Another Milestone…

Blogiversary

Night Owl Kitchen Blog turned 2 yesterday!

403 Followers
18,070 Total Views
406 Comments
118 Countries

(That last stat really blew my mind!)
I think I’m at a loss for words…….oh wait, I’m not!

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I am BEYOND thankful for all you who come by this humble blog, who try the recipes, share the links on Pinterest, who reshare on Tumblr, those who follow on Instagram(there are world chefs who are liking my images), and people who let me know that you enjoy what I put on here 🙂 Yesterday two very sweet and dear friends told me how much they love the posts on here, I was humbled by their praise *blushes* I know they will eventually see this, so thank you Stephanie and Dede!

Being the writer of this blog has been a huge blessing to me, it’s opened a door for me to share a part of myself with everyone! In a world of 7 billion, it’s easy to feel so insignificant that you’ll never get noticed, that people outside your immediate family and circle of friends will never know about you. When that just isn’t true at all! It’s encouraging to see that those who make their way here enjoy what they see, are inspired, feel a sense of unity, or feel like you’ve just stopped by and spent time with a friend!

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I really hope everyone continues to come back for more recipes, and yes there are plenty more to share, will continue to share these posts, invite your friends and family to check out a recipe or two. There’s a little bit of everything here and I know I didn’t post a single thing last week(Jamberry took up a lot of my time) but this is a brand new week and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

HaveaBeautifulBlessedDay

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A TBT Celebration!!!

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One of my favorite days of the week has been TBT’s. I love looking up old recipes, trying new things and sharing them on here. I know I’ve gotten lax in doing that lately, but I still enjoy this day even if I’m not writing about it. When I originally decided to share Throw Back Thursday posts it was my intention to bring back those recipes of old. You can do web searches for recipes that hearken back to the 1800’s and yet there aren’t any pictures, reviews or person thoughts. So I decided that it would be fun to pick certain ones that sounded good,for one, in the hopes you all would like to try them out yourselves. I would like to continue on with such posts, I do love cooking and baking after all, but instead of doing that weekly I may cut back to a once a month post for health reasons.

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I know I’ve said this another time before, but I love old cookbooks. I grew up pulling out all of my Mom’s 70’s and 80’s cookbooks from the shelves and would sit there reading each recipe and falling in love the old pictures and wondering what each dish would taste like. One such recipe I shared on here was the Dutch Butter Cookies recipe.

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When I discovered this recipe, at the time I had no idea just how big of a hit it would be. Especially with my Mom! I grew up with her hand rolled sugar cookies that she would make once a year, always for Christmas, and those are her favorite cookie. Now I think the Dutch Butter Cookies have either tied with the hand rolled sugar cookies or at least come in at a close second. You really can’t messed these cookies up, it’s a four ingredient recipe that you can either enjoy plain or with colored sugar on top(as pictured above).  When you serve them up small they are perfect then for get togethers, easier for kids to pick up and enjoy, or you could cut them larger and decorate with frosting. It’s not a sweet cookie but I’ve not had any complaints yet from adults or toddlers 🙂 And kids are my harshest critics some times!

One of my all time TBT favorites, and I mean this was a newly discovered recipe for me that has become a winter staple now, is Milk Toast. Just from the name of the recipe it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but just wait!

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I’m the only one in the family who has tried this recipe, no one else is brave enough 😦 I don’t share nasty recipes, at least I try not to. Perhaps this one is more of a personal preference, but don’t judge this recipe until you’ve eaten it just once. It’s a very hearty meal, it’s best to use a slightly thicker slice of toast for best results. I’ve tried it with lower carb bread, it’s ok just not thick enough for my liking.

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It’s thick like oatmeal, the sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top is completely optional. You can pre–cut the toast for easier eating and enjoyment. You could definitely add some raisins or craisins to this if you like, use any bread you prefer, I’ve wondered it French loaf slices would be tasty…*nods thoughtfully* I think it would!

Don’t be afraid to try new things, my friends. You never know what you could be missing out on 🙂

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~Pinterest Celebration~

Afternoon everyone! Happy Hump Daaaaaaay! And just to get it out of my system….

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There, I feel so much better! LOL I hope this Wednesday has been a happy one for y’all! I went walking with my Dad, after several days of being out of commission it felt great to actually get out there. No pain from it until the last stretch and yikes my back was screaming at me to stop. Took us 16:25 to do nearly a mile…we were so close to it gaaah…will try again on Friday 😀 Tomorrow though I get to feel a whole different level of pain with my kickboxing.

Today I want to highlight the most popular NOK Pin on Pinterest, it has been re-pinned over 300 times so far! Are you ready? Is the anticipation getting to you?! All right, drum roll please… *drum roll*

TURKEY AND SAUSAGE BALLS

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No joke, this recipe has been finding it’s way onto low carb Pinterest boards recently, it’s become my daily update from Pinterest on my iPod. Seriously, I think this recipe is a hit! And if you’ve not tried it yet, go on jump on it!! This weekend is going to be the perfect time for snack/finger food, and this is one that will not add to your waist line. Trust me on this, it’s become a staple in our house, so good! Plus refer to yesterday’s post (<—click there to read) about how fat isn’t what makes you fat…..*taps the side of her nose*

I want to thank everyone for re-pinning this particular recipe, I am blown away 🙂 Thank you so much for making this place a joy to come to each and every day, I love you all!

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~Health Check Tuesday Celebration~

How can we not celebrate health this week?! Even if it’s just one good thing you’re doing today, be proud of that! It’s one thing that will help improve your life. Even if it’s just getting 6–8 glasses of water a day, opting for a salad instead of burger at lunch or dinner, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Be proud of yourself 🙂

Health Check Tuesday came about as something that I wanted to initially use to bring awareness about PCOS to the masses. But over the last few weeks it’s morphed into sharing some of my weight loss triumphs and set backs, while encouraging everyone to continue on in their journey, which I love! No matter where we are in our health journeys we’re all heading toward the same goal::to become a better version of ourselves. We’re all striving to make changes that work for us and here on NOK Blog it’s important to emphasize good habits over any particular lifestyle, while also sharing the benefits I have personally received from living lower carb/alkaline. One of the things that PCOS women tend to struggle with is finding what works best for them. The temptation to find an easier solution is so great, especially when you’ve tried it all! I know, I’ve done most of it! I grew up on the food pyramid and ballooned. As a young adult I went to the more obscure and dangerous things such as laxatives, weight loss patches, thermogenic drinks, pills, starving myself, and it was all for naught.

The key I was missing in unlocking that door to losing weight, in a safe and natural way, was to stop depriving myself and just eat healthy food. I absolutely cannot tolerate much carbs. If I so much as go over 30 grams a day I start to feel tired, sluggish, and the numbers on the scale go up. When I over indulge and find myself in a food coma the symptoms get worse.

One of my fears when I began writing this blog a year ago was that people would EXPECT yummy comfort food all the time and that’s what I strived for. My health certainly took a turn for the worse the more I tried sharing the things that I *thought* people wanted from me. The weight I had lost came back with a vengeance and then some. That miserable sick feeling started to come back and I knew I needed to change what I was doing, but again worried that it would hurt this blog and folks would start losing interest.

I felt that people wouldn’t be interested in reading about my lower carb alkaline lifestyle, people could care less about my need to be gluten free, and most certainly didn’t want to push a particular mindset on others. But I’ve watched how those posts about lower carb recipes have gained views and visits from people all over the world, local readers telling me how much they have enjoyed reading my Health Check Tuesday posts and how they have learned so much about PCOS. That they never knew it existed until they started reading about it here. Let me tell you what an amazing feeling that is, to know you have just empowered someone with knowledge and they are sharing it with others and are now meeting other women who are struggling with this same condition! It’s almost surreal 🙂

So, in honor of today I want to look back at a couple of my favorite Health Check posts and want to encourage you all to share these with your friends and loved ones. They are really posts that everyone can benefit from so don’t think that people you don’t know someone with PCOS that they too wouldn’t enjoy reading something on here.

  1. Healthy Check Tuesday: Positive ThinkingThis post is full of steps in thinking and living more positively. We’re all living busier and certainly more hectic lives now than our parents ever did! What’s changed? We need to examine our lives, determine what can be cut out and what should be changed in order to make our lives simpler and yes more positive. It’s amazing how I much enjoy life when the wifi isn’t so readily accessible. Technology seems to be my downfall, when I let that little ipod device rule my day with it’s constant dinging, pinging, and ringing…letting me know when someone has liked, shared, or messaged me. When the wifi is out I’m not constantly picking it up to check what’s going on. For me, a positive change has been cutting back on my ipod usage. It’s amazing just how less stressed I feel, how much drama I miss out on, and happier I feel! Could that be the same for you too?
  2. Health Check Tuesday: Memory Loss & PCOS–This piece was especially beneficial for me to write. I struggle a lot with remembering things. That was hard for me to admit since there are people who rely on me to remember certain things. When I forget I feel like I’ve just let the world down! I know that it’s impossible to actually do that, I’m just this speck on the map of the world, but still I hate that feeling that I’ve dropped the ball yet again. Sometimes it’s easy to disguise it when online, I can google or bing something real quick and go “oh yeah duh Amanda!” and go about my merry way with a conversation! But in person it’s a different story, even with a list of things I need to remember to do or ask someone I still find myself forgetting something along the way. At the end of the day I just remind myself, the world has not ended because I forgot, tomorrow is another day, and if it really mattered THAT much someone would have said something. In other words, don’t sweat it!

 

Today, I want to look at why bacon is the culprit in making so many PCOS women fat…but pasta is.

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18 years ago I would have argued how bacon was fattening, that pasta was healthier, and you would have found me with a plate of of my Mom’s spaghetti going to town like a mad woman. This is why I’m so thankful I learned a few years later just how wrong that mindset was for our family. The issue with carbs, specifically pasta/rice/potatoes/bread is that they raise the insulin levels dangerously and in turn that causes cells to pull in more fat which results in more weight gain.

But how is it then that bacon isn’t the culprit for weight gain?

 

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I love these pictures, but still some might wonder where’s the evidence, I need the proof…give me more input!

To further break this down here’s a transcript from the smarter science of slim show that I stumbled upon not too long ago. It helps to explain this a bit better. The hosts of the show are Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown. I’ve started the quote after some back and forth chatter and picked up where Jonathan begins talking about the science of how fat isn’t the culprit of weight gain.

Jonathan: There is something that is really bad. It’s called ketoacidosis. That is a different thing, but as is common with things in the health world, if two words sound alike then people are like, oh well, ketoacidosis is horrible for you. Therefore, ketosis, which sounds like that word, must also be bad; it is not. They are two very, very different things.

So, ketosis – first of all, when you wake up in the morning you are in ketosis, because ketosis, very high level, just means your body is fueling itself using fat rather than sugar. That’s really all it means.

Carrie: How could anyone think that was bad?

Jonathan: Exactly. There is this mythology that your body requires carbohydrate. This is not an episode saying that we should all go on low carb diets; it’s also not an episode saying low carb diets are bad for you. They are absolutely not. In fact, they’re one of the most scientifically valid and studied ways of eating in the world.

But it is to say that this assumption that we have been told for the past forty years that 60-plus percent of our diet – excuse me, 65 percent plus of our diet should be carbohydrate because that’s the optimal fuel for our body is patently false. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. There is such a thing as an essential amino acid, aka protein, and an essential fatty acid, aka fat. If you never ate a carbohydrate in your entire life, your body could fuel itself just fine via the process known as ketosis, aka burning fat as fuel. And it could also create all the glucose, aka sugar, it needs through a process that we talked about on the show “Gluconeogenesis” whereby protein is converted into sugar.

Carrie: So, we all want to be in ketosis then.

Jonathan: So, we want to be – it is absolutely critical that we give our body the ability to effectively fuel itself using fat. And that sounds obvious, but if our body is not good at using fat for fuel, keeping fat off our body is going to be extremely difficult. And this is why actually eating fat – we talk about it on the show a lot, how things that are intuitive aren’t always true. Right?

It’s intuitive that the earth is flat. Look outside; it looks flat. And if it wasn’t flat wouldn’t the people on the bottom fall off? We know there’s gravity; we know that’s not how the world works. And it’s intuitive that doesn’t eating fat make you fat? It is fat, you put it into your mouth and it just goes and sits on your hips, right? That is intuitive but it is wrong.

Here’s a better and a more scientifically accurate way to think about it. Okay? When you eat your body gets good at fueling itself based on what you eat. Makes sense, right?

Carrie: Right.

Jonathan: The more sugar you eat the better your body’s going to be at running off of sugar.
Because it’s like, this is the normal state for me, I better get used to this. Now think about how this works. If your body is best at burning sugar, meaning sugar is its preferred fuel source, for all intents and purposes your body does not store sugar. The only way to store energy on your body, practically – there is some level of glucose in your muscles and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – but practically it’s in your fat. So, the way your body stores energy is through fat. But if you eat mostly sugar and your body is good at burning sugar, and prefers to burn sugar, then let’s say you eat breakfast and it’s a Pop Tart and orange juice, very common breakfast here in the States. Sugar, you basically had some sugar for breakfast. Well, in an hour your body has either burned through that sugar or more likely shuttled it off into your fat cells. So there is no sugar around, so your body needs energy. Well there’s no sugar around, so what’s it going to do? It’s going to make you hungry because the only way to get more sugar is to take some through your lips.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: Now, think about if your body’s more accustomed to burning fat for fuel, and let’s say you have a delicious frittata with vegetables for breakfast.

Carrie: That was me today!

Jonathan: Exactly. Right? So you eat mostly fat. Most of your calories are coming from fat. You got some protein and you got some extremely healthy carbohydrate in the form of vegetables.

Carrie: Yum. It was delicious.

Jonathan: It’s delicious, so you get your calories, you get your nutrients, you get your energy and then when you – a few hours later, you’re sitting in the office or you’re sitting at the house, you’re sitting with your family and friends, and there’s no more energy floating around in the blood stream. Your body’s like, I need some more energy, and do you know what I like to use for energy? Fat. Oh hey. Good news; there’s some sitting right here on the hips. Or there’s some sitting right here maybe on the belly a little bit.

So the opposite of eating fat makes you fat; in fact, eating fat, helping your body to become conditioned at fueling itself off of fat, makes you better at burning fat. Because when you get into a state where you have a shortage of exogenous energy your body can just say, well, that’s okay, I don’t need to take any more fat through my lips. I can just eat it off my hips.

Carrie: The compelling reasons for not eating sugar just pile on and pile on. Don’t they?

Jonathan: Well, think about it, Carrie, it’s a, why is it?

Carrie: I can actually visualize what you just said happening in my mind, which is great, right? Because now every time I get that craving for sugar I’m going to go, nope, I don’t do that, because that’s going to help my body to think that sugar’s not the way to go and so I can visualize that; that’s super-helpful for me. Thank you, sir.

 

I absolutely loved his visuals! You condition your body to burn fat by eating fat. I know that isn’t going to sit well with most of you. Trust me, it took a lot of relearning for me to finally accept that after being told for years that bacon, olives, coconut, butter and yes eggs were all bad for me and I should eat those in extreme moderation. One of the first things I did after discovering a lower carb lifestyle was gorge myself on green stuffed olives! Oh yes, I think I ate half the jar in one sitting and I didn’t feel sick later on. In fact I felt pleasantly full for hours! Which was a new thing for me because I was having to eat every few hours and the weight was piling on like crazy! The first time I lost 50 pounds(I was 16 year old) people were beyond shocked when I told them how I was doing it. They were even floored when I told them that I was eating all these fatty foods and was losing weight hand over fist! So why didn’t I keep going? Life…I got thrown several fast curve balls and struck out one too many times. Wasn’t even allowed to walk the bases. When I finally was given the fourth chance to change my life I punted the ball and yes I’ve been running the bases ever since! (That’s the extent of my baseball knowledge, don’t go thinking I’m some fan…sorry, sports aren’t my thing lol)

I may not be dropping the weight like I did years ago when I first learned about this lifestyle, I’ve missed that golden opportunity, but at least I’m losing it. It’s going to take me longer this time to get to my goal weight(at least five years) but that’s ok too! The important thing is that I’m feeling better, I’m staying active, and there’s a little extra give in my clothes! How can anyone judge those results and say it’s all unhealthy?! That I’m doing something wrong and I need someone to take over my health for me? We’re not all cookie cutter here, therefore a cookie cutter lifestyle isn’t going to work for anyone. We have to figure out what works best for each of us and stick with it! Find new ways to spice it up, treat ourselves every once in a while(don’t call it cheating, that suggests it’s something bad, unhealthy, that should be kept a secret when it’s perfectly alright to have that special meal and stop when you’re full). Are carbs bad for everyone? No, but for the majority of Americans yes they are bad…toxic even. Should everyone jump back on the Atkins or South Beach diet wagon? Nope, in fact I don’t support either of those. They are both loaded with soy and not a healthy option for PCOS Cysters.

If you’re truly curious about what nutritional lifestyle you should be living I encourage you to take Dr. Joseph Mercola’s Nutritional Typing Test. I’ve taken it three times and get the same results. I’m a Protein Type, this is why a lower carb lifestyle works for me! All you have to do is enter your email address, he does not spam you nor will he sell your information to second or third parties. This is strictly to discover what nutritional plan you should be living. You are not obligated to buy anything, the test is free to take, all you have to provide is accurate information to get honest results.

My hearty thanks goes out to everyone who has liked and shared these Tuesday posts. I look forward to sharing more about my journey with you all and hope you continue to enjoy the lower carb/alkaline recipes along the way!

Change your mindset in order to see the results!

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It’s time to celebrate!

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Yesterday, the Night Owl Kitchen Blog became a year old! It has been an absolutely wonderful year of sharing things with all of you, getting to meet some new friends, and trying new things. All this week I plan to revisit my first posts as a new blogger and share my personal favorite posts from the year.

My very first blog post was a year ago today. I wrote about Chewy Sugar Cookies, (<—click the link to view post and recipe), they’ve been such a hit with family and friends that I cannot skip this simple crowd pleaser 🙂

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You absolutely cannot go wrong with sugar cookies….ever. They are the staple for most get togethers, kids absolutely love them(especially when iced) and they are elegant enough to serve at a bridal tea, baby shower, and yes even on a dessert table for weddings and anniversaries(or even as party favors)! The simplicity of this cookie is what makes it so versatile, but what make the recipe such a hit is that they aren’t hard to bite into, but have a wonderful chewy texture. The cookies are substantial enough to hold up to icing and sprinkles, plus they are perfect to use as homemade ice cream sandwiches, as an alternative crust for a cheesecake, and you can take the entire dough to use for a fruit pizza! I know everyone is looking for that perfect sugar cookie recipe, give this one a try. You might be surprised just how amazing it really is 🙂

 

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I’m so humbled to be sharing this wonderful week with all 287 of you! I can never say this enough, but I love you all! This blog would not be what it is today without each and every one of you. Thank you for your faithfulness, for liking, sharing, reblogging, and Pinning. I can’t wait to see what this second year will usher in 🙂 New recipes and experiences, more wonderful friends, and other tantalizing delights! We will definitely have too see!!!

One of my favorite posts, without a doubt, is when NOK Blog reached it’s first 100 followers 🙂

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I have never forgotten that feeling of “WOW! There are 100 people out there who actually enjoy this place!!” Many of my fellow bloggers can relate to what I’m about to say, I feel like this tiny spec on the map of the world and having 100 people actually following and reading what I write….it’s unbelievable! I have to share this, during lunch yesterday Dad was showing me a Better Homes and Garden Recipe app he had recently downloaded. He said, “You need to market your cookbook this way.” It truly is a neat app that BH&G offers, so many wonderful recipes, I love how you can view a recipe and it will add the ingredients you need to a shopping list! Two thumbs up from me!! Well, I can only hope that once NOK Blog has been around for 50+ years I’ll be able to market as well as BH&G has 🙂 Until then I’m very proud of the little family I have right now and the wonderful support that has come from it! You’ve all helped make some impossible dreams come true for me, I cannot thank you enough!

 

Here’s to another FABULOUS year!!!