Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Low Carb Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

It feels good to share a new recipe. Its been a while. Well, at least its been a while since I shared a grain-free, low-carb, low-sugar recipe.

And this was a good one.

Yum. We enjoyed this with some roasted sweet potatoes, onions and sweet red peppers.

Hope you enjoy it too!!!

Low Carb Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake entree low-carb paleo chicken bacon
Ingredients (6 chicken thighs)
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • 1 Tbsp coconut amino's (or soya sauce if you must)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree (or more ketchup)
  • 2 Tbsp organic ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar (I used Braggs)
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together all marinade ingredients. Wrap each chicken thigh with a slice of bacon. Secure the bacon with a toothpick. Place the chicken thighs in a glass casserole dish with a lid. Pour marinade over top of bacon wrapped chicken thighs.
Bake for 35 minutes. Remove casserole from oven.
Pour off liquid into a sauce pan. Put chicken back into oven with no lid. Broil on low for 5 minutes (or longer - until bacon just starts getting crispy).
Meanwhile, heat the sauce to medium/high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of thickener (I used arrowroot). Mix thoroughly until sauce thickens. Remove casserole from oven and pour thickened sauce over top.
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Reflections.........WHAT A WEEK!

I almost skipped a post today.

We are actually feeling better(ish). Just not back to my full energy levels yet so I don't feel like doing all the little extras. Like washing my hair. Or writing a blog post.

But after missing work for a week I need to go back tomorrow. So I gotta go wash my hair.

And I thought I better write a quick post to let everyone know we are okay.

I think my last post might have been a bit melodramatic. I got some very concerned inquiries from friends on what was wrong with us.

Just a virus. A nasty one. But just a virus.

Its just that when you have 3 kids and the majority of the house gets sick at the same time (4 out of 5) and you are one of those people - it can seem really dramatic at the time. And overwhelming. Especially when the fevers last for 6 days (for me).

But we got through it. Having a (new) job that actually facilitates staying home when you are very sick really helped with the getting through it part.

We made it through. And we are okay.

Thanks for the concern. Now go wash your hands. There are some nasty germs out there!

PS. I wish I had some words of wisdom or great tips on how to get/stay healthy the all-natural way. But let's be real - I was too sick to stick to my own rules - we were scarfing down Tylenol and pharmaceuticals left and right. It was an "epic fail" in regards to staying clean. But since my journey is about learning to live clean its also about learning when to say no and accept that I'm not perfect. When I need help. When I need to do whatever I can to survive. And I did that. So I'm a little disappointed I didn't beat this thing with Olive Leaf Extract and Salt gargles but only a little. I did what I had to do to survive.

However I am going to be needing some liver detox after my walk on the wild side..............beets anyone??

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

You kitchen counter looks like this. And I avoid "prescription drugs" unless unavoidable.......

Oh - and that just scratches the surface......Our bathroom, supplements cupboard (yes I have a whole cupboard assigned to this task) and fridge are also in on it!

Let's just say this family has been taken down hard by a virus. Iron pills, anti-biotics, anti-virals, essential ear oils, pro-biotics, Vitamin B12, C, D --  ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. The list goes on. And on.

My hubby says we need a registered nurse on staff to help us keep it all straight.

I kind of have to agree with him. I'm even too sick (although I might be turning a corner as I have the energy to write this) to keep it all straight in my normal Type A manner. I keep asking "did we give her/him this today?".

A nurse would be great if anyone were allowed in our house. We are basically quarantined. Highly contagious. A danger to the general public. Well especially the immune suppressed and kids.

And I don't want any little guys to go through the past 7 days that my monkey has had to endure. What we have all had to endure.

And I know its Wednesday. But you ain't getting a recipe. No way. Food is not high on the list of priorities right now.

So catch you next week.

And until then. Take your vitamins. Eat clean. Try and keep your immune system strong. And wash your hands. And then wash them again. Because you just never know.

And a huge shout out to Dr. Bynkowski at Family Matters. Just when my confidence in our medical system was bottoming out she went above and beyond.....................Unbelievable service from our pediatrician. U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E. As close to a "house call" as you are going to get this day and age. I am really grateful. When you need them, you really need them!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Reflections...............An end of an Era!


I didn't even type anything and I already started crying.

Not sure why because this hasn't actually been a big deal. It just happened gradually and naturally.  I've barely given it a second thought until now.

But that's the thing about journalling. It makes you stop and think about things. And sometimes that makes you pause and acknowledge something that doesn't seem like a big deal in the hectic pace of modern life. But it really is a big deal to your heart.

What the hell am I talking about, or crying about???????


I'm done breastfeeding.

I have spent about 74 of the past 87 months either pregnant or breastfeeding. That's @#$@# crazy!

And this week. It all came to an end. No more babies for me. And no more breastfeeding.

Why do I just want to bawl my eyes out?

Because I'm EXHAUSTED. Because I love babies. Because my "on loan from the breastfeeding Gods" boobs are going, going, gone. Because I can no longer eat as much as I damn will please and not worry about gaining weight (damn). Because it was awesome.

It has been the most precious, tiring, challenging, exhilarating time of my life. And its over. No going back. No experiencing anything like it again. I don't have a baby anymore.

I'm ready. I really am. But that doesn't mean I can't be sad. Happy-sad. Sad-sad. I don't know. I'm having a moment that's for sure.

But I need my body back (well maybe not my original but much less perky breasts). More importantly I need my nutrients back. I didn't mind sharing with my three little ones. Because of our predisposition to food sensitivities, leaky gut and digestive problems it was for the best that I fed my babies with breast milk as much as I could. But damn did it take a toll on my body. Well, my health.

There are two schools of thought on breastfeeding out there. There's the "OMG you are still breastfeeding your 19 month old (insert shudder, eye roll) - that's disgusting" camp and the "breastfeeding is the be-all end-all - you are a terrible mother if you don't do it as long as you can" camp. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but like everything we just need to do what is best for each of us.

For our family, food sensitivities and the related immune system problems seem to be huge issues for my kids. So breastfeeding them was my best option to limiting their fussiness and digestive distress and for strengthening their immune systems. And I liked doing it. I loved doing it. I enjoyed it.

But there is a trade-off. Everyone always focuses on the benefits to the children, and I believe there are benefits if you can do it. But I also think that is can be a major strain to a mother's body. Especially a mother is struggling with low stomach acid, poor absorption, nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues. Those little babies can literally suck the life out of your if you let them. And for me, my children did not really start sleeping through the night until they were weaned. I produced nutrient dense, fat free skim milk. It didn't sustain them through the night. Sleep training be damned.

And a nutrient deficient, sleep deprived, sickly mother isn't the best thing for a baby. For that babies siblings. Or anyone for that matter.

So it is a trade off for some of us. I probably breastfed longer than I should have because I wasn't ready to let it go even though my body was screaming for help.

As I end my era of pregnancy and breastfeeding I am struggling with anemia, adrenal fatigue and I have come to rely on B12 injections to keep me going.

Will my health turn around when I don't have to support the nutritional requirements of a 20 pound eating machine??? I think it might.

Time will tell. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day - Celebrating with Heart Shaped Chocolate Vegan Gluten Free Cookies...........that are school safe!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! Or Valentine's Week................I'm a bit early.

I had to get some cookies baked for my daughter's Valentine's party as school. Because she unfortunately can not share in all the treats her friends will be bringing. She can't have gluten, dairy, refined sugar, eggs or soy. And of course she can't take nuts to school.

We basically have to pack her separate lunch, snacks, treats, cake, cupcakes - whatever-  every time she goes for a play date, birthday party, school party, etc, etc, etc. She is actually okay with it for now. It doesn't seem to bother her.

Probably because I'm always trying new recipes and making her tasty treats. But man is it time consuming. This is why I can't work full time. Seriously. I spend a LOT of time in my kitchen. Which I love but even I have my limits.

But............she got her first ear infection in well over 2 years this week. In the first 3 1/2 years of her life she had NUMEROUS ear infections. Until we changed her diet. And she stopped having them.

It was a great reminder of how far we have come. And how it is all worth it if it means she is healthy. And happy. Even if its time consuming.

So I will keep baking her special treats. And she won't need to feel different. Just special!

Remember - my recipes are super low sugar. Add more sweetener if you want. Or dip them in melted chocolate to sweeten them up................that can't be bad!

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies with Hemp and Chia

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free vegan coconut flour chocolate hemp seeds chia seeds cookie
Ingredients (18 - 20 medium heart shapes co)
  • 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds (I grind it in my coffee grinder)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup All purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used Cloud 9 brand from Costco)
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1/2 Tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 -6 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or more if you prefer more sweetness) - you be the judge
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine Chia seeds with water and let stand for 5 minutes to gel.
Combine all dry ingredients.
In a separate mixing bowl combine all wet ingredients including Chia gel.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. It should form a ball (like dough).
Let stand for 5 minutes. If it seems sticky add some additional coconut flour.
Roll out dough until about 1/8 inch thickness on a piece of parchment paper. Cut shapes out of dough and transfer to lined baking sheet. I just kept reusing the scraps (forming into a new ball and re-rolling out) until there was no dough left.
Bake for about 12 minutes.
Let cool and decorate, dip in chocolate or just eat as is.
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Reflections........The Limitations of Western Medicine

A recap of my doctor's appointment this week - not word for word but you get the drift:

Me - I have had some really bad anxiety lately but it goes away if I stop eating grains and take my herbs.

Response: You know some people take anxiety medication for that. You do realize that those herbs are not federally regulated. They haven't been tested and you really don't know what they put in them.

Me - I was also feeling really exhausted, wasn't sleeping well and was starting to feel spaced out. But I went for a B12 shot from my Naturopath and I felt immediately better. My energy levels are incredible and I started sleeping again. I must be severely B12 deficient . Probably because of my absorption issues.

Response: No. Your B12 levels are 400. That's well within the normal range. Maybe it was a placebo effect. Or maybe they put some additives in their B12 shots. You don't know what's in there.

Me - Well, I think there is something wrong with my stomach, I have been have colitis episodes and I have to eat clean ALL the time. I can't seem to handle any grains, dairy or sugar. Its really hard to maintain this diet with 3 kids, a job and a busy modern lifestyle. I'm just wondering if I could get some more tests. We tested for Celiac but is there something else we could look for.

Response: You have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You can take laxatives if you get constipated and Imodium if you get diarrhea.

Me - But it seems like my digestive system doesn't absorb nutrients properly. I still think my B12 levels are low at 400 (for me) and I've struggled with my iron and Vitamin D levels being low.

Response: No. Your iron, B12 and Vitamin D are all within the normal levels. I'm not sure why you think you have an absorption issue.

Me - They are only normal because I've been taking iron every day for 9 months, 5000 mg's of Vitamin D every morning and I've had a least a dozen B12 shots in the past year. And my levels are normal, but they are low normal. Should I need to be taking these to be keep my levels low normal indefinitely. Its expensive and inconvenient to have to be constantly taking all these supplements. I eat really clean so you would think that I should be getting enough nutrients from my food.

Response: Well, I don't know what's in those herbs your taking. I'm wondering if they could be suppressing your white blood count. I guess you could try going off all your supplements to see how you feel without them.

Me - I tried that. I went off my iron pills for 10 days and I could barely stand up I was so dizzy and anemic. And I can't take care of my three kids or maintain my job if I'm anemic, B12 deficient and have anxiety.

Response: Well, your blood work looks fine. Your in the normal range.


Its not their fault I guess. They are trained to read blood work and report things that are "outside of the normal range". Even if those generic ranges don't take into account gender, age, race, physical activity levels, genetics, environment.

And our western medical system is very good at writing prescriptions and ignoring out diets. And our digestive linings.

So they probably aren't going to be able to help me with this - my journey to heal my gut and my adrenals.

I guess its a good thing I have been helping myself. Because after eliminating grains (again), cutting back on the demon sugar and getting my B12 shot I am feeling leaps and bounds better than I was a month ago. Or at least I think I do. Maybe its all in my head..........could be a placebo effect! LOL.

I don't want to slam my doctor or any other doctor for that matter. I know I will need them, many times over my lifetime. Its just the way Western Medicine works......or doesn't work as the case may be.

But seriously, how can our doctors question what is in our herbal remedies (that work wonders I might add and have 4 - 5 easy to pronounce ingredients) but not question what is in the food we are eating. I think the cookie isle is a lot more dangerous than the health food store...................

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

KidsEatClean - Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

When I first started eating clean, banana bread was one of the first recipes I re-invented to make it follow my food guidelines. It was a huge success - my kids LOVED it. I LOVED it. We enjoyed many loaves of my Paleo Dark Chocolate Banana Bread.

Fast forward a year. We can no longer eat my Paleo Dark Chocolate Banana Bread. Sniff Sniff.

I've been on and off (mostly on) the Candida diet for most of the past 9 months which precluded me from eating most fruits and sugar. I also found out in the Spring that I have a very strong food sensitivity to banana's. That was hard news to hear. Cruel really.

Around that same time we also found out that my daughter has a strong food sensitivity to eggs. Shoot.

So I had to come up with a new banana bread recipe. Well, once I got over mourning the fact that I would never be eating banana bread again. Ever.

I have made this recipe numerous times now. I just whipped up a double batch to get us through breakfast and snacks for the rest of the week. It looks and smells delicious.

It is egg, gluten and dairy free. And also low in sugar.  And my kids love it.

So even though I resent the fact that I can't eat this I am passing along the recipe. Because I believe kids should EAT CLEAN. And what kids doesn't love a chocolate chip banana bread. Enjoy!

Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 - 60 minutes
Keywords: bake bread gluten-free paleo sugar-free vegan almond flour chia seeds chocolate buckwheat flour
Ingredients (1 loaf)
    Wet ingredients
    • 2 ripe banana's, mashed
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 2 Tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice) 
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    Chia gel
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened milk - I used almond milk
    • 1 Tbsp ground Chia
    Dry ingredients
    • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
    • 1/4 cup organic coconut flour
    • 1/4 cup light buckwheat flour
    • 1/4 cup ground golden flax (I grind in the coffee grinder)
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and then line with parchment paper (optional).
    Combine ground chia with warmed almond milk. Let stand for 5 minutes to let Chia gel.
    Combine wet ingredients including Chia gel.
    Combine dry ingredients separately.
    Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    Put in greased loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until center is fully cooked.
    Let cool COMPLETELY before removing from parchment paper and slicing or it will stick.
    Let your kids enjoy a low-sugar snack full of clean and healthy ingredients.
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    Sunday, February 2, 2014

    Sunday Reflections - We are a HOT Mess - B12 Injections to the rescue

    Hot. Mess.

    I've been having digestive issues. Again. My Candida is back. Again. My adrenals are struggling. Again.

    On top of trying to figure out how to balance my own body, I've got three little ones that need attention.

    My first daughter, the one with severe leaky gut is doing amazing. She is happy and healthy but keeping her on an egg, dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, peanut, etc, etc, etc - free diet requires constant vigilance and energy.

    My second daughter, whom we recently found out has strong food sensitivities to dairy, has pretty severe anemia and low Vitamin D. We saw a dramatic improvement in her moods after being on iron supplements for a few weeks but she regressed pretty badly this week. So now my head is spinning trying to figure out what happened. Also, getting kids to take iron three times a day - not fun.

    My little guy, who basically follows a dairy free diet with his sisters also has something going on. He has a really bad rash around his mouth (for a couple of months) and his moods are pretty intense. He seems "off". Again, wracking my brain and searching the internet to try and figure out what is triggering it. He doesn't eat dairy. He eats a very low gluten and egg diet. Very little processed foods and not much sugar. But I'm convinced he's got food sensitivities and I just don't know to what. And I'm sure he's anemic like the rest of us.

    I swear some days I feel more like a private investigator than a mother. I'm trying to solve the mystery that is our poor digestive health. And its very confusing.

    But on the plus side, my shoulder is holding (that amazes me) and my anxiety calmed right down this week after I upped my adrenal support.

    And I did figure a couple things out...........

    1) B12 Injections ARE A MIRACLE. I actually have known this for a while but I had a good reminder today.

    I was feeling pretty terrible this week. Completely spaced out at times. Icky. Tired.

    I went for a B12 shot yesterday and I feel like a completely new woman today. SERIOUSLY.

    Night and Day.

    Its not a cure. I know I have lots of other work to do. But damn, does it help. I felt great today. My energy levels are way up. My blood sugar didn't feel all over the place. And I felt really happy. Yay!

    I just like to remind others of this option if they haven't tried it. Per Western medicine my B12 levels are "in the normal range". Bullshit. Sorry. And taking a pill isn't the answer when your digestive lining is buggered up like mine. This works wonders for me.

    2) Candida sucks. Yeah. Its back. And I know I have to deal with it. And I know what I have to do to deal with it. A sugar, vinegar, yeast, fruit, pork, carbohydrate free diet. A round of pro-biotics (at least I never stopped those). A rotation of anti-fungals. I KNOW I need to do this. I went and bought my anti-fungals. I'm ready..................

    But that's the thing. I'm NOT READY. I don't want to give up fruit again. I don't want to give up bacon again. Aggghhhhhh. I'm putting it off. But I will do it soon. Stay tuned.

    3) HOT YOGA is great when you are a HOT MESS. I have just started doing hot yoga regularly and I am LOVING it. Really. Everything about it. The HEAT. Check (watch the Winnipeg forecast and you will know why). The deep stretch and strength. Check. The stilling of the mind. Check. The breathing. Double Check.

    What was the purpose of this post. I don't really know. I'm a hot mess remember. I'm allowed to be all over the place. And I may be confused but I'm learning. I'm on the path back to health. And I'm having a fabulous weekend because I'm on some sort of B12 high, I haven't started my Candida diet yet (yay for strawberry smoothies) and I had an awesome Hot Yoga session today.

    So life is a big hot confusing, frustrating and awesome adventure.

    I bet now you are confused?