Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kids Craft Time - Food Colouring & Snow = Fun

March 29th - Yep - We still have HUGE snow banks in our back yard!

After my announcement on Wednesday that I was taking a break from I am!

Its funny how a passion can be inspiration for a hobby. And then the hobby becomes an obligation. And then you lose your passion for your hobby.

But as soon as that hobby is no longer an becomes a passion again. So I felt like posting something today. Just not food related.

I did do some major baking yesterday (recipes to come some day - maybe) and came up with this fantastic idea for my kids.........


Which one of my friends informed me is not actually a new idea. So some other brilliant mother has thought of this before. Oh well. Its fun.

If you are in Winnipeg.......or anywhere that the POLAR  VORTEX laid its cold and frigid hands, you might still have mountains of snow in your backyard. And you might be itching for spring and/or to kick your kids outside to play. Cabin fever anyone?

This will get them out there and keep them happy for a while:

  • Fill several containers with water. I used leftover plastic fruit cup containers that I save for such occassions; 
  • Add a few drops of food colouring to each one. Stir; 
  • Give each of your kids a medicine dropper (I used 10 ml ones); 
  • Let them suck up the coloured water and spray it on the snow to create abstract snow art;
  • My friend said this also works with SPRAY bottles - why didn't I think of that? Brilliant.
Note - you might not want them to wear their good jackets when they do this...........unless you want tie-dyed outerwear on them next year.

Have a fun and colourful Sunday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mama's Taking a Break

Wednesday. Recipe Day.


I'm taking some time off.

For how long? I don't know.

I'm at a point in my life when I want to pursue some of my other passions. And that means something else needs to go. Not much else is flexible. So it has got to be my blogging.

Well, not go entirely.

I still plan on blogging when I feel like it. When I have a recipe to share or something that I need to say. I'm just not willing to commit to a recipe every Wednesday and an update every Sunday. Not for now. Cooking is my passion, but its starting to feel more like an obligation to develop and document new recipes. So I'm taking a break - so I can do it when I feel inspired not when I feel obligated.

I feel kind of nervous. My blog makes me accountable to myself.

But I'm feeling pretty good. I'm eating clean - staying away my food sensitivities, limiting my grains and sugar and staying away from dairy. My digestion is doing well. I'm exercising 4 times a week. I'm taking my supplements. My pants are getting really tight (the scale is moving UP consistently since I started weaning - over 15 pounds since summer) but I feel good so that's okay.

I guess this is as good of a time as any to take a break. Catch up on life. Do some spring cleaning. Do some dancing. Some yoga. Breathe. 

I'll still be here. Check in. And my recipes are still here.................go to my recipe index for Low Carb Grain Free Recipe Ideas and KidsEatClean for Egg, Gluten and Dairy Free Recipe Ideas.

See you around!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Reflections - The Costs of Feeling Good

I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this clean lifestyle was not expensive at times.

The food. Yep. I spend quite a bit of money on all these "clean" ingredients. This is partially offset by the savings we get since we RARELY eat out anymore, can't pick up a pizza and generally avoid fast food. I take my lunch to work 98% of the time and have given up coffee. And given my passion for being environmentally friendly (and my general cheapness) we waste VERY LITTLE food. I do everything in my power to make sure we eat every last drop of all those expensive ingredients.

But my bank account has still been taking a beating.

Its the supplements.

I know some of you often wonder what supplements I take. And I want to figure out how much I am spending in a month. So here is a snapshot of what I am currently taking.

 Believe me, this list is a lot shorter than it once was - but its still way longer than I want it to be. So here you have it (cost is for a one month's supply)..........

Ferramax (iron - 1 per day) -                                       $18
Adrenal Balance (2  per day) -                                      $62
Vitamin C (2 per day) -                                               $negligible
Vitamin B12 with Folic Acid (1 per day)                        $3.50
Align Probiotic (1 per day)                                           $30
Vitamin D drops (5 drops per day)                                $3 (estimate)
B12 Injection                                                              $12

I'm also taking a Digestive Aide (Betaine/Pepsin) before dinner - sometimes. I'm supposed to be taking 2 before each meal but I just can't seem to keep up with it. I also take a Calcium/Magnesium liquid supplement once in a while if I'm not sleeping well but I didn't include it because I'm not doing it consistently.

My goal - to be off everything except the Vitamin D. Probably somewhat unrealistic since I seem to have a B12 deficiency. Okay - everything except B12 and D. And maybe a round of probiotics a couple times a year. For maintenance.

But at this point in time - $128.50 each month. That's $1,542 a year. And that doesn't include what I give my kids.

Expensive. Yeah. Worth it. Yeah. I feel pretty great.

But I still have hope that I can get off those adrenals. I'm going to drop down to one a day and see what happens.............................wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coconut Flour Crepe's with Maple Pecan Glaze

I eat these crepe's, or some version of them, at least once a week.

Its one of the few things that keep me full for several hours. Even a 500 calorie protein shake doesn't fill me up like this.

And my two kids that eat eggs always seem to want to share so they must be pretty good.


Mama's Coconut Flour Crepe's with Maple Pecan Glaze - Candida Diet Friendly with maple pecan butter glaze

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes per crepe
Keywords: fry breakfast candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb paleo egg coconut flour
Ingredients (5 crepes)
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 drops liquid Stevia
  • 1 tsp maple (or vanilla) extract - optional
  • 3 free run eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted
Coconut flour Crepe's
Heat a frying pan to medium heat.
Beat eggs. Add Stevia, almond milk and butter or coconut oil.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk together until fully combined.
Let stand for 10 minutes to let coconut flour/arrowroot thicken.
Coat frying pan with coconut oil before frying each crepe.
Pour 1/5 of the butter (about 1/3 cup) into the skillet. Roll around the batter until it covers the entire pan.
Let cook until fully cooked through (approx. 2 to 3 minutes). Flip and let cook on the other side for 1 minute. Don't try and flip too soon or it will fall apart.
Remove and serve with topping of choice.
Pecan/Maple Butter Glaze
1 1/2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
1 tsp maple extract
1/2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
10 pecans
1/8 tsp Guar Gum
Combine first 4 ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Add Guar Gum. Stir. Microwave for an additional 20 seconds. Use as a topping on Crepes.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Reflections - Spring Flooding Part 2

Well, my two mischievous little house flooders were at it again.

Its been almost one year since our last "man-made" flooding incident. That's the great thing about blogging - you can go back and check these things since they are well documented.

One year ago on March 21st my two daughters plugged the bathroom sink with Kleenex and turned the water on full blast. Then they immediately lost interest in their project and came upstairs to go to bed. I discovered their attempt to make an indoor swimming pool about 3 hours later. I have the post to prove just so happens to accompany one of my most popular recipes - Clean and Low-Carb Shepard's Pie.

What I actually remember most about that event is that I was in VERY ROUGH SHAPE. So exhausted that I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I felt terrible. I was so nutrient deficient, Candida ridden and ill that I barely reacted when I felt the water squish up through my socks. I didn't have the energy to feel anything - or clean it up. I just shut the water off, called my husband to come home from work and sat on the couch in a complete daze, staring at the wall, until he came home. I was a mess. As was my basement.

Fast forward almost a year. Another flood. More Kleenex. This time it was the upstairs bathroom. This time it wasn't intentional - not entirely. Just the misguided idea that you should throw half a waded up roll of toilet paper (left over from an earlier "play" idea that went bad)  into the bowl (rather than the garbage). And then flush it repeatedly when it won't go down. And then laugh your head off when it starts overflowing rather than actually panicking and running to get your parents. Needless to say there is now water dripping into our kitchen from various spots in our ceiling.

But this time my husband was home - Thank the Lord. And this time I feel like a totally different person. I don't feel exhaustion, brain fog or rage.  I have been struggling a bit with my energy levels but after getting a B12 injection yesterday I am feeling great. Full of energy. I feel like myself. I can cope with what life throws at me. Or what life drips on me.

So as much as this latest flood is a pain in the arse. A make-work project. Its actually been a good reminder of how far I've come. How much better I am feeling.

I'm not thrilled to have toilet water leaking into my kitchen (anyone want to come over for dinner? LOL). But I am thrilled to be feeling good. To be back on the path to the best version of myself.

And as mischievous as they might be, I am blessed to have 3 healthy, if somewhat diet challenged, children that keeps things interesting. And WET.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Grain Free Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bagels - My new addictions



I have already made about 7 batches of these.

Not sure if its because they are so good. Or so portable. Or I haven't had a bagel in two years.

Either way I am enjoying these.

And so are my kids. Between our varying tastes and food restrictions we don't often have overlap in things we can and/or like to eat. But we all loved these.  Win. Win. Except I don't really want to share them...............I'm not proud to say I've been hiding them in the freezer.

If you don't like the pumpkin/chocolate combination. Firstly - what the h#@$@ is wrong with you. Second - there are numerous other variations you can try. Cranberry Vanilla. Onion Poppyseed. Cinnamon Raisin. Whatever your little heart desires. Just cut back the honey if you are doing a savory take on these. My hubby thought they were too sweet.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Vegan & Grain Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bagels

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 28 - 30 minutes
Keywords: bake
Ingredients (4 bagels)
  • 1.5 tbsp ground Chia Seed (I grind my seeds in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet.)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened milk (I used almond)
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin pure
  • 1 tbsp honey or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup ground golden flax (I grind it in my coffee grinder)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add each ingredients into a large mixing bowl ONE AT A TIME. After you add each ingredient mix the batter thoroughly (either with a hand mixer or by hand). You will likely have to use your "hands" to knead the batter into a ball once all ingredients have been added.
Once you have formed the dough into a large ball with your hands, divide the batter into 4 small equal sized balls. Flatten slightly with your hand.
Push a hole through the middle and use your hands to shaped the batter into a bagel shaped ring.
Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes.
Watch them disappear!
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Reflections - How I'm turning things around!

NOTE: Sorry this was a day late???? Glitch in the system I guess.

I try all these "things" to get and stay healthy.

I'm forever tweaking my diet and supplements, exercising, playing with the timing of my key routines - bedtime, supplements, meals, snacks and seeing various doctors.

I'm hopeful and determined that I will get feeling my best.

I have been struggling for about the past year (well, actually, my whole life except the few months I felt great last year when I first started eating clean). When I say struggling it hasn't been all bad. Some good hours/days/minutes and some bad. But since November I had been having more bad than good.

Just feeling off. My system was off. Digestive issues. Feelings of low blood sugar. Dizziness. Brain fog. Insomnia and the resultant tiredness. Mild anxiety.

Inconsistent symptoms. It was like I was walking a line - just holding it together. If I babied myself like crazy (strict with food, sleep and supplements) I was okay. Not great but okay. If I cheated just a wee bit I was teetering over the edge.

Not a full fledged adrenal shut-down. Not Candida. Not anemia (blood work is "relatively" okay). Not my best. And confused.

And then I tweaked things a bit further a few weeks ago and somethings seems to have snapped back into place. I am FEELING BETTER. And not just for a few days. A few weeks. Not back to where I want to be. But consistently much better than I had been.

So I'm going to share a few of the "tweaks" I have done that may or may not be the reason for my sudden turnaround. For your information, if you are desperately searching for new ideas on how to heal yourself and for my information. Because I come back to these posts when I need a reminder of how I can turn things around. Its amazing how quickly you can forget these things.......especially when the brain fog sets in.

1) I FINISHED BREASTFEEDING - It's just too much of a coincidence that as soon as I fully weaned my little guy I started feeling better. I've mentioned before that I think breastfeeding can be really hard on a body that is pre-disposed to digestive issues, food sensitivities,  low stomach acid and low absorption. A perfect storm for significant nutrient deficiencies - supplements and clean food be damned. If you can't absorb it and its getting sucked out of you by an adorable little vacuum its going to take its toll. Would I change the fact that I nursed all three of my kids exclusively for over a year. No. Given their genetic pre-disposition to digestive issues and food sensitivities it was the best for them. So no regrets. But am I ready to start feeling better. Oh yeah.

2) B12 SUPPLEMENTATION - I've mentioned B12 many times. You are probably sick of hearing it. BUT SERIOUSLY. Please listen to me. B12 injections (I get mine through my naturopath for $12 a pop but you can also get them through a regular MD) work miracles. And I'm not even in the published "low end of the range". My B12 sits around 400 which is well above the 200 threshold western medicine believes is acceptable. NOT FOR ME. Maybe not for you. I went for a B12 injection about 3 times in 4 weeks to get my levels back up. The first couple only helped for a week or so. The third one has been holding for over 3 weeks and I feel so much better. In the meantime, I have also added a daily oral B12 (with folic acid) to my supplement routine.

3) ROTATING PROBIOTICS  -  After probably 8 months on the same probiotic I decided to change things up. I started taking ALIGN (which I bought at Costco for about $1 per pill/day). Now, I didn't make this one change in isolation (see #'s 1, 2 and 4) but it really does seem to be working. I went from having several multiple-day colitis type attacks (in January) back to awesome digestive health. If I eat clean and keep my portions a reasonable size my stomach seems to be working just fine. Coincidence. Maybe. But if your system isn't working properly maybe you should consider rotating probiotics once in a while. And if you are not happy with your brand then give Align a shot. Every body is different but it seems to be working for me.

4) GAVE UP THE GRAINS (AGAIN) - I'm really bad at being "grain-free". I never stick to it faithfully in the long term - I don't even cheat on fun stuff. Its usually just that I get hungry and can't find anything to snack on so I have some gluten free cereal or something else of my kids. Hunger and convenience just seem to win out over intelligence and common sense much too often. I KNOW it plays havoc on my digestive system. I've proven this to myself over and over (and over) by eliminating them and re-introducing them. Same result each time. They slow my digestion right down. And that is just bad for so many reasons. Its a bad, bloated, uncomfortable, Candida friendly environment that I don't want any part of. So once again, I got my shit together (lol) and cut the grains out. And what digesting got immediately better. Big surprise.

So there you have it. I don't know if its one or some combination of all of these things that is helping me out. I don't know if it will last. I don't know.....................

Well you get the picture. Just keep trying new things. Don't give up. Unfortunately there isn't ONE answer that is going to work for everyone. You've just gotta keep working at it. And its worth it. Because life is much better with a clear head, a flat (or at least not bloated) stomach and cheer (not fear) as your constant companion.

Cheers - Mama!!!

PS. A couple insomnia/PMS tips I think I've figured out this month:
1) My sleep is seriously buggered up before my period. But this month I started sleeping with an ice pack under my pillow. When I wake up during the night I flip over my pillow (cool side) and/or use the ice pack to cool off. Its not solving the problem but its helping; and
2) Exercise for PMS. Its unbelievable how different I feel on the days I exercise in the morning. Thursday didn't work out - felt terrible all day. Friday worked out - felt energetic and healthy all day. Saturday - woke up feeling terrible. Extremely dizzy and icky. Went to hot yoga. Walked out feeling completely normal.
Now to just figure out how to have the energy and time to work out every morning - especially in the weeks that sleep is alluding me....................

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gluten Free Low Carb Sundried Tomato & Hummus Chicken Bake - SO EXCITED!

Yep. I spelled Hummus wrong. Yep. I have no time to go back and fix it!

OMG. I'm so excited to share this recipe at #mamaeatsclean. Ha, ha - I'm trying to figure out what a hash tag is used for so had to throw that in??? LOL.

Anyway - back to business. 

I love making a baked chicken recipe. My old favorites used to be Baked Chicken Parmesan or my Lemon Garlic Parmesan Chicken. Both grain free and wicked good. 

But both wickedly full of dairy. And we don't eat dairy anymore. 

So I have been trying to figure out how to get that combination of savory breading with a creamy sauce. And I NAILED IT. 


So simple. Why didn't I think of it sooner. 

I always buy hummus and half the time we don't end up finishing it. Probably because I don't eat grains and hummus is best as a dip. But now I have an new use for it. As a topping for my breaded chicken. 

I used EVOO instead of egg, a grain free breading and no cheese. So safe for all kinds of diets. 

Seriously. This was GOOD. Really good! New family favorite. And I think this will be a great dish to make for Company. To impress Company. Or at least convince them that eating clean isn't horrible:)

Grain, Egg and Dairy Free Sundried & Hummus Chicken Bake - SO GOOD!

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 - 55 minutes
Keywords: bake entree candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb wheat belly chicken chickpeas
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 4 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup ground golden flax (I grind it in my coffee grinder)
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut flour
  • 1 tsp each - garlic powder, onion powder and fine sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup prepared hummus (I used roasted red pepper)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or non-dairy alternative)
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare (or fine seas salt)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
Cut chicken breasts in half to make 8 pieces. Pat chicken breasts dry and then cover with 1 Tbsp EVOO.
Mix together breading ingredients. Dip each piece of chicken in breading mixture.
Place in baking dish.
Mix topping ingredients together. Cover each breaded chicken breast with topping mixture.
Bake for 45 - 55 minutes. Less if your chicken breasts are smaller. Mine were thick so I let them cook longer (and I was busy doing something else) and they were perfectly moist but could have come out sooner. Enjoy.
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Reflections - Coming Out of My Bubble

So this post might seem to come out of nowhere. And you might wonder what in the world it has to do with Adrenal Fatigue, Anemia, Candida or Eating Clean. And why I would show a picture of a wheat field on my blog. My gluten-free blog.

I just have something else on my mind today. This week. Probably because my Adrenal Fatigue, Anemia and Candida seem to be under control for the moment (yay).

There has been a storm brewing half way around the world. Turmoil. Hope and hopelessness. A place that is very far removed from my everyday life. Ukraine.

The state flag of Ukraine is a banner of two equally sized horizontal bands of blue and yellow color, which symbolize the clear blue sky over a yellow wheat field. Well frankly, I can do without the wheat. But I love the concept. I've always loved this flag.

I have been so caught up in my own troubles (had been "off" and struggling for the past few months) and trying so hard to get my health back in order that the news, articles and pleas about Ukraine on the internet and Facebook didn't fully reach me. I was aware of what was going on in the Ukraine. I read about it. But I was watching it as a fairly unemotional bystander. Detached.

And then this week things went haywire over there. Russian moved its troupe's into the Ukraine. What. Wait.

Health wise, I have started feeling better which means I had more time to devout to thinking about this. To feeling. It's actually affecting me.

That's the thing with Adrenal Fatigue and anemia. You can be so spaced out that sometimes you don't really FEEL things. You just go through the motions.

But I'm feeling things now. I am not just going through the motions.

And I have been thinking about my relationship with Ukraine. What it means to me. From my bubble over here in Canada.

How many times have I stood and sang the National anthem of Ukraine with pride? How many times did I put on my boots and beads and headpiece and dance my heart out in honor of my Ukrainian culture. How many perogies (okay - that was my pre-Clean days) have I pinched over my lifetime. How many years did I study the language and memorize the poems of Ukraine's most famous poets.

I am Canadian first. There is no doubt about that. But my Ukrainian roots run deep. I wouldn't be me if I weren't "Ukrainian". It has been a huge part of my life - the language, the food, the traditions, the music and of course the dancing. I'm so proud of the Ukraine's rich culture and traditions.

So I SHOULD feel something when the Ukraine is in turmoil.

I can't do much from here. But I can feel and I can pray. So I will.

And I can be grateful. Grateful that I live in Canada. That my biggest issue involves how to make perogies without gluten, dairy or eggs. That I have access to healthcare, "clean" food and supplements. And that my health is returning so I can feel things.

Because I'm not me if I don't feel things!

Slava Ukraina!