Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gluten Free Vegan Perogy Dough - Success on my second try..........Grandma would be so proud or horrified?

I made perogies this weekend.

No. Not for myself.

Well, the first batch I did try and make grain free so I could eat them. They didn't work out so well.

So I tried another batch. This time gluten and dairy free. For my daughter.

Growing up, perogies were a staple in my house. Standard fare. Refined white flour dough filled with white potatoes, cheese whiz and loaded with salt and butter. And dripping with more butter on top. And then a generous helping of sour cream.

Oh the memories.

Oh the stomach aches.

Well, that chapter of my (our) life is closed. But I am not ready to completely close the door on perogies. Mainly because my kids LOVE them. And they are a really great food that you can make in large quantities, freeze and pull them out for a quick dinner or side dish. And they aren't actually hard to make. If you have a rolling pin and some time.

So with my rolling pin and some time, I set out to make a second batch of gluten-free, vegan perogy dough. No wheat, no eggs and no butter or dairy.

And guess what. It worked. And the kids loved them.

When the first batch survived being boiled without splitting apart I exclaimed "My grandma would be so proud". Proud of the fact that I spent my Saturday afternoon pinching perogies just like she taught me.

But hubby had to add in "or horified". Because I will be the first to admit these do not taste exactly like the original. But they are CLEAN. Healthy. I can feel good feeding them to my family. And they like them. So as I like to say "revise your expectations and then prepare to be impressed".

I stuffed mine with a mixture of pureed sweet potato, mashed cauliflower and spices. Let your imagination be your guide. Next Saturday I'm going to make a meat stuffing and then top them with marinara sauce for some "gluten-free ravioli".

So just remember...........there is life after wheat. Life without belly aches.

Vegan, Gluten Free Perogy Dough

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: About 10 minutes per dozen
Keywords: boil entree gluten-free vegan gluten-free flour
Ingredients (2 dozen)
  • 1 3/4 cup Gluten free all purpose flour (I used Cloud 9 brand sold at Costco Canada)
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground golden flax with 1/4 cup warm water)
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
First make your flax eggs. Add 1/4 cup warm water to the ground flax. I buy whole golden flax, grind it in my coffee grinder and keep in fresh and ready to go in the fridge. Combine well and let stand about 5 to 10 minutes before using.
Combine the flour in salt in a mixing bowl. Add water, flax egg and oil. I used my hands to mix together (really well) until it formed a ball. I kneaded it until it was fully combined. Don't over do it. Once all the flour is absorbed/mixed in stop.
I cut the ball in half and wrapped half with saran wrap and put aside.
I place the other half on a large piece of parchment paper. I rolled it out using a large rolling pin until it was about 1/8 inch thickness (or a bit more). Then I cut out circles using a glass (about 3 inch in diameter) turned upside down.
Next put about 1/2 tbsp of filling in each circle, fold in half and pinch the ends together.
Fill a large pot with water and a dash of salt. Bring to a low boil. Add 1 dozen perogies at a time. Make sure its not boiling too hard or they could break open. Once the perogies float to the top let them boil for an additional 2 minutes and then remove from water and place in a roaster with olive oil. Shake the roaster to coat with oil to prevent perogies from sticking together. Serve as is or freeze individually (with parchment paper in between) and reheat by frying or boiling again.
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Reflections - Called Out on my Friday Statement

So on Friday I made a big deal about how I wasn't doing a Friday recipe post.

But then I did a big post on why I wasn't doing a post.

My hubby called me on it.

So today, I really truly am taking a day off.

No Sunday Reflections. And no big explanation of why.

Have a great day! I'll taking my daughter out for brunch and then to a concert. Life is good!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Breaking Expectations to Have Fun on Fridays

Hey Folks,
I'm taking a day off from posting a recipe.

Why you ask?

Because I can.

And because I promised myself I would only keep up with the blogging if I was having fun doing it. And that I wouldn't feel obligated to do it just because I felt someone else would expect it of me. Because I was the one that created that expectation in the first place by posting recipes every Tuesday and Friday for months. No-one asked me to. No-one is paying me to. I don't even know how many people try my recipes. Okay - except Sheri - she tries almost all of them. And I'm pretty sure Severa tries quite a few.

So its really my own expectation. And if someone is disappointed it will be that they didn't get a recipe. I don't think they will be disappointed in me. I need to learn to separate the task or action and the person (me). It will give me the strength to say no to tasks or actions that aren't beneficial for my health, my family, my mind.

Its okay to not meet expectations once in a while. Its not that I'm purposely setting out not to meet other peoples expectations, but I am learning to applaud myself when I stop myself from plowing ahead. Plowing ahead into doing something that I really don't want to do, that isn't fun and that is actually only an expectation of others because I set the expectation in the first place.

Remember, I'm on a mission to balance my body and my mind. And for me, balancing my mind means giving myself a break. Not being my own worst enemy by doing things for all the wrong reasons. I am getting to know myself.

Its liberating to let go of the perfectionist side of myself. To admit that things are hard sometimes. That I can't do it all. That I need help. That I'm not perfect. That I struggle with things.

So there you go. I didn't do a recipe on a Friday even though its what I'm "supposed" to do.

And today I'm going to have fun. Fun with my daughter and husband because we have a free day. No school. No work. Okay - I'll admit. I'm trying to make a batch of paleorogies (paleo perogies).  But for me. Because I think that is fun!

Have a fun Friday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Raspberry Coconut Vanilla Vega One Protein Waffle - Paleo and Candida diet friendly

I haven't been as excited about blogging recipes lately. Sorry. I have to admit it.

It could be: 1) I have been really stressed about something else that is zapping my energy and time; 2) I'm back at work or 3) six keys are now missing off my laptop - the latest to be pucked off by my baby was the C key.  Makes it tricky to keep blogging..............I have to repeatedly stab the ccccc key to get it going. Annoying. Time to shop for a new laptop. But who has time.

But I still have lots of recipes to share. To record. And to make again.

So instead of taking the night off I'm sharing another one. Waffles. Grain-free. Dairy-free. Sugar-free. Portable. Convenient. Nutritious. A staple in our house and in my lunch kit.

And now I'm going to clean up. My baby trashed the house. I left him with my neighbor for 45 minutes this evening while I went to a PAC meeting and when I got home the neighbor was sweating profusely and quickly disappeared back to his orderly and quiet house. Sorry buddy - I should have warned you that baby is a bit "high maintenance" these days.............okay - maybe that's why I don't feel like blogging. That kid is mentally and physically demanding. Kute too. I might starting using the K key where I kan!!! ha, ha..........

Raspberry Coconut Vanilla Vega One Protein Waffle - Paleo and Candida diet friendly

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes per waffle
Keywords: bread breakfast low-carb paleo vega one raspberry protein powder coconut flour
Ingredients (3 - 4 waffles)
    Wet ingredients
    • 2 large free run eggs, beaten
    • 1/4 cup mashed fresh raspberries
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened milk (I used almond)
    • 1 tsp vanilla or maple extract
    • 6 drops liquid Stevia (or I also did it with 1 Tbsp of Truvia and it also worked fine)
    • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil or melted coconut oil
    Dry ingredients
    • 2 tbsp ground golden flax (I grind mine in a coffee grinder)
    • 3 tbsp organic coconut flour
    • 1 tbsp medium unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1 tbsp ground chia
    • 1 tbsp arrowroot
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • pinch fine sea salt
    • 2 tbsp berry protein powder - optional (I used Vega One Sport Berry)
    Preheat waffle maker
    Mix together wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate mixing bowls.
    Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
    Mix until just combined.
    Let stand for 5 minutes.
    When waffle maker is ready. Coat waffle maker with small amount of coconut oil. I used a paper towel to do this.
    Put half the batter on each side of the waffle iron. Close and let cook until indicator light shows that it is ready. My waffles took about 2 minutes and 10 to 20 seconds to be ready.
    And why not make a double or triple batch. Cool completely. Freeze individually. Take them out and warm them directly in the toaster for a quick breakfast, lunch or snack on another day.
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    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Sunday Reflections - Riding the Emotional RollerCoaster and feeling the impact

    I feel things.


    When I get sad - I'm really sad.
    When I'm mad - I'm furious.
    When I'm happy - I'm over the moon.

    Intense. Yep. Do I cry in pretty much any of these states. Yep. I HATE that about me, especially the mad one. I want to yell when I'm mad but for some reason I cry. On top of being mad at someone it is so frustrating for them to perceive me as weak. Arggghhh! Maybe I need hypnosis or something.

    Anyway, this was one of those emotional weeks.  Highs, lows and very little in-between.

    I was all over the place.

    What was fascinating to me was being able to feel the reaction/impact it was having on my body.

    Before this point in my life, any time I was going through a stressful and/or joyful time, I had my underlying digestive problems running parallel so I could never really tell where one problem started and another problem ended. And frankly I wasn't very self-aware.

    But this time I could clearly feel my reaction to stress. The underlying digestive part was not a factor. I'm still on the strict phase of the Candida diet and its working. My digestion and related Candida issues are totally at bay.

    So this time when I got stressed I could clearly feel what it was doing to my body and it was interesting.

    I got a really bad, cramp-y stomach ache. But it would just come and go for about 1/2 hour spurts here and there.  It didn't throw my whole digestive system out of whack. It didn't stay with me 24/7 like I was used to. And when the stress went away (things have been resolved I think) so did the stomach problems.

    I didn't sleep well. I could fall asleep at night. But by about 2:30 am I was up and restless. Fitful. Tossing and turning. But not like my previous bouts of insomnia. Those usually started with me being unable to fall asleep at all. Again, as soon as the stress was lifted, I slept through the night. Well, as much as one does with a poorly sleeping one-year old and a 4 year old with a wicked cough.

    My right shoulder started to hurt. A deep down ache. Not very many weeks ago I said my shoulder was 95% about 95% of the time. Well, not when I'm stressed. It was pretty incredible how intense and deep of an ache I got in my shoulder - and how quickly it came over me. And how quickly it went away after the stress lifted.

    And I felt emotional. I was pretty easily wounded by some not so pleasant words. I felt raw.

    What is incredible about this experience is how quickly I bounced back. A true sign that my Candida is at bay, my adrenal fatigue is "cured" and my digestive system is working. Hallelujah!

    What's the morale of this story. Stress is toxic. But stress combined with an underlying digestive system can be debilitating.

    And BOTH require YOU TO TAKE ACTION. If you have digestive issues, Candida, adrenal fatigue, burn-out, stress, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da..............you are the only person that can make changes so that their impact can be fixed or at least minimized.

    Eat clean. Eliminate garbage from your diet and your body. Have willpower to stay away from those things that you know don't work with your body (dairy? gluten? sugar). It is hard but it is worth it. Cleanse. Figure out your food sensitivities. Eliminate them. Experiment. Listen to your body to figure out what it sees as toxic. We are all different and no one can do this for you.

    Reduce your stress. Make different choices. Make choices for the right reasons not for the right optics. Say no. Ask for help. Give yourself a break. Slow down. Go to bed early.  Take time for yourself. Breathe. Relax your shoulders (note to self). Let it go.

    Smile. You will have lots to smile about if you are taking care of yourself.

    I had a crazy stressful week. But because of all the changes I have made in my diet and in my life to reduce stress and take care of myself I sailed through it like I never could have before. And I came out the other end with a smile on my face. I think I'm figuring things out.

    At the bank today, the rep I was dealing with told me I looked too young to have 3 kids. I laughed. And when he had to look at my ID and saw that I was 37 he looked surprised and said "it must be because you smile so much".  Thank-you Mr. Banker - for giving me one more reason to smile!

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Cranberry Pumpkin Mini Muffns - Vegan, Gluten and Nut-Free

    Here's another recipe for my egg, dairy, gluten, peanut and soy free daughter.

    I'm not going to lie. It can be challenging cooking through that many sensitivities. But it can be done. And its worth it.

    For instance. Today was "hot lunch" at school. She used to LOVE hot lunch day - PIZZA. But she can't have it anymore. So instead I made her a fresh pizza bun with gluten free bread, organic sugar-free marinara, nitrate free turkey pepperoni and Daiya (dairy-free) cheese. She was so happy. And very happy to have her mother at the school for lunch hour since I had the day off and ran it over to her and then hung out with the kids for a while. They wanted to call me Mrs. SuperMom. Oh yeah. I'm down with that.

    So yes. Its a lot of work. But my daughter is thriving. Everyone else in the house is being taken down by a cold and she is healthy as can be. The kid that was sick on and off (mostly on) for the first 4 years of her life rarely gets sick.

    But she eats clean. Low sugar. No dairy. No gluten.

    How do you think you would feel if you did that? Pretty good I think..................

    And its not that much of a sacrifice with lots of great recipes like this!

    Cranberry and Pumpkin Mini Muffins - Vegan, Gluten and Nut Free

    by MamaChanty
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 28 minutes
    Keywords: bake snack gluten-free nut-free sugar-free vegan chia seeds coconut flour pumpkin cranberry
    Ingredients (24 mini muffins)
      Chia gel
      • 1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds
      • 1/4 cup water
      Dry ingredients
      • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Cloud 9 from Costco)
      • 1/3 cup organic coconut flour
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1/4 tsp guar gum (if no xanthum gum in flour blend)
      • pinch fine sea salt
      • dash cinnamon
      Wet ingredients
      • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
      • 6 Tbsp organic palm coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
      • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
      • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened milk (I used flax)
      • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
      • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
      Combine Chia gel and water. Let stand 5 minutes.
      Combine wet and dry ingredients separately.
      Add Chia gel to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
      Add wet ingredients and cranberries to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
      Separate batter into 24 greased mini muffin tins. I used coconut oil.
      Bake for 28 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.
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      Tuesday, October 15, 2013

      Vanilla Raspberry Coconut Loaf

      Hope everyone had a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend! And didn't get too off the rails with the clean eating. I had a few cheats but nothing too crazy to report.......okay - I had one slice of pumpkin pie. Really just a sliver. A delicious forbidden sliver. Oh the memories!

      We got out of town for a couple of days and spent time with my family. I wish they lived closer. Sigh. 

      At least they are driving distance.

      Our DVD player actually broke 1 hour into our 8 hour round trip. Panic. OMG - what are we going to do. Our kids watch very little t.v. at home, but on the road, we are all about the movies.

      But guess what............the kids survived. We all survived. We talked. They sang. It was kind of nice.

      And this loaf is kind of nice if you are on the Candida or Paleo diet but want something for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Something low carb, sugar, grain and dairy free. Something delicious and legal. Enjoy - its not forbidden at all!

      Coconut Raspberry Vanilla Loaf - Paleo, Candida Diet Friendly and Low Carb

      by MamaChanty
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 50 - 60 minutes
      Keywords: bake bread candida-diet friendly
      Ingredients (1 loaf)
      • 1/3 cup coconut flour
      • ¼ cup blanched almond flour
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 2 tbsp arrowroot
      • 2 tbsp ground golden flax
      • Pinch salt
      • 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded ccoconut
      • ½ cup fresh raspberries, gently mashed and packed plus 6 extra 
      • 3 eggs, beaten
      • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
      • 2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (I used Truvia)
      • 2 tsp vanilla
      • ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
      Grease a loaf pan with butter or coconut oil. And line with parchment paper.
      Mix together wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate mixing bowls.
      Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
      Mix until just combined.
      Let stand for 5 minutes before pouring into loaf pan. Top with additional raspberries, optional.
      Bake for approx. 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
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      Sunday, October 13, 2013

      Sunday Reflections - Sometimes you just gotta give Thanks!

      And today is one of those days.

      Thanks for my three kids that love me even when I yell.

      Thanks for my husband that loves me enough to go on a gluten and sugar free diet (almost) even though he doesn't really need to.

      Thanks for my friends. That send me words of encouragement when I fail at something. I got a few of those this week. And boy did they help.

      Thanks for my readers. Especially the ones that share their stories or just let me know they are out there.

      Thanks for Chia. Thanks for 100% cocoa. Thanks for coconut milk. Thanks for Vega One. What would I do without you.

      Thanks for my ice cream maker and my waffle maker too. Life is better with ice cream and waffles.  Especially when you fail at something.

      Thanks for the Candida diet. Its a love/hate thing. But I feel like myself again and for that I am grateful. I've done three weeks of the NO CHEAT strict phase of the diet - and I feel pretty fabulous. Its working. I don't yell much anymore. I don't feel spaced out. I have energy. Cravings don't rule my days. My digestive system is working.

      Thanks for being able to get over Adrenal Fatigue. I had a super stressful week and yet I feel OKAY.

      Thanks for being able to give yourself a break. I started out the month of September with a mission to work on the "mind" part of my mind/body connection. And I'm doing it. I failed at something this month. I gave up on something that the old me would have went ahead and done for all the wrong reasons. And I'm okay with it. I'm not letting it consume me. I'm not perfect.

      But I am THANKFUL.

      Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Everyone!

      Focus on what you have to be thankful for.............I have lots!

      Friday, October 11, 2013

      Chocolate Pumpkin Mini Muffins - Vegan, Gluten and Nut Free - And Kid Approved! They Loved these!

      A recipe for my girls..............don't eat these if you are on the Candida diet. 

      But if you have kids and need some gluten, dairy and egg free snacks then give these a try. 

      My girls both loved them!

      And I'm loving the chocolate and pumpkin combination these days............

      Have a great Friday and Happy Thanksgiving!

      Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Mini Muffins - Vegan, Gluten and Nut-free

      by MamaChanty
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 28 minutes
      Keywords: snack gluten-free nut-free sugar-free chia seeds coconut flour protein powder chocolate
      Ingredients (24 mini muffins)
        Chia gel
        • 1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds
        • 1/4 cup water
        Dry ingredients
        • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Cloud 9 from Costco)
        • 1/3 cup organic coconut flour
        • 3 Tbsp cocoa
        • 3 Tbsp Vegan chocolate protein powder (I used Vega One)
        • 2 tsp baking powder
        • 1 tsp baking soda
        • 1/4 tsp guar gum (if no xanthum gum in flour blend)
        • pinch fine sea salt
        • dash cinnamon
        Wet ingredients
        • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
        • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
        • 6 Tbsp organic palm coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
        • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
        • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
        • 1/2 cup unsweetened milk (I used flax)
        • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
        • 1/4 cup Enjoy life chocolate chips - mini's
        Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
        Combine Chia gel and water. Let stand 5 minutes.
        Combine wet and dry ingredients separately.
        Add Chia gel to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
        Add wet ingredients and chocolate chips to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
        Separate batter into 24 greased mini muffin tins. I used coconut oil.
        Bake for 28 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.
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        Tuesday, October 8, 2013

        Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Ice Cream - Paleo and Anti-Candida diet friendly

        I really love this ice cream. Really.

        Hence why I've been making it daily for the past week. Hence why I wish my ice cream maker didn't have to be re-frozen for 24 hours between each batch. Or maybe that's a good thing. Otherwise I would probably be eating it for breakfast. I'd probably even bring my boss some for breakfast if they were to ask nicely.

        Funny thing. It is so full of healthy ingredients you COULD eat it for breakfast. And not feel guilty.

        As you may or may not know, my daughter is on a gluten, egg, dairy, soy and peanut free diet. And I'm on the Candida diet. So there is a long list of things we can't, won't or shouldn't eat.

        I was struggling to find us an ice cream that we both liked that was vegan, low sugar and relatively low fat. The low fat part only because I eat so much fat during my other snacks/meals that I don't want to overdo it. Some days I feel like I live on nuts.

        But after many failed and some mediocre attempts - this one was a winner.

        The leaves are falling, the air is getting brisk and here I am FINALLY sharing an ice cream recipe. I got my ice cream maker before summer. That's how long it took me to nail down a recipe that I wanted to share. I actually gave up on the experiments for a while as they weren't working.  But it is working now. Is it ever. And I'm loving it.

        Its got pumpkin in it at least. So it is totally a fall appropriate recipe. Don't you think?

        Hint: you can skip the cocoa and add some pumpkin pie spice instead if you want to really make it Fall worthy. Just sayin'. And I really would bring some for my boss.

        Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Ice Cream - Candida diet friendly

        by MamaChanty
        Prep Time: 5 minutes
        Cook Time: 25 minutes in ice cream maker
        Keywords: blender freeze dessert candida-diet friendly vegan sugar-free canned coconut milk chocolate pumpkin
        Ingredients (Serves 3 - 4)
        • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
        • 1/2 canned full fat coconut milk
        • 1 1/2 Tbsp 100% cocoa
        • 1 Tbsp Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
        • 1 tsp vanilla
        • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened milk (I used almond milk)
        • 1 1/2 Tbsp nut butter (I used sugar-free, raw almond butter)
        I put all the ingredients in my Bullet (or blender) and pulse until fully combined.
        Pour into ice-cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer's instructions.
        I have a Cuisinart and it takes about 25 minutes to turn into ice cream. You can eat immediately (I can never wait) or transfer to a container and put in freezer for about 1/2 hour before serving.
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        Sunday, October 6, 2013

        Sunday Reflections - How I Gained Eight Pounds & Stopped doing Crunches but Lost my Big Belly - Diastasis Recti Awareness

        I have three sweet, wonderful, beautiful children.

        Which means I went through three sweet, wonderful, beautiful pregnancies.

        Ha, ha, ha. Not exactly. Not at all.

        Don't get me wrong. I loved being pregnant. It is a magical thing. People can't help but smile at you when you walk by. Everyone wants to talk to you. Its kind of like being a celebrity.  A big round pregnant belly stealing the show every time. Apparently I like attention. Or at least my belly likes attention. Positive attention.

        My body bounced back quite well after the first two pregnancies. However, I did slowly gain weight after baby number 2 so that I started out pregnancy #3 with 15 extra pounds. But they were pretty evenly distributed. My body really hadn't changed that much. It just had an extra layer of pudge on it.

        Wow - then baby #3 happened.

        And my body was not HAPPY about it. The ligaments in my abs gave out 3 months into the pregnancy. I was barely showing and they already couldn't seem to support the weight of my little peanut. It was quite painful and uncomfortable.

        After baby #3 was born I was pretty round everywhere so I didn't notice my new belly problem at first. But as I started losing more and more weight I started noticing something unusual and upsetting..............I kept losing weight but my belly seemed like it was getting bigger.

        What the BEEP was going on.

        It got to the point in June, when I was about 15 pounds lighter than I had ever been in my life, that I looked like I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant. I looked terrible. I was so thin that people were concerned and asking me "is everything okay honey". And yet, my belly was protruding way out front.

        Well, I figured out the two things that were causing my big belly problem:

        1) Diastasis Recti - a separation of the abdominal muscles into the right and left hand sides. When this happens the muscles get really weak and the digestive organs just come pushing forward (especially if your bloated); and

        2) The Chicory Root I had been drinking as a coffee replacement on the Candida diet was poisoning my system. Causing major bloating.

        If you are over 35 and have had multiple pregnancies, there is a good chance you might have diastasis recti too. And if you are like me you might not have ever heard of it.........or thought it didn't apply to you.

        If the lack of a flat stomach is DRIVING YOU CRAZY you probably think you just need to do more,  and more,  and more Crunches. Because that has to help flatten your stomach. Right?


        That was where I went wrong. As I lost weight my belly kept getting bigger because I was doing a gazillion crunches. Which was just making my problem worse. Traditional crunches just exasperate the problem.

        When I first got checked, my muscle separation was between 2 and 3 fingers wide. [You can check this by lying flat on your back and lifting your head off the ground. Feel around by your belly button for the ridge of your muscles and see how many fingers you can fit between the separation.]

        Now I can squeeze my pinkie (really hard) between the two muscles. Yay!

        I stopped doing crunchies (as my 4 year old likes to call them) and I started doing contractions to isolate, tone and strengthen the transverse abdominis.

        You can find lots of samples of exercises online. I'm not going to describe the exercise I do as I don't think I can explain it properly. And I just did this post to raise awareness about this issue. To guide you away from crunches and towards some exercises that will strengthen your core, not make it come spilling out. But you gotta do your own research. Because I wish someone had tapped me on the shoulder or yelled really loud in my ear "STOP THE CRUNCHIES MAMA - they are making you look fat".

        I started my transverse abdominal exercises at the beginning of July and I did them daily on a pretty consistent basis over the summer.  At first they are hard to engage but as they strengthen it becomes second nature to find them. Now I try and contract them while I'm riding the bus, driving to work or sitting in the steam room. Or blogging. Us mama's gotta multi-task.

        The result: it worked. Within weeks my muscle separation was getting smaller and smaller.

        And by the end of summer, in combinations with some diet changes, it was like someone deflated a balloon in my belly.

        Will it ever be a flat as it was before I had baby #3. No. Do I still get bloated some days and look pregnant. Yes.

        However,  someone this week said "I'm just admiring your stomach - how is that possible after three kids - how many crunches do you do?".

        None honey. Not a one.

        I eat clean. I exercise. And I don't do crunches.

        I've actually gained weight but I look better. And I feel better.  So hows that for going against conventional wisdom.............

        Friday, October 4, 2013

        Spiced Pumpkin Pie Scones - ACD, Paleo and Low Carb

        Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin. I'm obsessed with pumpkin everything right now.

        I put it in my chia pudding, my waffles, my chocolate loaf, my kids muffins............and I'm currently churning a sugar-free, vegan, chocolate pumpkin ice cream in my Cuisinart. Yum.

        So I adapted my delicious scone recipe to make it worthy for a cool and brisk fall morning. With a nice cup of hot herbal tea (no coffee here please). 

        These are low carb, anti-candida diet friendly and totally portable. 

        I make a double batch and freeze them. And then grab them and go. And I must say they don't taste so bad warmed up and served with a dallop of butter or coconut oil.

        Full of clean ingredients, low carb and anti-candida diet friendly. What's not to love! 

        Pumpkin Pie Spiced Scones - ACD, Paleo and Low Carb

        by MamaChanty
        Prep Time: 10 minutes
        Cook Time: 20 minutes
        Keywords: bake bread breakfast candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb paleo wheat belly sugar-free almond flour canned coconut milk coconut flour pumpkin
        Ingredients (8 scones)
          Wet Ingredients
          • 2 free run eggs
          • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
          • 1 tsp pure maple extract
          • 1/2 full fat canned coconut milk
          • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
          • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
          Dry Ingredients
          • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
          • 1/4 cup ground golden flax (I do mine in the coffee grinder)
          • 1/4 cup organic coconut flour
          • 1 Tbsp Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
          • 2 tsp baking powder
          • 1/2 tsp baking soda
          • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
          • pinch of fine sea salt
          Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
          Beat eggs and then add remaining wet ingredients to egg mixture. Beat until full combined.
          Combine dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.
          Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Beat together until fully combined.
          Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
          Bake for 20 minutes.
          Serve warm with coconut oil or butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Or freeze and eat another day.
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          Tuesday, October 1, 2013

          Mama's Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf - Perfect for fall - Perfect for the Paleo, Low carb or ACD

          The picture didn't do it justice. This is an amazing loaf/bread/slice. You can't tell there is pumpkin in it. 

          Just tastes like a piece of DELICIOUS chocolate cake. 

          Totally healthy, legal, full-of-super-foods chocolate cake.

          I love eating clean.

          When I get to eat this I even love being on the Candida cleanse.

          Okay............maybe love is too strong of a word. Its better than being in prison or being poked with a sharp stick.

          This loaf is helping me survive the strict phase of Candida. I haven't had a bite of grains, fruit, yeast, vinegar, etc, etc. etc. But I have had lots of bites of this (and my chocolate zucchini macaroon loaf - that one is delish too). And that's perfectly okay. Its totally legal.

          Make a double batch - slice, wrap, freeze - and then grab and go! And when that sugar craving hits you have something to keep your brain happy even while starving those sugar loving Candida beasts. Win!

          BTW - I've never been in prison..............well, I guess I've visited someone there so I was "in" the prison, but not behind bars. Not sure why I felt I had to explain that. Now you know I'm not a criminal. In case you suspected I was............

          Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

          by MamaChanty
          Prep Time: 15 minutes
          Cook Time: 1 hour
          Keywords: bake bread candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb paleo sugar-free almond flour coconut flour pumpkin chocolate
          Ingredients (1 loaf)
            Dry Ingredients
            • 1/3 cup blanched almond flour (I used sliced blanched almonds that I ground in my coffee grinder - much cheaper than buying blanched almond flour)
            • 1/3 cup organic coconut flour
            • 2 Tbsp ground golden flax (I grind whole flax in my coffee grinder)
            • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch flour
            • 1 tsp baking soda
            • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder - 100%
            • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
            • 1 Tbsp organic cacao nibs
            Wet Ingredients
            • 3 free run eggs, beaten
            • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
            • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
            • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted or grape seed oil
            • 1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk
            • 2 Tbsp Truvia (Stevia/Erythritol blend or sweetener of choice)
            Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
            Grease a standard size loaf ban and then line with parchment paper.
            Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.
            And wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.
            Pour into loaf pan and let stand 10 minutes before putting in the oven.
            Bake for approx 50 - 60 minutes.
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