Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Week In Review -

Happy Canada Day Weekend Everyone!

This week was busy with school winding up and us madly searching for a nanny and/or daycare for when I go back to work in September. We have had a couple of leads but nothing has come of it. Aghhhh. Its very stressful but I'm trying to just relax and convince myself that it will all work out. Like I'm really good at that. Not.

I have also been busy driving around to various health food stores and some major grocery stores looking for gluten/egg/dairy free options for my daughter. We are having to completely re-think how she eats. Its a  lot of work. But we are making progress. We are finding things she likes. I'll do a post soon on what products are helping us the most in making the transition to gluten, egg and dairy free (not to mention soy, peanut, sugar and yeast) in case anyone else is in the same boat and needs ideas. If you are trying to change your diet and are frustrated with the amount of work it takes - hang in there. I have been through this a couple of times now - when I first went clean/Paleo"ish", when I started to the Candida diet and now with my daughter's food sensitivities. It gets easier. It just takes some education, shopping and experimenting. And it can be a bit costly at first as some recipes fail and purchases get the thumbs down. But before you know it you get into a new routine and it gets easier and less costly.

In the meantime my Candida battle wages on. I would say this week was a bit of a set back. Not a full set back but I've had some ups and downs. My moods have been okay but my sweet tooth is really doing a number on me. Hence the blueberry crumble twice this week. And I'm pretty hungry all the time. Again. I'm struggling a bit with keeping myself fed with tasty and satisfying foods - which takes lots of time and effort in the kitchen - because I'm busy with my daughter's food issues. The result is me not keeping enough Candida friendly food in the fridge and on our dinner plates to make sure I can keep it going. But I think I have stocked up our pantry and I'm getting enough of a handle on the dairy/egg/gluten free thing to switch my focus back to my Candida battle. So hopefully I have a bit of a better week. 

I did figure out that DAIRY is not working for me. Under my version of the Candida diet I am actually allowed to have a small portion of certain cheeses a couple of times a week. But given we were cutting out dairy for my daughter I hadn't had any for a while. Then I had a small portion of cheese for dinner and again for lunch the next day. Yikes - my body did not like that. I had a really bad stomach ache and felt really off and tired. I even had to take a nap yesterday. 

Yep - after my big post on Friday about the 5 ways to cure insomnia I broke my own rule and took a nap. But I guess it reinforces rule number 2 - EAT CLEAN. And my body is telling me that eating dairy is not eating clean for me. Lesson learned. Done with the dairy. Some people can tolerate it but actually not many. Are you one of them? Are you sure?

Oh, I also spent lots of time shopping for clothes for the five of us to where to my brother's wedding next weekend. It is a ton of work dressing 5 people in formal (semi) wear. Geez! But we are so very excited. I can't wait. He is having a vintage theme and I have a vintage surprise for him...........

Hope you have a great long weekend and enjoy lots of clean eats this week. Keep trying to figure out what your own body considers clean and listen when it tells you what it doesn't like..............

My new recipe for Blueberry Crumble (which was egg, dairy and gluten free) was AMAZING considering all the restrictions on the ingredients list. I made it twice this week. I ate way too much of it though. I should be really trying to eat the Xylitol and treats in moderation. But my darn sweet tooth is acting up again. Why does it haunt me? 

I baked these eggs in muffin cups in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. I used a piece of sliced Nitrate free turkey breast, a piece of Swiss Chard from the Farmer's Market, a free-run egg, green onion, Sun-dried tomato, S & P and Italian seasoning. And a small dab of butter on top. Made these for the in-laws as they were staying in for a couple of days. They are really just eggs reinvented in a different way. But they end up looking so fancy that you get daughter in law brownie points for looking like a bit of a gourmet cook. Nice. 

A chicken, broccoli, onion stir fry for lunch. If you are on the Candida diet you can still make a decent stir fry with coconut amino's instead of soy sauce and arrowroot instead of flour or cornstarch. I also usually add a bit of chicken stock, fresh or ground ginger, garlic and S & P. And if you top it with sesame seeds it looks so much fancier. 

I made these turkey burgers with Cilantro glaze for dinner one night with roasted veggies. It was delicious. Sometimes turkey can have a strong flavor but it turned out perfect. And no eggs, dairy or gluten so good for the whole family. If I could ever get the girls to try this. Baby loved it though. 

Another stir fry. Same concept. Different vegetables. Except this time I marinated and grilled the chicken thighs on the barbecue to take it up a notch. I used my Candida diet friendly Grilled Chicken Thighs with Coconut Amino's and Ginger recipe. Yum. 

Okay - I saw this tip on Pinterest and it is brilliant and simple. Slice up banana's (ripe or overripe). Put on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Freeze. Once frozen throw them in a ziplock bag. Voila - you have frozen banana's ready for smoothies or blender icecream. My kids have been loving this. If only I could eat banana's - I haven't had a banana in over 2 months now - since I got my IGG tests back. Pity party. Yep.

Pancake batch number 1. These were some pancake concoction. I always know my sweet tooth is acting up when I do my Sunday in review and had pancakes more than once. Sigh. 

Salad for lunch. With Chicken. Shocking. I know. I got crazy and put some almond milk in my dressing to change things up. Wild.

I made "taco salad" for dinner one night. I made an avocado/tomato/lime/cilantro/onion salad to go on top. I ate about 7 gluten free corn chips with it. That's a cheat but a pretty innocent one. 

My daughter finished Kindergarten this week. CRAZY. What an awesome year she had. The kid LOVES school. She wishes it went year-round. I hope this continues. That's what I handed out for teacher's gifts - a little "clean eating starter pack". Because her teacher was asking what the heck I was sending in her lunch. If you are just trying to switch to gluten free the thin rice cakes make a great bread substitute for "sandwiches". Sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter is nut safe. And some organic jam. Simple changes that the kids love - just need to think outside the box........or the bread bag. And I threw in a can of Zevia - pop that's sweetened with Stevia. I don't drink it but if you HAVE to have pop this is your best alternative. 

Here's my second blueberry crumb cake topped with an almond yogurt/coconut milk topping.

Twice baked cauliflower. Yummy but I think my body is telling me that dairy is not cool anymore. I didn't feel great after this meal even though I barely had any cheese.  If you can tolerate dairy this is an amazing recipe. Swap out your white potatoes. Try it. Everyone loves them.

Another batch of  "salsa". This time I added sun-dried tomato's. Darn that is good. So simple and fresh. And tasty.

My outdoor workout station. Got up early yesterday morning and worked out on the side of my house. What a beautiful day. Why not enjoy it instead of driving to and from a gym. I'm going to try doing this a couple times a week when the weather cooperates and I'm up early enough. I actually tried a Jillian Michaels SRED workout from YouTube. It was actually easier than my usual plyometric Tabata workouts but it was fun. Plus its good to change things up and get new ideas for exercises so you don't get stuck in a rut. Oh yeah - plus I scored this AWESOME STEP BENCH at the salvation army for $6. Its super sturdy. I have been looking for one for a while. I'm addicted to the Salvation Army. 

Pancake Batch #2 - Vega One Berry  Protein pancakes.  These looked better than they tasted. 

A hemp topped salad for lunch.

I took my daughter out for a Mommy and Daughter shopping date. We went to the gluten-free bakery to find things she can eat that are egg, wheat and dairy free. While we are out I had hubby whip up my Insanely Good Spaghetti Squash Pizza. Let me tell you - it was quite an undertaking for him. He does not know the way around our kitchen anymore - I have totally taken over cooking duties since I'm on maternity leave and on this clean eating adventure. Things are going to have to change when I go back to work. But he got it done (very slowly) and I think it actually tasted better than when I made it. 

An egg, dairy and gluten free "sub melt" for my daughter. We bought some fresh gluten-free hot dog buns at the bakery. I spread some coconut oil and garlic on top, slices of nitrate free ham and some dairy and soy free "imitation cheese" from the health food store. Look how nice it melted. She loved this. I think I am going to figure this gluten/egg/dairy thing out. Its just going to take some investment of time, shopping and re-thinking our pantry. Again.

I've gotta go get some banana bread out of the oven. I'm in baking mode this morning............some great new recipes are coming this week!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Free Advice Friday - How to Cure Chronic Insomnia in 5 easy (kind of) Steps

Sorry if you found this post and were hoping for some scientifically based evidence on how to cure insomnia.

Or the best pharmaceuticals to help you sleep.

I don't have either of those.

What I have to offer are the top 5 things I have done in the past year that have CURED my CHRONIC INSOMNIA. The kind of insomnia that keeps you up until 5:00 in the morning. The kind of insomnia that has you counting back (over and over and over again) how many hours and then, on the really bad nights, minutes, you have left to try to sleep before your alarm is going to go off. The kind of insomnia that makes you fanatical about finding time to nap during the day and dreading your bed at night as it becomes somewhat of a torture chamber. The kind of insomnia that sucks your energy, aggravates chronic pain and injuries and significantly reduces the quality of your life.

If you have been living with this for a while (for me it was 35 years) you might think that this is just something you have to live with, that its just who you are. You were born a bad sleeper.

It is not. Do not accept this. You can sleep. Have HOPE. You can do this.

I was hopeless and now I am sleeping. I wake up rested. I love my bed. I don't nap.

I have made a multitude of changes in my life over the last year but here is what I think has contributed the most to my success with overcoming insomnia:

1. Say Goodbye to Caffeine - I know. I feel mean even saying it but you have to hear it...........

Caffeine is not your friend if you have sleep issues. It doesn't matter if you "just have one cup in the morning".  You need to stop drinking coffee. Period. 

Its scary. But you can do it. I did it. Go cold turkey or cut back slowly (half decaf). Do it now. What are you waiting for. As an alternative try some roasted chicory root (best option), Swiss water process decaf (next best option) or decaf (least favorite but still a great option unless you have Candida).

And keep watch for other stimulants that might be in medications and other foods. Those aren't your friend either.

2. Eat Clean - If your digestive system is not working well you will not sleep well.  You don't have to adopt my version of clean eating but you do need to figure out a version of clean that works with your own body and lifestyle. Doesn't matter what diet you are eating now or want to be eating (Standard American Diet, Vegan, Paleo, Low Carb) or how strong of a digestive system you have (or think you have). We should all be trying to increase our consumption of veggies and eat as much whole, real, unprocessed food as possible.

Plus we each have our own tolerances to food groups and food triggers. But you need to figure out what those are for yourself so you can eliminate them. Listen to your body. Do an elimination diet. Or get an IGG test if you need to.

I used to eat popcorn and pepsi on movie night. Way back in the day before I ate clean and had kids. Guaranteed I would not sleep that night. Did I listen to what my body was telling me? Nope.

Now I listen. It tells me it likes eating clean. It doesn't like when I eat grains. It doesn't like when I overeat. It doesn't like when I eat past 9 o'clock. It tells me that by not letting me sleep (among other things). Listen to your body.

And if you don't know where to start with eating clean go to my Mama'sFoodGuidelines page or try some of my recipes - its working for me.

3. Be in bed by 10. Always. Always. Always. This is not an easy thing to do. But it is critical. And please, please, not stay up past 11 o'clock except for extra super duper special occasions. Like my brothers wedding next weekend. Guaranteed I won't be having a drink but I will be having an "I stayed up way too late" hangover the next day. The quality of sleep you get in those first few hours is critical to feeling rested the next day. And you need to be in bed before that second wind kicks in or you are basically screwed. And that happens at 11 for most people.

4. Stop Napping. If someone would have told me 2 years ago that I would a) have a third child (sweet boy), b) would take less than 10 naps the whole entire first year of his life and c) he would be an even worse sleeper than his two sisters and, yet,  I would generally not be tired during the day I would have LAUGHED MY ASS OFF. GET. OUT. OF. HERE.

I have been the napping queen for as long as I can remember. I used to nap on the school bus (to and from school). I found places to nap before dance rehearsals. I napped in the library during University. I went to great lengths to co-ordinate my first two children's naps, often unsuccessfully, so I could get a nap. I have at times been obsessive about needing a nap. Sadly, it was often the first thought I had when I "got up in the morning". What a poor way to live.

Unfortunately for those with chronic insomnia it becomes a way of life. And a vicious cycle. There will be times in your life when you need a SHORT nap to get through the day (day after brother's wedding, bout of low iron, illness, etc) but don't make it your way of life. Not if you have chronic insomnia. If the title "Stop Napping" doesn't seem like a big deal to you, you probably don't have chronic insomnia. Just mild insomnia or an unpleasant bout of insomnia

5. Reduce Evening Stress. If you could reduce all your stress that would be great. But unfortunately, that's not always in our control. But there are things in our control that we can do to reduce our stress before hitting the sheets. Okay - if my husband is reading this he is so getting the wrong idea.............

Pay attention to what "wakes you up" in the evening. What kinds of activities stimulate you - in a bad way - and results in your mind whirling, thoughts twirling, brain racing - when it should be sleeping.

For me, I had to stop talking on the phone after 8 o'clock. It is a pain. It makes it hard to keep in touch with my out of town family since I also don't have much time for the phone during the day. But I had to do it.

I also had to stop watching anything dramatic, scary, disturbing or gross on tv. I actually just stopped watching t.v. entirely but that's not an option for most people, or not a pleasant one at least.

And exercising in the evening for me isn't a great idea. Probably because I like to work out so hard. Maybe some light exercise but nothing crazy.

Find something that relaxes you before bed - like a nice detoxifying dry brush and hot Epsom bath session. Read. Go on Pinterest. Bake something. "Visit" with your husband. Whatever.

Figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Just relax after 8 o'clock. It doesn't mean you have to do nothing. Most people don't have time for doing nothing after 8.  I find cleaning relaxing. I find cooking relaxing. So I can still get organized for the morning without sacrificing my sleep. Save the chores you actually enjoy for after 8.

If you have underlying health issues or chronic injuries you obviously need to deal with those in conjunction with working on sleep. Its all interconnected. But don't give up on the sleep part. It will come. It is possible. I am proof.

I hope I didn't just jinx myself. I never fully trust that this is really my "new normal" or just some cruel trick being played on me and it will get snatched away..............and that is why I pray each night. A prayer of thanks that God has finally given me the gift of sleep. And is letting me keep it for now!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shake It Up with Cilantro and Lime Grilled Turkey Burgers - Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free

Holy Dinna. Our whole house was SHAKING from the thunder last night.

Its scared the crap out of me. I don't like thunder storms. Sorry if you think they are sexy and fun. I don't. It was followed by an hour and a half of tossing and turning (anxiety) and severe night sweats.

And my sugar cravings and hunger have been really bad for the past couple of days.

So what's up?

Too much baking going on in this house is resulting in a Candida flare up. Aghhhhh. I need to nip it in the bud fast. My brother's wedding is in a week and a half and I don't want to be walking around in brain fog or in a pissy mood.

I haven't been baking for myself. I've been baking for my kids trying to find gluten, egg and dairy free baking they will eat as we are in a constant need for snacks and portables. And I don't particularly eat it myself because it usually containers sweeteners (coconut palm, honey, maple, etc) that I'm not supposed to be having.

But........ Big But........... I do taste bites here and there to make sure it turned out okay. Or I finish the last bite they left on their plates. I guess it adds up.

And I have been so busy baking that our dinners have been pretty basic. And being the food lover that I am, a basic dinner, or lunch, usually leaves me rooting around the fridge half hour later for something to eat. Because I love GOOD TASTING FOOD. I need to feel like I had a "wow that was good" meal or I'm not satisfied. I hate those people that "eat to live". They are lucky. I "live to eat".

So I think the combination of me licking too many spoons and not cooking enough tasty and delicious dinners has resulted in my Candida taking the lead in our little battle.

So I am regrouping and made a KICK ASS dinner last night as my first line of defense. I made these burgers on the grill and served with lots of grilled veggies - peppers, onions, tomato and cauliflower. And poured the glaze over everything. Yummy.

Plus it was gluten, egg and dairy free. Win. Win, Win.

So now I guess I am going to have to  behave. No more licking the beaters. Sigh. It was fun while it lasted.

Egg Free & Gluten Free Grilled Cilantro Turkey Burgers

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: grill entree candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb nut-free paleo sugar-free wheat belly coconut flour chia seeds turkey
Ingredients (5 patties)
    • 1 lb ground turkey (I buy mine at Costco)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    • pepper to taste
    • 2 Tbsp Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds
    • 4 Tbsp Water
    • 1 Tbsp organic coconut flour
    Cilantro Lime Glaze
    • 2 Tbsp organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 2 Tbsp full fat canned coconut milk
    • 2 Tbsp unsweetened milk (I used almond)
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp lime juice
    Grilled Burgers
    Heat the grill to medium high heat.
    Mix Chia seeds and water. Let stand for 5 minutes to let Chia gel.
    Gently combine all ingredients including Chia gel. Try not to overmix.
    Let stand for 10 minutes before making into patties.
    Make into patties - about 1/4 to 1/3 cup each.
    Grill each side for about 7 minutes or until fully cooked.
    Cilantro Lime Dressing
    Mix all ingredients.
    Pour over grilled burgers and side veggies.
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    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Egg, Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Crumble - Candida Diet friendly

    Okay folks. I'm back. 

    Well I wasn't gone anywhere. I was just consumed with discussing my daughter's leaky gut and food sensitivities and cooking new recipes for her. 

    But my sweet tooth was getting impatient with me baking for her. Baking things I can't eat on the Candida diet like gluten free home-made granola and cornmeal muffins. 

    So last night I whipped up this blueberry crumble. Something that could appease both of us and not upset our "diets". 

    The base is made with a combination of coconut flour and flax and I used Chia gel as a replacement for the eggs. Worked like a charm. 

    The berries are a debatable Candida diet item but given there is one cup of berries for the whole recipe I think it should be fine. Unless you plan on sitting down and eating the whole thing in one sitting. Which I must admit I was tempted to do. It was that good.
    I sweetened the topping with a small amount of Xylitol and it was plenty sweet for me. I try to use Xylitol in extreme moderation and stick to Stevia 95% of the time but this was calling for some "sugar". 

    Overall a great recipe that is quick to throw together and it safe for many different low-carb and food sensitivity diets. 

    Next time I'm going to make a batch of vanilla bean coconut ice in my new ice cream maker to go on top.......................

    Blueberry Crumble - Low Carb and Grain Free

    by MamaChanty
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Keywords: bake dessert candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb paleo sugar-free wheat belly vegan almond flour canned coconut milk coconut flour blueberries
    Ingredients (9 slices)
      • 1/3 cup organic coconut flour
      • 1/3 cup ground golden flax (I grind mine in the coffee grinder and keep in fridge)
      • 1/2 tsp baking soda
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened milk (I used almond milk)
      • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk
      • 2 Tbsp Chia gel (1/2 Tbsp ground Chia with 1 1/2 Tbsp water)
      • 10 drops liquid Stevia
      Blueberry Fillings
      • 1 cup fresh blueberries
      • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
      Coconut Crumble Topping
      • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
      • 1 1/2 Tbsp organic coconut flour
      • 2 Tbsp Xylitol
      • 2 Tbsp Butter, cold
      • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
      Greese an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter.
      Combine all dry ingredients.
      Mix together milks, vanilla, chia gel and Stevia.
      Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
      Gently combine until fully mixed.
      Let stand for 10 minutes before pouring into baking dish.
      Smooth out top with back of a spoon so it is even.
      Bake base for 10 minutes.
      Blueberry Filling
      Combine blueberries and lemon juice.
      Spread evenly over cake base.
      Coconut crumble topping
      Combine almond flour, coconut flour, coconut and Xylitol.
      Cube butter into small pieces and add to dry ingredients.
      I use my hands to blend the butter into the flour until it is fully combined and crumbling.
      Spread over top of blueberry filling.
      Bake in oven for an additional 20 minutes.
      Remove from oven and let cool before slicing and serving.
      Powered by Recipage

      Sunday, June 23, 2013

      Sunday Week in Review - Some Tears and Some Cheers

      If you have been following my blog, this week has been all about my daughter's leaky gut and food sensitivity testing.

      We got her results. I cried. I panicked. I regrouped. I settled down. I figured some stuff out. I feel better about it. I said I wasn't going to talk about it anymore but this has had a significant emotional impact on me so I'm talking about it as my week in review. My week has been emotionally dealing with this situation. And what affects me emotionally affects my health - especially my adrenal fatigue and Candida.

      So why all the tears and panic about my daughter's leaky gut and food sensitivities:

      1) Regret. I knew about this two years ago yet I didn't REALLY deal with it. I fixed it enough to make her visibly look healthy and then I got lazy. Now she has vitamin deficiencies. I felt really bad;

      2) The panic of not knowing what I am going to feed a kid that can't eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, cane sugar, etc, etc, etc. Even for a clean eater this is/was an overwhelming task;

      3) The panic on not knowing how I am going to have TIME to feed her this way when I'm going back to work in two months;

      4) Anxiety and sadness over having to TELL her (over and over and over) all the things she can't eat. It feels so mean to say "you can't eat ice cream anymore", "you can't have a perogy", "you don't eat Tim Hortons muffins anymore", "I can't make you a yogurt parfait". It is brutal and the list goes on and on. We are a food loving family. It breaks my heart to take away all the things she loves. And to know she probably inherited my leaky gut, which is something she will battle with for a lifetime.

      5) The panic of not knowing how I'm going to control what she eats when she is not in my direct care.

      So how did I get to feel better about all this in such a short time. 

      You can't live in the past. I had a good cry, felt shame and regret about not having dealt with this better/sooner and just let it go. I can't turn back the clock and there is no point carrying around guilt. I just need to look forward and keep my energy for the journey ahead. I'm going to need it.

      When you set your mind to it, search the internet, shop (lots) all the natural food isles, and cruise around Pinterest - you CAN find alternatives even for someone that has a very restrictive diet. I have already found some great alternative foods she can eat, that aren't very labor intensive and that don't have any of her food triggers. A couple of new things in our pantry/go to list:
      • Red Mills Gluten free bread. Has a bit of yeast and sugar but a great bread alternative she will eat;
      • Corn cakes and brown rice cakes. I spread sun-butter and low-sugar jam on these as an alternative to a sandwich.  She can even take it for lunch;
      • Almond yogurt. She loves it. I thought it tasted gross but its not about me;
      • Quinoa crunchies. Got them at Bulk Barn;
      • Home made Granola
      • Nature's Path Gluten free cereal's and granola bars; and
      • Home made coconut milk ice-cream.
      Its early days and we have been stumped a few times but we are keeping her fed. A milk replacement has caused a couple of stand-offs. She doesn't like almond or coconut milk. But she agreed to have brown rice milk this morning so we are making progress. And thankfully berries and fruit are in season so our fridge is overflowing with produce. So I have hope that we can figure this out - one rice cake at a time. 

      To say I have been in crisis mode over figuring out what do about going back to work would be a significant understatement. I have been freaking out. I'm all over the pace. I won't get into details (in case my boss is reading - lol) but we have decided that me dropping off and picking up our three children at three different day-cares is just a recipe for severe adrenal fatigue.  So that option has been taken off the table. I'm not doing it. It would not have been a smart decision and I don't know why I was considering it for so long. 

      We are pursing finding a nanny to come to our house on a part time basis. That's the only way I think we can do this and keep our sanity, our health and keep eating clean. And I don't know the first thing about finding a nanny so another adventure taking place in this house. Plus there are other ramifications of this decision to consider like what if a nanny quits part way through the year and we have given up all  of our already in place child care alternatives. And what if we decide after a year to go back to daycare. Will we get another before and after spot at the school? Will our old daycare be able to take us back? Lots of unknowns. And I'm Type A. I don't do well with unknowns. I'll keep you posted on how this all turns out..................

      Kids are very resilient and they don't have the anxieties that we do. She is totally accepting of this situation. Maybe because she doesn't understand the big picture impact. And maybe because I have worked my butt off to still give her tasty meals and snacks. And her best friend just found out she can't have dairy this week either (happy/unhappy coincidence). If I just set raw veggies and chicken in front of her six times a day I'm sure I'd be getting a fight. But we have been eating lots of great food. Just different food. So she is taking it with a grain of salt. I'm very proud of her. 

      Figuring out how to deal with her diet restrictions when she's not in my care is going to be a work in progress. First thing was having a heart-to-heart (cry) with my mom and discussions with the in-laws that this is not a part-time diet. And I need support at the very least from those in my house. So if you are going to stay at my house and be part of our everyday I AM NOT FIGHTING my own family on the food choices for my children. So no sneaking her cheats. No eye rolls behind my back. No making me explain over and over and over again why she can't have a muffin even if it "only has a little bit of egg in it". My foot is down. Support this or don't come here. Or come here and deal with a very grumpy Mama bear.

      People are okay with it if you explain yourself. Its all about communication. Once I let my Mom see how badly of a toll this was taking on me emotionally she got on board. Sometimes trying to act tough and look like everything is perfect doesn't help because then no one knows what you are going through. Showing your weaknesses is not always a bad thing. It can actually be quite helpful.

      As for leaving the house. Well, this is something I still have to figure out. She's going for a play date this morning and I'm sending her a packed lunch and snacks. School and birthday parties are another story but I have two months to figure that out. And my brother's wedding in two weeks (with a full Ukrainian buffet, desserts and candy bar) with be another story. But we'll just take it one day at a time.

      Now given the fact I was a bit "edgy" this week and stressed out, it was pretty amazing that I stuck to my diet and my Candida symptoms didn't come back. I didn't get my late afternoon anger flaring up. I was a bit moody but in a normal "I have lots on my mind" kind of way. I had a couple of bad sleeps but I still didn't feel tired during the day. So the Candida diet and anti-fungals seem to be working. And I got my own blood work back and things have improved SIGNIFICANTLY. I am still on the path to health. I am starting to be able to handle a bit of stress. Progress.

      On a completely unrelated matter............I learned how to do a pistol squat this week. A one-legged squat. This is totally a bragging moment. Sorry. But I'm excited about it. I can do three on each leg before they give out. And I have to grunt like I'm in labor. But I can do it. 

      Set a goal. Persist. Achieve. 

      And fuel yourself with clean food to make it are some ideas from our week to help you out.

      A chocolate Candida muffin with home made coconut ice cream and cacao nibs/coconut. Who says eating clean has to be a hardship. 

      A "taco" salad for lunch. I fried left over chicken with Mexican spices, onions and peppers. And topped with a fresh salsa made with tomato, onions, cilantro and lime juice. Fresh, clean, delicious.

      Steak, cauliflower grilled on the BBQ and salad.  No carbs. Candida friendly. Delcious.

      Stir fried brocolli slaw and cauliflower with shrimp. You can make a Candida friendly stir fry using gluten free stock, coconut amino's and ginger. 

      Home made chocolate coconut ice cream with a couple of dark chocolate chips and marshmallows for my daughters.They make gluten free cones.  Handy! 

      Grilled curried cauliflower. This was good. Man we eat a lot of cauliflower.

      Breakfast of eggs, tomato's and grass fed sausage. Not sure if they contained sugar. Not having them again - felt like I had a Candida flare that day and felt tired. 

      One of my daughter's lunches with gluten free bread. 

      Lunch I made for Baba. Coconut milk cauliflower soup - yummy - recipe to come this week. She didn't get much bread when she was here but I think she ate pretty good tasting food. Just different than what she is used to.

      My home-made gluten-free granola. The kids love this stuff. 
      Vega one protein pancakes. With a hard boiled egg.

      Salad with chicken and Candida friendly salad dressing - EVOO, Coconut Vinegar, Stevia and spices.

      Steak (again) with tossed salad and zucchini salad.

      Leftover beef on a salad. Lots of beef this week. No wonder my iron levels are getting better so fast. Naturopath was quite impressed with how fast they are coming up. But not impressed enough to let me cut back on my iron supplements. My goal is to cut them back to one a day by end of summer.

      Last nights supper. Steamed asparagus. Grilled garlic shrimp. Grilled chicken. Yummy. But I was still hungry all night. I had a hungry day yesterday so was eating almond butter out of the jar all night.

      Have a happy Sunday. Eat Clean. Try a pistol squat. Grunt. Repeat.

      Friday, June 21, 2013

      Leaky Gut and Food Sensitivities - The lucky Ones

      This is my third and final post on my daughter's food sensitivities and leaky gut. Well for a while anyway. Go here and here to catch up on my first two posts on the matter. I will be back in full recipe mode next week if that's all your after.

      I am sharing her story in case it can help someone else out there that has a child that they suspect might have a weak digestive system (colicky baby, skin problems, sleep issues, behavioral problems, etc, etc) that is possibly triggered or made worse by certain foods.  And to explain why I'm going to be sharing recipes for foods/meals that are dairy, egg, gluten, soy, cane sugar and peanut free. Some of which I can't even eat but I'm making for my daughter.

      Even more so to stop someone from incorrectly and unfairly labeling their child as a poor learner, poor sleeper, BAD, sensitive, mean tempered, etc, etc, etc. Attributing their behavior or characteristics to a personality trait. It could be that their system is being poisoned by the food they are eating. And it can cause havoc in unexpected ways. My daughter never had digestive "problems". She wasn't gassy as a baby, she always had regular bowel movements and never complained of stomach aches. So I didn't originally think any of our "issues" would be linked to her digestion. And I did incorrectly and unfairly give her all sorts of "labels". I can't turn back the clock on that but I would if I could.

      Quick recap - my first daughter was colicky, got lots of ear infections and numerous flu's and fevers, has a chemical sensitivity to chlorine, has low tolerance for extreme temperatures, had poor sleep habits as an infant/toddler and has recently had a bout of night terrors. And we have dealt with some pretty severe behavioral issues at times and she gets really super duper hyper sometimes after a meal.

      We had IGG food sensitivity panels run which confirmed she has severe leaky gut and as the naturopath  said "a dramatic number of food sensitivities even given her skewed population of people getting tested". This girl has a poor stomach lining.

      To see her she looks healthy. She is really TALL for her age. She is gaining weight. She is bright and reading well. And she is happy and funny most of the time.

      But looks can be deceiving. I know first hand that you can get used to your own normal and learn to live with it and make a really good show for everyone else that things are great. You can even think things are pretty great because you don't know any different. But things can be better - lots better.

      So I know some people could be thinking 1) this chick has been duped/brainwashed by a Naturopath and they are taking her for pile of money and 2) maybe your kid is just bad.

      I just don't agree (except for the pile of money part).  And I got proof on Wednesday that my instinct was right and that there is something to all of this.

      I got my daughter's blood work back. I cried. Really cried. Because this is real. No more cheating. No more following the diet when it is convenient. No more partly believing the IGG tests are hocus pocus so I can let her have a cupcake at a birthday party. This is our life. Its going to be hard. I have to be "the heavy". I have to take away tons of food that my daughter loves.

      And my poor sweet girl will probably have to deal with a weak digestive system her whole life. It sucks. She is just LIKE ME. In ways I don't want her to be. And lots of other ways that I do. We are kinda the same person.

      So what did the blood work show.

      She has severely low iron. Almost as low as mine when I could barely stay standing straight because I was so dizzy. She has low B12. And she has a Vitamin D insufficiency.

      Why would a kid that is growing and appears healthy to 99% of the world (including her pediatrician) have such a significant vitamin deficiency.

      Because of her LEAKY GUT AND FOOD SENSITIVITIES. It causes mal-absorption. Just like her MOM. Damn.

      We are committing to changing her diet. We are giving her iron and Vitamin D supplements. She is drinking a high dose vitamin shake daily. And she is on a very high quality probiotic. And we are trying to rotate even her non-trigger foods as much as we can. If we overdo it on a non-trigger food her leaky gut will eventually result in it becoming a trigger.

      We are going to fix her as best as we can. Its going to be hard. I keep saying that but I need to be realistic about the journey we are starting. This is not going to be a walk in the park.

      I will get flack every time I turn around. Many people will think I'm just a health nut pushing my beliefs on my kid.  They will be focused on what I am taking away - an ice cream cone at the beach, a slurpee on a hot day, one of baba's home-made perogies. Not on what I am giving her. The chance to be the best, most healthy, energetic version of herself. One that has a mom that loves to cook and experiment so she will still get lots of tasty whole real foods. Just not the same ones everyone else is eating.

      I fluctuate from:
      1) Being grateful for having the resources, access and education to be able to have tests run. To afford high quality supplements and real food. To be able to make the changes that need to be made; and
      2) Holding a "poor me, poor her, how are we going to do this" pity party. Sorry. I'm not perfect. I cry. I get edgy. I feel sorry for myself. And then I get busy. I get researching. I get cooking. And I get over it.

      If you don't have the resources or access to the tests you can try and figure out the food sensitivities using an elimination diet. This would be hard and I'm not sure it would have worked for us given the volume of food sensitivities we are dealing with. But my daughter and I are rare and unique creatures - most people are dealing with less triggers which makes it easier to nail down. And some people see a direct cause and effect relationship with their food triggers. Drink a glass of milk - get congested. Have eggs - get bloated. You might be able to figure things out without the tests if you just listen to your body.

      Just know that you do have options out there to help you figure things out. And know that although its not easy to change diets, for adults or kids, it can be done. I have done it for myself and I am thriving. And you can do it for yourself and your kids.

      So that is my daughter's story. Not the end of the story by any means. We are just starting a new journey. A journey to heal her gut. A journey of eating good clean, healthful, whole foods.

      Have a great weekend! I've gotta get shopping because I have to find something to replace yogurt.........because that girl can not live without a breakfast parfait.

      Wednesday, June 19, 2013

      Gluten Free Granola that my picky eaters loved

      I'm not continuing on from my last post about my daughter's food sensitivities and leaky gut. Today.

      Got Baba in visiting and she says "she doesn't come here to watch me type on the computer". Don't want to tick off Baba now do I.

      So that story will have to continue another day.  Probably Friday.

      But I did insist on doing a bit of "typing on that computer thingy" because I have to get this recipe documented before I lose my notes. That happens a lot around here. My daughters use my paper for crafts or coloring or my little guy just eats or slobbers on it.

      The GIRLS LOVED THIS GRANOLA. Yay. Happy dance. In an attempt to deal with said daughter's food sensitivities to wheat, dairy, eggs, yeast, cane sugar, etc, etc, etc I have been baking up a storm trying to figure out what to feed her. And I have had lots of "I don't like this - its gross" comments coming back at me.

      Its frustrating and expensive. Luckily hubby has guts of steel and can eat anything so he usually has no problems polishing "gross" stuff off.

      But today I finally made something that all three kids loved.  Clean Granola.

      I had been buying Ancient Grains granola from Costco but she can't have any of the wheat family grains anymore including amaranth or spelt. And it had added sugar. So I really needed to come up with a granola recipe she could eat.

      This was so EASY. I can't believe I didn't make this sooner. What kind of clean eating blogger am I anyway?

      Plus it is cheap to make. Much cheaper than buying it.

      I'm excited. I'd be more excited if I could have some but that's not in the cards for this Candida diet slave.

      So give it a try. This is by no means a low carb, Paleo or Candida recipe. But if you have kids that love granola and/or you can tolerate a bit of non-glutenous grains then give it a try. It was delicious (okay a few small pieces may have fell off the counter and landed in my mouth).

      Gluten Free Vegan Granola with oats, sunflower, flax and almonds

      by MamaChanty
      Prep Time: 5 minutes
      Cook Time: 20 minutes
      Keywords: bake breakfast snack gluten-free sugar-free vegan oats
      Ingredients (3 cups)
      • 2 cups gluten free quick oats
      • 1/4 cup blanched sliced almonds
      • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (unsalted)
      • 1/4 cup golden flax (not ground)
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/4 cup coconut oil
      • 1/4 cup organic palm coconut sugar
      • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
      Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
      Combine all dry ingredients.
      Melt oil in microwave (on high for about 30 seconds).
      Add sugar, syrup and vanilla to oil and mix thoroughly.
      Add sugar mixture to dry ingredients slowly, mixing as you go.
      Spread granola on baking sheet.
      Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently stir.
      Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
      Let cool before serving.
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      Monday, June 17, 2013

      My Daughter's Story - IGG food sensitivity testing - Part 2

      If you missed Part 1 to this go - here.

      If you are just looking for recipes come back Wednesday.

      I'm basically carrying on the discussion about my daughter's leaky gut and food sensitivities. I am sharing this detailed information because I STRONGLY believe that behavior, learning, sleep and immune system problems in children (and parents) are intricately intertwined with their diets and digestive linings. Maybe not for everyone, but for those lucky ones pre-disposed to a weak digestive system.

      And I wish someone would have told my Mom some of this many years ago - and saved me many years of flu's, stomach aches, bloating, insomnia, anxiety, etc, etc, etc.

      If you are having problems with your child and don't know where to turn you may need to think about looking at their diet. And you might need a Naturopath and some IGG tests to help you sort things out. There isn't always a direct cause and effect relationship between what you eat and how you feel immediately afterwards. It can have a delayed effect or just impact your general well being over time. Or that is my personal experience and the experience I have had with my daughter. In both our cases just watching our diet/symptoms did not/could not pinpoint what the actual food trigger is.

      I left off on Friday discussing how my now 5 year old (almost 6) showed significant improvement in her health and behavior when we tweaked her diet based on the results of her first IGG Food Senstivity Panels. We hadn't taken it too far/seriously at that point but we did switch her from drinking cow's milk to soy milk and eliminated egg-based meals from her diet.

      We didn't fully eliminate all of her triggers (foods with egg or cow's milk in them as a secondary ingredient or the many other items on the list) and we didn't really follow up her progress. We didn't really feel we needed to.

      Her behavior changed significant. She seemed happy.

      Her immune system appeared to be working properly. She wasn't getting sick anymore.

      Well, for a full year anyway.

      But then something strange happened last summer. When she was just about to turn 5.

      First - she had a "reaction" to chlorine in a friends pool from swimming with no goggles with her eyes opened. Extreme pain and redness in her eyes and a full on sinus assault. But it cleared up by the next morning. We didn't think too much of it. Same thing happened to me once when I was a child (that should have been my first red flag).

      Next - she started daily swimming lessons at the YMCA for 4 weeks.

      And we started seeing flashbacks to the 3-year-old unhappy, moody, difficult child we had before. Gone was the happy-go-lucky girl we had grown accustomed to. She was nasty and had numerous wicked temper tantrums. It was stressful and frustrating to be back there.

      It took me some time to piece it together. My first thought was something in her diet had changed? But I wracked my brain and could not think of anything. And then I realized - ITS THE CHLORINE.  In addition to her food sensitivities she had developed a sensitivity to chemicals.

      Okay - quick fix. Get her goggles, rinse her off, wash her hair quickly after exposure and limit her pool time.

      And we were back to normal.  We had an awesome fall. She started Kindergarten. She loved school. She still didn't get sick.

      But since Christmas break I started to sense that something was "off". She wasn't and isn't like she was at her worst from a behavior standpoint. She's generally a very good kid that loves school.

      But my mama instinct was still saying that something was off. She seems sad once in a while. She started having night terrors for a month or so. She started getting up earlier in the morning. And after eating she sometimes gets SUPER HYPER. Like she can't hear a word I'm saying and seems almost out of control. And she has severe sugar cravings.

      It is more subtle than her behavior when she was 3 and the summer she was turning 5. But still, something wasn't/isn't right.

      As a parent I constantly question whether any given behavior is:
      a) bad - do I just have bad kids? Really?;
      b) a result of poor parenting choice - inconsistency, yelling, etc -are they feeding off me (and possibly my Candida temperament which isn't always pleasant);
      c) normal - maybe I just have unreasonable expectations; or
      d) a result of a trigger - food, heat, chemicals, etc, etc, etc.

      And my niggling feeling that d) might still be an issue for our sweet girl finally prompted me to get her IGG sensitivity panels re-run. Which we just got back last week.

      And my instinct was apparently right on. This girl has SEVERE leaky gut and her food sensitivities have not improved - THEY ARE WORSE. Insert swear. I was secretly hoping her leaky gut had improved from the many positive changes we had made in her diet as a indirect result of my own clean eating. And that this round of tests would show what her actual food triggers are. But that is not the case.

      Maybe (likely) part of the problem is that eggs is one of her worst reactions and we actually re-introduced eggs (dumb, dumb, dumb - I know) around Christmas time. And now that I think about it, once we started on the egg-train, the frequency of having eggs kept increasing. She loves them.

      So here we are. June 2013. I'm on the Candida diet AND I have 100% cut out the food sensitivities from my own IGG panel. No fruit (including banana's), no mushrooms, no dairy, no vinegar, no yeast, no pork, no sugar. A crazy restrictive diet.

      A diet that is working wonders for me. Its hard but I am feeling incredible. My adrenal fatigue that has been plaguing me since October is suddenly gone -  I feel rested and quite energetic. I have no anxiety. I cut back my adrenal support dosage by half (because I am on way too many supplements) and I still feel fine. And my Candida moodiness is gone. I'm still starving half the time but my cravings are not nearly as bad.

      So how do I not do something with the information I got in my daughters IGG tests? How do I not take it seriously? How do I not move heaven and earth scouring the city for ingredients and the internet and Pinterest for egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, sugar-free recipes that she can enjoy. I am my own proof that this "hocus-pocus" Naturopath stuff actually works. And I want her to feel incredible. I want her to feel energetic and rested. I want to build her system up so that she can handle the heat or chlorine or a flu bug.

      And so this time, I am taking these tests very seriously. And we are going to ELIMINATE eggs. Not just scrambled eggs. But products containing eggs. And we are going to try and ELIMINATE dairy. And we are going gluten-free. Not just for me but for the whole family.

      I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off........................................I need to sleep on it. So look for Part 3 to this story soon. I still have a couple more things to say on the matter but I've got to get to bed. Because the key to keeping adrenal fatigue at bay is to bed by 10. And its past that........Goodnight!

      Go here if you want to read the next instalment.

      Sunday, June 16, 2013

      Sunday Week In Review - Father's Are Special - And so are Ice Cream Makers!

      In honor of this very special day I am going to keep this quick. Because today's is not about me. Its about my awesome husband. And my awesome husband wants us to spend quality family time..........which doesn't involve me typing or pinning. 

      Here a just a couple of reasons why my husband is awesome:
      • He doesn't mind that I spend LOTS of my free time blogging - even if the house starts getting disorganized;
      • He doesn't get stomach aches, have Candida or Adrenal fatigue, food sensitivities, etc - yet he willingly came along on my clean eating journey without a hesitation;  
      • He is totally open-minded to trying out my new recipes and never asks for any of his old pre-clean favorites or complains about the menu;
      • He never tells me something is gross. And let me tell you, there have been some barely edible meals when I'm "experimenting";
      • He skips dessert, ice cream, chocolate, whatever - if we are out and he sees I am struggling with my sugar-free status - as a show of support. Sweet. No pun intended. Ha, ha, ha. Those jokes never get old;
      • Even though he hates my "no pun intended jokes" he still laughs. And he thinks I'm funny 
      • He built me a beautiful new cedar fence for our front yard........he is so handy.......and handsome;
      • When my daughter just got her IGG tests back he took them to work and shrunk and photocopied them onto one page so I could keep it in my purse. He is accepting/supporting/buying in to this Naturopath thing. Yeah. That is progress.  
      • He's an awesome dad. 
      So yeah - he's a keeper. I really love my husband. Aren't I lucky!

      Anyway, my posts this week have kind of been updates so don't need to do a full Sunday week in review. 

      Let's just say that I think I might currently be winning the battle against my Candida. I am sticking to the diet faithfully and turned a corner this week. I'm having some spacey moments which I think are due to the anti-fungals but I feel pretty darn good. And my Candida flare up symptoms - especially the late afternoon anger and hunger - have gotten significantly better.

      So I am feeling energetic and positive and hopeful. 

      Oh yeah, and one more thing......................

      I GOT AN ICE CREAM MAKER. This could be one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me. It deserves a full post because it is that exciting. So watch for an I LOVE MY NEW ICE CREAM MAKER POST in the near future. 

      Let's just say I'm in soft serve heaven. 

      Have a great week and try to eat clean when you can!

      My eggplant french toast with almond maple glaze. This seems weird - I know that. But it is good.

      And avocado chipolte salad dressing.  I had many salads this week.  And very few ingredients allowed to make salad dressings - so I'm experimenting to try and find some good combinations. This was one good.

      I probably made 5 or 6 batches of muffins this week. Trying to find something my now dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free daughter might like. She's a tough audience. Much tougher than my awesome husband. These blueberry ones were delish.

      Egg plant lasagna. This recipe was quite involved. I pre-baked the egglant in egg wash and almond flour coating. Then I made a cauliflower "white sauce" and  a meat sauce layer. It took quite some time but it was really good. 

      My egg plant lasagna. Wow - that was GOOD. My baby loved this recipe. 

      As usual - my weekly batch of chicken chipolte soup. This time I added some zucchini and coconut to change it up. Crazy aren't I?

      Some eggs fried up in spinach with sun-dried tomato.

      Lunch. Salad. Need I say more. 

      These were DISGUSTING. I tried making a gluten-free "corndog" muffin. I could not even stand the smell of these things. Of course 2 of 3 of my kids loved them. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Even though they liked them I can't let them eat it. 

      Roasted cabbage (done on the grill) and some rotisserie chicken on the bbq. I'm still relying on these chickens to get through the week. 

      One piece of turkey bacon (limited because it wasn't nitrate free), 2 hard boiled eggs and a wheat belly biscuit. Those biscuits are awesome. Note to self: the kids like them - make again!

      I bought a gluten-free pizza crust from a gourmet pizza shop in Winnipeg. I was making this for the girls. I did not turn out well. Strike one. I will have to try again.

      However, I made another batch of my Insanely good Spaghetti squash pizza crust this time with chicken, turkey bacon, spinach and tomato. It was insanely good. Again.

      I made two batches of these sweet potato pecan protein bars this week. The first batch was out of this world good - hubby thought it was a brownie. Second batch wasn't as good. But still good for a protein bar. I'm trying to make one that doesn't have to stay refrigerated because that's not going to work all summer when I need to take a snack on the go.

      Another batch of muffins for the girls. Hubby loved them. Girls didn't. Strike 2 or 3? Hard to please those two.

      I retried my Candida diet friendly chocolate muffins - this time with Stevia instead of Xylitol. The Xylitol didn't agree with me but these did. 

      In an attempt to limit my daughter's gluten consumption I started making these roll ups when we go for picnics. They love them. I'm also trying to limit dairy so I kept the pieces of cheese quite small. And I bought nitrate free turkey breast. 

      Picnic salad. We had several picnics meals this week. Its like I don't trust this nice weather will stay so I keep taking us on picnics everyday. The kids LOVE it. And they don't mess up the house if we are at the park until bed time. Win, Win, Win! But its a lot of work packing food all the time - a lot more than pulling through a drive thru.

      OMG - I bought some hazelnut cream flavoured Stevia for my "coffee". Roasted chicory root with Stevia and some almond milk - no need to miss my latte.

      Costco is now carrying the Silver Hills brand of breads. They have sprouted and gluten free options.  Thanks for the tip off Sara. The sprouted option is not gluten free but should be easier to digest if you just have a sluggish/sensitive system. The gluten-free is obviously good if you have a gluten intolerance of any kind.  I don't eat grains so I didn't taste them but both my daughters love this bread as toast. It weighs a ton and the pieces are super small. We call it "baby bread" and for some reason my 4 year old who refuses to eat crust believes the crust on baby bread has to stay on and be eaten. I don't know where they come up with some of this stuff but when it works in my favor I am all for it.
      Candida diet friendly grass fed beef meatballs, with a small scoop of brown long grain rice and some green beans. The kids loved these meatballs. I made them egg, dairy and gluten free. I mixed 1 1/2 lbs of organic ground beef with 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup minced onion, 2 tbsp light buckwheat flour, 1 tbsp arrowroot, 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk and 1 tbsp ground chia. Plus some spices. I baked them in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350. Then I topped with sauce and baked again until bubbling. 

      Two birthday parties last weekend sent home awesome and thoughtful "goodie" bags with the kids. What a great idea - if you WANT TO TORTURE SOMEONE ON THE CANDIDA DIET. That looks too good.

      The new love of my life. Yes. My ice cream maker. Heart. 

      My first batch of dairy free, gluten free, egg free, Candida friendly ice cream. I think this is a monumental occasions in my life. Ice cream that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast. And delicious. I could cry I'm so happy.

      Even my picky little eater couldn't disagree - ice cream makers rock. Even if the ice cream is healthy.

      I apologize in advance for all the ice cream recipes that are going to be coming.

      And I will be thinking of my Dad today - you would have been appalled by my new diet but you would have loved my new ice cream maker. I miss him everyday. But my sweet tooth is a constant reminder of a sweet and quirky Dad that loved sweets as much as I do.