Dealing With Holiday Weight Gain

I never know how to open (or close) a blog.  It always feels awkward.

Ok, so here goes- My name is Sierra and I am a recovering anorexic.  Bam.

I’ve been in recovery for a long time.  I’ve had babies.  Weight has been gained.  Weight has been lost.  Stretch marks have happened.  So has a lot of hard work and personal growth.

I was at a sweet spot, weight wise, for me.  Somewhere I can be comfortably, at which my body is happy and the crazy is generally kept at bay.

Well, I’ve been enjoying lots of good food and kicking back breve iced mochas at work and a couple extra pounds have appeared as extra insulation on my tummy and hinny.  I stepped on the scale and faced the music and indeed, it wasn’t bloat or my imagination.  Sadface.

Instead of going into pyscho- anorexic mode and beating myself up I’m handling it much differently.  I stared at my body in the mirror and saw all the things I do like.  I (man this sounds so cheesy, but go there with me) affirmed my body.  I bit bigger than I want to be, but it’s still my body and I love it.

However, I don’t want those couple extra pounds to gain long term squatter status so I do have a loose plan in place.  I’m going to hit my strength training workouts hard.  I’m going to cut back on sugar and empty carbs and focus my diet on high quality protein and fats.

I’m not going berserk or punishing my body.  I’m approaching it from the standpoint of treating my body as a temple to be treated with care and respect.

The scale will go back to normal and I’m not going to stress about it.

For many of us who have struggled with eating disorders- a lot of it stems from having an intense (obsessive) personality with a heavy dose of perfectionism.  I realize now that this can be a good thing.  I am probably always going to be obsessing about something.  I’m probably always going to have some discontent in my life, striving to be better.

The times in my life that I have been the happiest have been the times I’ve focused all that obsessiveness on the only one worthy of all my devotion- Jesus.  So while I strive to do well by my body, my main focus is keeping the focus firmly where it belongs.

 

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie Recipe

I am a lover of all (well, almost all, hold the bacon) things chocolate.  I am also gluten free.  So, here is a gluten free (betcha can’t tell!) brownie recipe that is intensely rich, fudgey, and decadent.

20160106_065402.jpg
Not the best photo BUT these brownies are unbelievable!

 

 

GF Fudge Brownies

  • 6 ounces Baking Chocolate (a box and a half)
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (you could sub in coconut or oat flour as well)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (optional)

The recipe I adapted this from used multiple bowls but I don’t think that is necessary.  I melted the chocolate and butter on the lowest stove setting in a heavy duty glass mixing bowl- stirring occasionally.  When just melted remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, flour, vanilla, sea salt, and finally the eggs (one at a time).

Pour in to a greased standard sized pan 13 X 9″ (I used two pie pans)  Sprinkle on the chocolate chips.  Bake at 325 for half an hour.

In the mean time go ahead and lick the bowl and utensils. 😉  Respectable recipes will tell you to allow the brownies to cool for an hour before slicing.  I think life’s too short for that nonsense.  I wait ten minutes.  Tops.  Nothing like a warm fudge brownie to make your heart thrill with joy as your blood sugar soars!

Enjoy!

 

Healthy Banana Bread!

One of the most common things I hear throughout the day is, “I’m hunnngggrryyy!!!!”  Usually by my beanpole 6 year old who apparently needs 7,000 calories a day to maintain life.  I really like to bake and I modify recipes to make them healthier.  What kid doesn’t love to snack?  Here is a sweet treat you can feel good about feeding to your kids.  Here is my take on banana bread, a delicious snack, with a healthy twist.

Banana Bread Ingredients

  • 3 over-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (I do a mix of red palm and coconut oil too)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I do a mix of organic and brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Steps

  • soften butter in a large glass mixing bowl
  • add in eggs, bananas and sugar and beat well with hand mixer
  • add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well

After the ingredients are combined let the batter sit on your counter for a few hours.  Why?  Wheat is very high in phytic acid which acts like an anti-nutrient in the human body.  It prevents the absorption of nutrients and can cause inflammation in the digestive tract.  Allowing the wheat to soak in a medium acid (yogurt) for a few hours breaks down most of the phytic acid and greatly increases the digestibility of the bread.  more info- http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/  Soaking also give a softer, denser loaf with a better rise.

A few hours later set your oven to 350 degrees and pour your batter into a greased standard glass loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes and then lower the temperature to 325 for the last 20 minutes (to fully bake without over-browning) for a total 60 minutes baking time.

Let cool completely before slicing and enjoy!  20150612_073342

Bulletproof Mocha

20150605_074613_resized_1

After discovering coconut coffee yesterday it seemed like the logical thing to do to convert it into a mocha recipe!  Who wouldn’t love a guilt-free, healthy, energizing mocha?

So here it is, and I am pretty pumped about it because I am on my 2nd one this morning (don’t judge!).

Bulletproof-Mocha

-1 Cup hot brewed coffee (I love organic dark roasts)

-1 tsp. organic butter

-1 heaping tsp. organic coconut oil

-1 heaping tsp. cocoa powder

-splash of vanilla extract

-(optional) tsp. xylitol or raw sugar or pinch of stevia

-(optional) sprinkle of cinnamon

Steps

-get coffee going

-assemble ingredients in blender (I use a small, magic bullet style blender)

-blend until frothy

-enjoy and get ‘turbo-charged’ (sorry for the cheesy addition!)

It is so rich and delicious…and healthy!  We already covered the numerous benefits of coconut oil.  Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants.  It also increases alertness (duh!) but you can also do decaf if you don’t tolerate caffeine and still enjoy the benefits.

Cocoa is crazy-healthy.  Just 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.   Cocoa is a source of the flavonoids epicatechin and catechin.  These flavonoids function as antioxidants that help prevent systemic inflammation. Epicatechin relaxes the muscles in blood vessels, which improves blood flow and helps lower blood pressure, according to research published in the March 2012 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”  Source- http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-unsweetened-cocoa-powder-5662.html

Organic butter is super healthy (and delicious!) check it out- http://bodyecology.com/articles/benefits_of_real_butter.php

This mix of coffee, cocoa, and healthy fats is sure to get you going! 🙂  Enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate

eca86b86ec7c168835d01cI haven’t been blogging much lately.  I’ve been pretty busy with life and my laptop charger went kaput.  I tried blogging from a tablet (completed most of a blog and then somehow lost it! arg!) but I now have a new charger and lease on writing. 😉

Me and chocolate go way back.  I don’t remember the first time I had it, but of this I am sure- it was love at first bite.  It’s been a lifelong love affair to put it mildly.

But now that I am more health conscious I need a healthy way to enjoy my favorite treat (er food, keep it real).  Virtually all chocolate you can buy has icky junk added like barley malt powder (I am gluten sensitive, buh-buy lindt chocolate) and/or soy lecithin (a by-product of soy processing, almost always GMO).  Often in addition to hydrogenated oils (ew), HFCS (who needs that junk?), preservatives, and excessive amounts of sugar (learn to love dark chocolate!).

We know chocolate is very healthy in it’s pure form.  http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm

But buying quality dark chocolate is pretty expensive.  One large-ish bar will run you 3-4 dollars.

So I decided I am just going to have to make my own!  This is my base recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Homemade-Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Dark-Chocolate-Paleo/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=paleo%20chocolate&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i4

I modify it by using organic sugar instead of honey (it hardens up better).  I also add a dash of sea salt.  I double the recipe and add 1/2 cup peanut butter.  This is super yummy.  Even my toddler loves it.  You can make it as sweet or dark as you like.  Just don’t eat it all in one sitting!!  Enjoy 🙂