Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cinnamon Caramel Bake

Ok yum, this was really good.  This weekend Alex and I were dedicated to relaxing around the house.  We went for our first run of the year together, and to celebrate I baked this.  I messed up the recipe and used 2 whole sticks of butter (I compensated for this by adding more of everything), but it is worth the guilt.  Especially since it uses almond flour instead of grain.  I made almond flour for the first time since Trader Joe's was out of their almond meal.  It was fun to decimate the blanched and sliced almonds that I bought, and the texture was better since there weren't flakes of almond skin everywhere that you would find in almond meal.

Recipe is here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Working on my Fitness

Over the past couple of weeks my interest in fitness has picked up again.  I had been doing yoga, which even though I will continue to use it as a tool to relax, it just doesn't kick my ass enough.  Instead I've decided to revisit pilates, which is what I used to do in college and I had good results with it.  The only reason that I stopped is because Netflix stopped streaming my favorite pilates workouts.  Instead I've been utilizing YouTube for channels such as Blogilates.

Anyway, Alex and I have been having good results with our modified diet.  We still have cheat days where we are too lazy to make dinner so we buy a frozen pizza.  I'm going to try to cut down on these for myself personally and make easy salads instead since it's just food and I shouldn't be a slave to unhealthy food when I have so many tasty alternatives.

One of co-workers at the hospital came up to me earlier this week and told me how great I look.  He is really into diet and fitness, and he guessed that I had lost ~20 pounds.  I refuse to buy a scale for this house and I honestly don't know how much weight that I've lost, but I promise that I did not drop that much.  What I do know is that my face is more sucked in, I had to buy new pants a size smaller, that my arms and stomach have less pooch to grab onto, and that my boobs have shrunk.  I don't think all of that happened just from two weeks of pilates, so I attribute it to having an extremely low grain and sugar diet.

Instead of weight, I'm going to start measuring my achievements through measurements so here we go!

As of 2/20

Bicep 10.5"
Waist 27"
Abs 31"
Hips 38.5"
Thigh 22"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Banana Bread with Almond Flour

I have had a banana browning on my counter for over a week now, for some reason it never occurred to me to throw it in the compost bin.  Thank god I didn't because I was able to make a half batch of banana bread muffins with it for breakfast this morning.  The recipe is from Paleo Comfort Foods, and based on this one recipe alone (and gawking at the other recipes) it is an awesome book (with great photography to boot).  There is no added sugar in the recipe, so I drizzle my muffins with raw honey.  Yum yum yum.

  • 3 cups almond flour or almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil- melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas- mashed
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts- chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together the almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt
Mix the eggs and coconut oil together in a separate bowl and then stir into the flour
Add in the bananas, vanilla, cinnamon, and walnuts
Pour batter into a greased muffin tin or loaf pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Roasted Balsamic Strawberries

Alex called me from the grocery store this weekend because he was picking up his football game junk food, and being a smart husband realized that I would probably like a snack too.  I opted for strawberries since I'm not giving myself any excuses to include grains in my snacks (just the occasional pizza...).  Anyway, the strawberries weren't ripe so I roasted them to deepen their flavor, and I had just seen a recipe for balsamic roasted strawberries so that is what I did, but I made it SCD friendly by using honey instead of sugar.

I think that the key is to use a high-quality balsamic vinegar that you want to drink instead of drizzle on a sandwich.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or skip this step and just eat the balsamic strawberries raw, that was tasty too)
Chop 1 lb of strawberries into 1 cm slices
Mix together 1 tbsp honey with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and combine with the strawberries.
Spread the strawberry slices out on a tin foil lined pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Refrigerate and serve as a dessert topping.  I served mine on top of my homemade SCD yogurt, and it was delicious.  I am thankful that Al thinks that he doesn't like balsamic vinegar so he left it alone.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Steak Tacos

So, aside from a minor hiccup the SCD diet is going really well.  We are sticking to the diet very well except for the occasional trip to the Mexican place by our house.  The proof is in my pant size- I've officially made it down to a size 6 from a size 8 when we started this lifestyle change about a month ago.  That makes me feel very chummy, especially since my workout schedule is very lax and when I DO workout I mainly do nice relaxing yoga instead of my usual "cram 2092 exercises into half an hour" tapes.

The hiccup that has come along is the fact that I need a root canal.  The hints started getting dropped this weekend with a slight toothache that regular tylenol could soothe.  This morning was different.  Even after popping a pill I was in such extreme pain, but I went along with my day anyway and made my way to work.  I officially spent more time on the bus today than I did working.  I  made it for a grand total of one hour before I hightailed it out of there and made my way to my amazing dental clinic. When asked by how much pain I was in I explained that while walking to work I looked cuckoo because I was simultaneously shivering and screaming whenever my teeth touched.  They got me in right away.  I'm kind of annoyed because they flat out told me that if I was able to come in before noon I would be able to have whatever procedure I needed performed.  I might have spoke too soon when I called them amazing.  No such luck, so tomorrow I'll be taking ANOTHER day off from work to go in and unhinge my jaw.

Eating anything that requires mastication has gone out the window for the next couple of days, which means that I am in for some serious diet cheating since I don't have much time to make anything from scratch.  Yes, I had eggnog for breakfast because my tooth hurt so bad :(

Anyway, actually perusing the grocery aisles was a very odd experience.  Being on the Specific Carb Diet you have to be well, specific, about what you pick up.  I can't follow recipes anymore that are like "pick up an already prepared and processed ingredient and mix it with these other canned ingredients over thurr".  I have to read EVERY label- and I have most of the illegal common ingredients memorized.  No sugar, no corn products, no grains, no soy products, no dairy unless it is a specific kind of cheese or homemade yogurt etc.  Alex was initially overwhelmed by the fact that he can't eat away at anything like he did before since a big factor in choosing his ulcerative colitis treatment was that he wanted to be able to eat whatever he wanted like the good old times (aka junk food).

I found it stressful picking out all this food that I know is bad for me (and everyone else for that matter), and I can't wait to go back to shopping the fresh perimeter of the grocery stores that we go to.  Oddly enough knowing that these foods are bad for me makes me not enjoy them as much, instead of relishing them as forbidden fruit.  I'm planning on making a batch of apple sauce tomorrow to make myself feel less crappy about the food that I picked up today to slurp down.  For the record Trader Joe's is mucho mucho cheaper than our regular grocery store- even when we buy organic meat/produce.


My team at work got me a cookbook for our wedding a few months ago, and with most cookbooks I thumbed through it, marked a handful of recipes that look promising (for some reason I never make a recipe that doesn't have a picture included unless it's something that I'm specifically looking for), shelved the book and forgot about it since I spend so much time perusing the internet for recipes at work.

I made the excellent decision to pluck this book out from the others, and this recipe is why

Steak Fajitas from Bride & Groom Cookbook which has incredibly well-deserved glowing reviews

1 lb steak- either pounded 1/2 inch think or cut into chunks
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
Olive oil
2 bell peppers- seeded, ribbed, sliced
1/2 yellow onion- sliced
1/8 tsp black pepper
SCD approved salsa
1 Avocado- chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese

Combine the spices together and add a bit of olive oil to make a paste.  Smooth the paste onto the steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temp.
Pan fry the steak until it reaches a desired doneness.
Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the juices in the pan and add the bell peppers and onion- cook until softened.  Cut the meat if it was cooked in one piece
Serve the fajita mixture over a bed of lettuce and top with desired ingredients.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Oh yum.  Eating an SCD breakfast just got a whole lot easier.  This recipe makes enough pancakes for 2-3 people, and it refrigerates well.

Recipe adapted from Nourishing Days
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Coconut oil or butter
Beat the eggs for 2 minutes in a medium-size bowl, mix in the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and honey. 
Combine the dry ingredients and mix into the wet ingredients and stir until the flour has been thoroughly mixed in.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and add coconut oil or butter to grease the pan.  It is easy to make the pancakes small- about 1/4-1/2 cup of batter each.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until you can easily slide a spatula under the pancake.  There is a learning curve to making non-flour pancakes, but even the ugly pancakes are delicious.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cottage Pie

Last week Alex made me Raman Prasad's Shepherd Pie from his book Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, we ate the whole thing in one sitting.  I was pretty annoyed by the lack of leftovers, so this week I decided to repeat the meal but beef it up with... not beef but vegetables.  This more than doubled the yield, which means that I have leftovers for the next two days- hoorah!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 red onion- diced
4 carrots- chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lime juice
1 medium-large zucchini- spiralized or julienned
2 cups frozen peas- thawed
1 head of cauliflower- chopped into florets
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325

Heat up a pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil, ground beef, red onion, and carrots and cook until the meat has browned.

Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower until it is tender.

Once the meat has browned, lower the heat, add the cumin and salt, and cover to allow the onions to soften up a bit more.

Once the cauliflower has steamed through, add the butter and mash it however you prefer- I have used both a food processor and an immersion blender.

Add the zucchini and peas to the pan with the ground beef in it and stir to combine everything.

Fill a large pie plate/pyrex container with the ground beef mixture, top it with the cauliflower, and sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Cook for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bulgogi Wraps

Is this a pile of meat and green onions on a bed of lettuce?  Yes it is, and despite the bland look it is definitely worth making again.  Eating on the SCD diet is restricting in the sense that you have to do more prep work to get a satisfying flavor, but it definitely makes me appreciate every bite.  I have been instructed that the next time we make this we need to double the meat, but with a side dish/snack this is a decent sized meal for 2.


  • 1 lb rib-eye steak
  • 1/4 cup SCD Asian soy sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1/3 cup sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 8 spring onions- chopped
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • Lettuce leaves for serving
Cut the steak into thin slices, combine all of the remaining ingredients except for the lettuce into a bowl, add the meat to the marinade and let it marinate for 1 hour.  Add the meat to a wok and cook over medium-high heat (with sesame oil I find it better to add the meat and wok to the stovetop before I turn on the heat, otherwise you get a bunch of smoke).  Cook until the meat has cooked through and serve in lettuce wraps.
SCD Sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients on a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it has been reduced by half- about 20 minutes 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

SCD diet update- Alex and I have been struggling to stay on the diet- it's hard when you love Mexican food and the restaurants always keep on refilling your chips and salsa without asking, but we've been doing an excellent job abiding by the SCD laws in the grocery store!  We've been going by Trader Joe's a lot, which makes it easy to shop with their incredible organic meat supply and fresh fruit.

Notice that I got a new table?  If you're interested you can see more of it on my other blog


  • 2 cups almond milk (or milk option of your choice)
  • 3 ripened bananas
  • 2-3 tbsp peanut butter to taste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 ice cubes
Blend together in a blender (this diet has me lusting after a Blend Tech or a Vitamix, someday...)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Zucchini Pasta- or How to Eat (and Enjoy) Two Zucchini in One Sitting

I'm currently trying to immerse myself in the Specific Carb Diet- the premise behind this one makes sense.  Certain foods create bacteria/yeast in your digestive tract which compromise your health, and you avoid such foods (wheat products, refined sugar, preservatives, potatoes...).  It is essentially gluten-free meets paleo meets raw, and I'm really enjoying how I feel on it.  It is so fabulous that a lot of people attribute it to curing autism/Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis/ms/etc..

Now, I love pasta.  Noodles & Co was my to-go spot in high school, and even whenever I would wind up at the Mall of America I would always pass the more "exotic" eateries in favor of good old Noodles.  With that said, it is going to be hard for me to pass up pasta.  To cope with this loss, I bought a spiralizer

With said spiralizer I have had this same meal twice in one week, which testifies to the fact that it quick, easy, and crave-inducing.
You can make zucchinia pasta without a spiralizer of course.  You can use a mandolin to create wide and thin noodles, you can use a julienned (this would take longer of course), and you can just match stick the zucchini (this would be the least consistent and take the longest).
  • 2 medium sized zucchini- spiralized
  • 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes- sliced in half
  • a few slices of roasted red peppers and a few tablespoons of their juices if from a jar
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • salt
Heat up a skillet over medium heat and add the vegetables and butter.  
Heat up until the butter melts and the zucchini warms up a bit (the less you cook it the crunchier it will be).
Adjust the butter and red pepper juice to taste and lightly salt to taste.  Yummo!