after we got home.

This is no different, I’ll be there each step of the way offering him love and support as I help him walk this hard path. I love him enough to do the hard things because he always has been and always will be worth the effort to help him thrive.

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