Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffins(Muffin Monday)

I could NOT resist! Seriously, I have had this bottle of pumpkin pie spice for a month now and I couldn’t wait any longer to open it. I don’t know about you, but when I opened that bottle it smelled like I was being enveloped in fall goodness! Incredible!

At 1am this morning I decided I wanted to have some muffins for breakfast. Since I have a strict criteria of what I can and cannot have, I knew I had to be mindful and look for the following: they had to be low carb(✔️), keto friendly(✔️), soy free(✔️), gluten free(✔️), grain free(✔️), and if possible dairy free(✔️). I got crazy lucky when I came across Healthful Pursuit’s recipe. The carb count comes out to about 4g net carbs per muffin, which is perfect really! You can have this alongside a scrambled egg and bacon for a well balanced meal. I plan to enjoy mine with a poached egg and some homemade turkey sausage patties.

I did take a little liberty in tweaking the recipe to my liking, here’s what I did.

You’ll Need:

4 large eggs

1/2 c avocado oil

1/2 c lactose free milk

2 tsp homemade vanilla extract

2 c almond flour

2/3 c granulated Stevia sweetener

1 tblsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1 tblsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

a healthy pinch of kosher salt

1/2 c Hemp Hearts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with muffin papers or use a silicone muffin pan. I used silicone muffin cups on a sheet pan.

In a medium bowl mix eggs, oil, milk, vanilla extract until emulsified.

Add dry ingredients, except hemp hearts, and mix till well combined. Fold in hemp hearts gently. Use a muffin scoop and portion out muffin batter. (Original recipe makes 12, I got 15 1/2) Bake for 15-18 minutes(mine were done after 16 minutes). Let cool and enjoy!

♦️Now, you could do as the original recipe and dip the tops of the muffins in coconut oil and then into your cinnamon “sugar” mixture for a snickerdoodle effect. Or you could make cinnamon ghee spread.

You’ll Need:

2 tblsp organic ghee

Granulated Stevia and Cinnamon to Taste(or you can use Pumpkin Pie Spice)

Directions:

Mix these ingredients in a bowl and spread on a warm muffin.

Alternative Spreads:

Low Carb Apple Butter

Low Carb Pumpkin Butter

Almond Butter

Sun Butter

Cashew Butter

🔷If you aren’t a fan of ghee, you can use organic butter instead. Whatever works best for you!

🔶If you would like more info about hemp hearts and their healthy benefits, click here.

Hope you enjoy and have a great Muffin Monday!

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September is Here, Grab Your Teal!!

It’s THAT time of the year folks. All things teal, all affected women uniting together for their voices to be heard around the world. What are your plans to help make a difference this month?

For me, certain health issues have arisen that could NOT have been more untimely. Especially when I have certain things planned for this month and now I cannot do them. 😔

My acid reflux and IBS have been going haywire over the last few weeks and last week was the worst. By last Thursday I had made up my mind that I needed to go back on the GAPS Diet and not let anyone or anything deter me. Especially the holidays. One of the things I’ve been reading up on is how the GAPS Diet can help me as a PCOS Warrior.

Initially, the GAPS Diet is low carb. So long as you forgo the fruits and vegetable with naturally occurring fructose. This is the same rule when living a low carb lifestyle/keto, etc. This diet is also gluten free…aces, since I need to give my lower digestive system a break. Goodbye low carb tortillas. It’s also removes sugar from your daily consumption, with exception to raw organic honey. I get that honey is not low carb/keto legal but it is necessary when doing GAPS.

The first thing to help jump start your day is by drinking warm honey lemon water.

It’s not easy to give up the hot cup of joe, BELIEVE me. But after knowing the benefits of what drinking honey lemon water can do for ya, I’ll take a mug every day! 🙋🏻‍♀️ The benefits far out weigh the need for caffeine. Besides, when your gut is unhappy drowning it with coffee, tea, and sodas only makes things worse.

If you would like to read more about how the GAPS Diet can help with PCOS, click here!

If you have to pop multiple prescription meds in order to function, honey you aren’t even remotely healthy. Healthy is when you don’t have to take any medication. And it is possible to be in your 30’s, 40’s, heck 80 yrs old and not be on any medication. Hippocrates was ahead of his time, he knew that in order to live a healthy life you have to take care of what you put into your body. Just look at the typical American diet. Sugar. Carbs. More sugar. Gluten. GMO products. Chem lab foods. I’m always surprised when someone my age states that they are now taking cholesterol meds, diabetes medication, etc. I’m in my mid 30’s, what is wrong with this picture? Our bodies are screaming for help and tossing more medication at it is NOT the solution.

The GAPS Diet, as well as other elimination diets/protocols, can be an inconvenience. All the planning, prepping, cutting out the bulk of what’s been touted as “healthy food”, reducing stress…I get it, a lot of people don’t want to be bothered. You have to be at that breaking point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. The upheaval this kind of diet causes is not for the feint of heart, but I can honestly tell you it’s worth it!

Last year from August to October I felt amazing! Actually started to feel normal again, well normal being the exact opposite of how I had been feeling prior. No more reflux, no more IBS, no more sleepless nights, and as a byproduct I was losing weight. Lost 35 pounds in 3 months. Going for it again and sticking to it. I want to be a healthier version of myself, to be able to eventually help others, and show my results along the way. For now, at least the next two weeks, everything is going to be GAPS driven. Stages 1&2 are brutal, by Stage 3 more variety gets added, so recipes will be shared by then. Hopefully I won’t lose anyone in the process.

I’ll end with this, please look over the 9 signs below and ask yourself…do I suffer from any of these? If you do, please consider looking more into following a healthy gut protocol. I’m here, shoot me a message anytime! Always happy to help.

Have a great Monday!!

LC/Keto Friendly Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole

If you love jalapeño poppers and a good creamy chicken casserole, then I hope you will love this combination! It’s the result of reading through several other recipes and picking favorite parts from each one.

Y’all know I like to keep things simple, easy ingredients and simplified instructions. Whatever makes the cooking experience more enjoyable! That’s why I think this is going to be a hit with a lot of low carb families.

I think the key to this dish is the fresh mozzarella and rotisserie chicken. If all you have is shredded mozzarella or if that’s all you can find then go with it. Use what you can. I chose to use rotisserie chicken. I tend to get two meals from one chicken but this time I used the whole chicken. (TIP: Be sure to save the bones to make stock.) If you can’t find a whole rotisserie chicken at the store or don’t have time to make one yourself, you can use cubed cooked chicken instead. Just make sure the amount you use equals two pounds.

I also opted for pickled jalapeños instead of fresh. I like the ease that the pickled offer, strained half the jar and chopped them into smaller pieces. Simple. If you prefer to use fresh, I would think one to two large peppers would be more than enough.

What you’ll need:

2 pounds rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped

2-3 small onions, chopped and sautéed in avocado oil*

2 pounds bacon, chopped and fried

1 1/2 bricks cream cheese, softened

1/2 c full fat mayonnaise, homemade stuff works too

1/4 c chopped pickled jalapenos

8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 c shredded cheddar

Directions:

Set oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick foil or use your favorite nonstick cooking spray.

Chop and fry bacon in a large skillet to desired doneness, remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Remove most of the grease to a heat resistant bowl and add onions to the skillet. Cook till transparent and lightly browned.

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and chopped jalapeños. Set aside and slice up fresh mozzarella.

Add deboned chopped chicken to the cream cheese mixture, along with cooked onions and bacon. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth out into an even layer. Top with shredded cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until everything is melted.

This can be served with a side salad, roasted veggies, or alone.

*You can leave out or reduce the onions, especially if you are just starting to live a low carb lifestyle.

(The nutritional info below reflects the ingredients and amounts I used. Everything was full fat.)

Nutritional Information for 1/10 serving(according to MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 779

Fat: 58.9g

Carbs: 6.6g

Fiber: 0.4g

Net Carbs: 6.2g

This was a hit for the family, they loved the creaminess, thick chunks of bacon, and the cheesy goodness from the fresh mozzarella. I doubt I will have to freeze any leftovers, and dairy tends to not reheat well after being frozen. Any leftovers can be stores in the fridge and reheated slowly on the stove top or in the oven.

Save the Date:

Don’t forget, next month is PCOS Awareness Month. Mark your calendars, I have a lot planned for next month: low carb recipes both savory and sweet, giveaways, live FB videos showing how to make some tasty low carb treats, and more!

Save the Date

Mark your calendars, next month is PCOS Awareness Month! Got some recipes lined up for y’all and a give away of my favorite low carb snacks, cookbook, and other treats! Plus some other fun things in store to help raise awareness, you don’t want to miss out!

Chewy “Granola”

Today’s been a tad busy, but I finally got around to making homemade “granola”. It’s oat free, can be made dairy free, and spices can be added if desired. I love granola in general, especially homemade, but it tends to be too crunchy for my liking and and heavy on the spices and sweetener.

Which is why I love using honey in paleo and GAPS recipes, I’m able to control how much to use and it helps with the final texture. But how can honey be used to make “granola” when it’s not low carb? True, it is 17g of carbs per 1Tblsp serving, but as long as you don’t consume too much every day(per the GAPS Diet code, as I call it) you will be fine. And truly, I have been! Still losing weight a year later and I love to bake with it or have some in my warm lemon water. Those 17g of carbs haven’t impeded my progress, so everything in moderation.

Why did I choose honey for this recipe? Aside from it’s antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties, I knew that during the baking process the honey would give the best end results due to it’s natural fructose content. Not over baking it was a good idea too! Honey has a so much to offer us, but not just any honey will do. Specifically, we need to be using raw unfiltered honey. It does have a stronger flavor that some may find unpleasant, but it has the most to offer health wise.

Read more here and here(Dr. Mercola’s site includes a test to know if you have legit raw honey or not).

So here’s what you’ll need:

3 c chopped walnuts, or 1 1/2 c walnuts & 1 1/2 c whole almonds

2 c unsweetened coconut

5 Tblsp ground flax seed

5 Tblsp roasted & salted pepitas

5 Tblsp roasted, salted, and shelled sunflower seeds

3/4 c raw unfiltered honey

2 Tblsp organic butter or ghee

Optional: dried unsweetened cranberries, golden raisins, or dried blueberries

Optional Seasoning: pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and ginger

Optional Nuts: whole or chopped pecans, sliced almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Folding seemed to have worked best in my favor, in making sure that everything was evenly coated.

Spread out onto a lined half sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. This will result in a chewier texture. Bake a little longer if you want it to be crunchy.

Let it cool completely before storing into food safe jars/container.

The yield for this recipe will depend on how much you plan to consume. We all ate roughly 1/2 cup servings(I had mine with unsweetened almond milk, as pictured above). You can easily measure out less into snack bags and keep to add on top of yogurt, put into your child’s lunch box, or have as a snack for on the go.

And I know in my directions I don’t say “stir every 10-15 minutes”, that’s because I didn’t stir mine. If you want to, go for it. Stirring it while baking will uniformly crisp up the “granola”. But I hope you’ll give this version a try and let me know what you think!

TGIF, have a great weekend!!

The Fourth Meal Trend Is Back!

Who remembers when Taco Bell came out with fourth meal? It was back in 2007 and for those late night munchies they were hoping you’d show up to get some gut busting snackage in before calling it a night. I don’t recall it going over very well, or lasting very long. 🤷🏻‍♀️

One of the 2018 food trends is the fourth meal. So what is it? Naturally, we already have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The way I understand it, the fourth meal is after dinner but before breakfast. According to certain cultures dinner is already considered the fourth meal. So long as you include tea, biscuits, and jam as the third meal after lunch. (See below)

I have no personal qualms with this notion, if that’s how you roll more power to you. After living in Brazil for a year and half I got used to eating dinner later in the evening as it was cooler and more comfortable to do so. Some nights we weren’t eating till 8pm sometimes as late as 9-10pm. But now, I struggle getting a second and sometimes a third meal in. As for my caloric intake, getting what MyFitnessPal deems what I ought to be getting is an absolute joke! Most days I can barely break 1200. How on earth am I suppose to fit in a fourth meal? 🤨🤔

I recall back in late 2003, I was roughly 5-6 months pregnant with G, both my OB/GYN and Nutritionist told me that I needed to start eating 5-6 small meals a day. I earnestly tried, I did EXACTLY what they said but I started to feel sick to my stomach. It was basically too much food, mixed the constant clock watching, writing it all down, monitoring what I was eating and when…I started to hate food. So, I went back to my three lower carb meals a day, fitting in one to two complex carbs a day with my meals, making sure to measure out the servings, and IF I felt like having a snack then I made sure it was something healthy. I was maintaining the 35 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy, didn’t have a single issue with bloat, Gestational Diabetes, and more or less felt normal. My blood pressure was near textbook which apparently is unheard of for someone of my size. 😒 In the end, I proved for myself, that 5-6 smaller meals wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the fourth meal is designed for the night owls/hawks. With insomnia on the rise it’s plausible, I guess. Would this also include 3rd shift workers? Or other people who work the graveyard shift? I can’t help but wonder though…

…who would have the room for it? With the shoddy metabolism I was blessed with I know I personally don’t. 🤢

Which begs the question, do you see the fourth meal taking off again?

Granted I don’t think it’s about being glutenous, rather it’s along the same lines as having 5-6 smaller healthier meals a day.

Do you think this trend will stick around a second time? If it does, then I think it will only benefit those who are up late at night and people with faster metabolisms. I could be wrong and often am.

Please feel free to comment below! Let me know what you think, who do you think might benefit from it, and what are some healthier fourth meal options?

Happy Eating(fourth meal included)!!! 😉

Back to School Dinner Recipes

“Let’s keep it easy this year. Keep it simple.” That’s what I tell myself as the new school year approaches. Sometimes I’m successful, other times not so much. The problem with living low carb/GAPS is that you can’t order out on those nights when you’re not in the mood to cook. Trust me though, the temptation is there. 😈

Which is why I’ve decided to share some of my favorite go to recipes that take 30 minutes or less to cook. Trust me, I wouldn’t share these if I thought they were anything but reliable.

This is of course a recipe roundup, but it’s all recipes that we have enjoyed one time or another. As most of y’all know, I’m a huge fan of sheet pan recipes. Thankfully those can take up to 30 minutes to bake, taking all the guess work and slaving away over a hot stove out of the equation. Just add it all to a sheet pan, place in the oven and just like Elsa, let it go!

As always, I encourage you to play with the seasonings, change things up to fit your dietary needs, and make substitutions where needed. You don’t have to follow the recipe exactly, unless you want to. Plus the bulk of these recipes your kid(s) can help prepare. Hope you all enjoy and welcome back to school!!

20+ Easy Low Carb Dinner Recipes:

  1. Roasted Peppers Onions with Italian Sausage
  1. One Pan Garlic Lovers Shrimp and Veggies
  1. LC Sesame Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Meal
  1. Sheet Pan Meatloaf with Potatoes and Green Beans (turnips or cauliflower maybe substituted for potatoes)
  1. Low Carb Goulash
  1. Baked Chicken and Zucchini Casserole
  1. Eggplant Mini Pizzas
  1. Where’s the Crust Pizza
  2. Easy Chicken Paprika with Sour Cream Gravy (Low Card, Gluten Free)
  1. Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan
  1. Sheet Pan Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon (good served with pan roasted vegetable medley or salad)
  1. Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Bacon (boneless thighs is preferred)
  1. Sheet Pan Taco Bowls
  1. Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Chicken (a family fave, I like using rotisserie chicken)
  1. BLTA Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
  1. Low Carb Chili Cheese Dog Casserole (a great recipe to use leftover low carb chili with)
  1. BBQ Chicken with Bacon and Cheese (low carb, keto friendly)
  1. Easy 10 Minute Asian Zucchini Noodles
  1. Cowboy Butter Chicken and Zucchini Noodles
  1. California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil Mayo
  1. Quick Keto Dinner
  1. Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Popper Casserole
  1. Chicken in Creamy Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomatoes (serve with Zucchini Noodles and Salad)
  2. Keto Broccoli Casserole
  • What to Eat When It’s THAT Time of the Month 😑

    Right off the bat, let’s just get this out there…ladies that time of the month is the absolute pits and the LAST thing you want to eat is a bunch of healthy food. I’ll even admit it, I crave pizza, mac n cheese, Chinese dumplings, ice cream you name it. Over the last few months I’ve been trying to do better, choose healthier options during my “shark week” and I will admit I have noticed a difference. Minute as they are, but it’s just enough to take some of the edge off.

    Life with PCOS it’s not always a guarantee that I will have a period every month. Sometimes it’s so light I wonder if I’m having one at all. Other months there is NO doubt it is present. Aside from the obvious, the bloat, acne, cramps, and constantly being cold is at times unbearable. I joke that one day I plan to kick Eve in the shins. 😏

    This month I’m trying to do my best to not rely on pain reliever as much. Being dependent on those isn’t as healthy as relying on nutrition. Is it going to be instant relief? No, and the effects aren’t as lasting as pain relievers but in the long run eating the right foods(not just during your monthly cycle but every day) is better for you. No ill side effects and your body will truly thank you!

    So here’s a mockup menu on how to beat Aunt Flo’s painful stay.

      Breakfast: Pineapple-Carrot-Turmeric Spritzer This is a refreshing and a surprisingly tasty drink. No funky ingredients. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender and strain the juice into a glass.
      Lunch: Smoked Salmon on Romaine – Skip the thick creamy dressing, those are loaded with sugar. Opt for avocado oil and vinegar. Keep it light and simple. Add some berries, or almonds with dark chocolate on the side for a sweet treat!
      Snack: Greek Yogurt with Berries and Nuts – If you are feeling peckish grab a lower carb snack. The best option is homemade yogurt. If you aren’t brave to attempt it, you can always go for store bought. Personally, I skip the yogurt and go for zesty dill pickles. At 1g net carb per serving I can splurge a little and eat about 3 whole small/medium pickles. Kills the sweet tooth and fills me up without feeling like I’ve eaten another massive meal.
      Dinner: Organic Red Meat – I will leave this up to your incredible imagination! I am not a steak fan, however I do love ground beef. During my shark week I tend to eat more ground beef in the form of meatballs, ground beef steaks, and in soups. My favorite recipe is the GAPS Diet soup I make, Roasted Pepper and Acorn Beef Soup. It’s full of good for you stock, vegetables, beef, and is the best comfort food during your period. See recipe here. You can swap out the acorn squash for other seasonally available vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, fresh or frozen okra, even turnips and parsnips are great additions as well!
      Dessert: Holy Cow, LC/GF Brownies – these are incredibly easy to make, freeze well, and can be made with peppermint extract for a yummy grasshopper version!

    The above two pictures show how you can turn them into Cheesecake Swirl and the Grasshopper version, I was getting ready to add the low carb chocolate ganache on top. They are both low carb and gluten free. These will definitely fix that late night sweet tooth without compromising your waistline.

    Hope these ideas will help you, inspire you to try something new, and encourage you to take your health back! Have a blessed Sunday!!