An Update and Recipe

Afternoon everyone!

Been a while since the last post, a lot has changed. Before I get into that, please keep Florida in your thoughts and prayers. I have family and friends who are hunkering down for various reasons and naturally we are worried about them. 

About a month ago I started doing the anti-candida diet. Started out great, lost 10Lbs of bloat that first week everything was awesome. A week later I had gained a pound and the week after that I was up another two pounds. Very discouraging. ๐Ÿ˜  That’s when I started reading about the underlying cause for my candida issue…leaky gut. This wasn’t a new topic for me, I had read about, talked about, and even listened to numerous discussions about leaky gut syndrome with it’s laundry list of issues that come with it. Yay me! ๐Ÿ˜’

So, what’s the go to protocol to treat leaky gut syndrome? GAPS Diet. Gut and Psychological/Physiological Syndrome Diet, it’s designed to help those with leaky gut issues and those who are autistic, have ADD/ADHD, are schizophrenic, and have skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. It is certainly good for a whole host of other issues as well, especially candida. My mother is currently living with fibromyalgia and suffering from side effects after taking Cipro(she’s been floxed), last night was her first time trying one of my GAPS soups and it was a hit(will share it in another post). 

Currently I have completed two weeks of the GAPS Intro stages 1 & 2. There are six stages in this intro diet and it is not for the faint of heart. I first started out almost immediately with cold like symptoms. I was miserable, cold, coughing, unabel to sleep lying down, beginning to doubt my decision to go stage by stage. Typically beginners are encouraged to do the full GAPS Diet which allows them to eat everything from all six stages and it eases them into it rather than eliminating everything all at once. I was unaware of THAT tid bit of information until I was already halfway through my first week. No matter, I pushed through the first week proud that I had stuck it out. 

You see, I have a lot of food issues. Dairy is usually a biggie for me, eggs, and gluten. This is why I tend to shun such foods and tend to miss out on a lot of low carb treats. For me, going stage by stage is helping me to identify where my real issues are. I’ll break it down…

Stage 1 was not fun, easy but not a walk in the park. Most of what I was allowed to have that first week was homemade stocks, overcooked vegetables, boiled meats, and could only season with salt(either Himalayan Pink or Celtic). Not that exciting. I was developing a sore throat from all the coughing so I drank a lot of warm lemon honey water. I won’t lie, I was miserable since I couldn’t take cough meds because of the alcohol, cough drops were out of the question due to the sugar. I sounded rough and could not wait to get into the second stage. 

Stage 1 meals:

Chicken & Vegetable Soup–basically boiled chicken, homemade stock, carrots, leeks, minced garlic, and Himalayan Pink Salt to taste.

Beef and Vegetable Soup–grass fed beef & stock, leeks, carrots, zucchini slices, minced garlic, and Celtic Sea salt.

Turkey Meatball Soup–homemade raw turkey meatballs, chicken stock, yellow squash, zucchini, leeks, minced garlic, and Himalayan Pink Salt.

Mexican Turkey Soup–chicken stock, half head of cauliflower(destemmed), small onion, oregano, minced garlic, 4oz jar green chiles(big mistake on my part) turkey meatballs, and Himalayan Pink salt.

Stage 2 came and the first thing I made, without even trying, was an egg drop soup. I had been reading about how onions and eggs help with sore throats so I got busy eating lots of eggy onion soups those first few days of that second week. It. Was. Divine! Sweet relief for my throat. By Wednesday I was finally feeling somewhat normal and began including bovine gelatin to my soups. 

Stage 2 Meals:

Egg Drop Soup–chicken stock, a small onion chopped, an egg yolk, minced garlic, ghee, and Celtic Sea salt

Warm Chicken Stock-just warmed up chicken stock with Celtic Sea salt for flavor(very soothing)

Turkey Vegetable Stew–ground turkey meat, ghee, zucchini and yellow squash slices, leeks, Celtic Sea salt and bovine gelatin

Italian Meatball Soup–beef meatballs, carrots, onions, celery(not stage 2 legal, I know), minced garlic, beef stock, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, Celtic Sea salt, ghee, coconut oil, and avocado oil(family loved this!)

Now As I approach the third stage I am prepping for a little bit more food options such as: boiled and scrambled eggs, fermented foods like sauerkraut(in small doses), fully cooked vegetables that aren’t boiled in stock, and add some new organic vegetables to my menu. The one thing I’ve started doing is taking a drop of organic kraut juice in the morning. Wicked stuff, I say that because I’m not a fan of fermented things anyway, especially sauerkraut. ๐Ÿ˜‘ BUT it’s a must since it’s good for digestion. 

And I decided to try pancakes this morning. These are most likely NOT GAPS stage 2 legal since I chose to use coconut flour instead of butternut squash and a nut butter as the base of my pancakes. (Original recipe for these coconut flour pancakes is here.)


What you’ll need:

1/2 c coconut flour

3 tblsp favorite granulated sweetener–I used about 4 packets of Naturevia)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp finely ground Celtic Sea salt

6 organic eggs

1/4 c coconut oil, melted

3/4 c sparkling mineral water

Coconut oil for cooking

Directions:

Heat griddle over medium heat, just until you’re ready to cook. 

In a medius bowl combine coconut flour, granulated sweetener, baking powder, and sea salt. Add eggs, coconut oil, and mineral water, whisking vigorously until well combined. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to thicken up. Use 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, should yield 12 pancakes. Add a little coconut oil to the hot griddle and add batter. Reduce heat if needed so nothing burns, little bubble will form on top and the edges will dry a bit. That’s when you’ll know they’re ready to flip. 

I ate mine with a thin spread of ghee and a drizzle of raw unfiltered honey(since it’s GAPS approved). So far I’m feeling ok, still full but no discomfort. Will see how I am by tomorrow, please don’t follow my example if you are not sure exactly how coconut flour is going to affect your system. We’re all different, but if you are further along in your GAPS journey then I hope you will enjoy these pancakes! 

This whole experience has been a reeducation of not looking at certain foods as “I can’t have that because of the carbs”, but rather, “I’ll have a little because I do need some carbs but not the entire serving.” Since starting all of this I’ve dropped 19 pounds and obviously everything is working out smoothly. My die off is at a manageable state, my guts have quieted down more, there’s less churning and gurgling without the cramping discomfort. 

I will not be making these pancakes too often, as much as I loved their fluffy goodness! Definitely a keeper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Even G liked them! 

If you do give these a try let me know what you think, feel free to share this recipe with others, and reblog if you like! I have shared certain GAPS recipes on on my IG account(nok_amandagayle), but I will be moving those recipes over here so everyone can have access to them. 

Have a blessed weekend! 

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Maple Turkey Sausage Patties(LC/DF/GF/SF)

Afternoon all, trust everyone has recouped from the after effects of watching the solar eclipse yesterday. I know a lot of folks were complaining of having headaches, eyes were burning, and feeling tired. If you’re still not feeling well I pray for speedy recovery soon, I know how draining those types of headaches can be. 

Yesterday I spent some time, post solar eclipse, making some breakfast meat for myself. I love maple flavored sausage, especially with extra maple syrup drizzled on top…mmmmm, the best! But carb wise it’s like the plague attacking my body, which is why I haven’t had that in quite awhile. I do miss regular sausage though…and bacon, deli ham, spam, kielbasa…๐Ÿ˜‘I’ll stop. (Le sigh)


Most of what’s available in stores I can’t even trust. There are hidden sugars, preservatives, and msg in almost everything. I’m not being as strict with my anti-candida lifestyle as some folks have suggested. I still eat meat whereas others tend to become vegetarian. Nothing wrong with that at all, I personally cannot go without meat, which is why I think such things ought to be tailored for each person. There is no clear cut and dry protocol that will work for everyone. I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks about the various candida protocols and have taken from each one customizing what I think will work best for me. So far, everything that I’ve been doing is helping and most of the die off on my chest has cleared up. PTL!! Since I have to resort to making my own breakfast meats, desserts, and meals, it does take a little extra time and effort, but the end results are worth it! 

I do want to mention that the maple flavoring is optional, I only added it because I personally LOVE it. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰ However, you can use maple syrup if the carbs are not an issue for you. Ground chicken can also be used in lieu of ground turkey. Or you can mix ground turkey with ground hamburger, which I’ve done in the past when making meatballs. It’s just as good and the ground beef lends some fat to the mixture since ground turkey tends to be lean. 

What you’ll need: 

1 pound ground turkey

2 tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp maple extract(optional)

1 tblsp granulated stevia(optional)

1/8 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp Cassia cinnamon(purchased from The Spice House)

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp Himalyan pink salt

Coconut oil, for cooking

Heat oven to 375*F, line sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium size bowl mix all the ingredients by hand thoroughly. There are a few methods with which you can make sausage patties. METHOD 1: on a clean work surface place a piece of wax paper down and add half of the meat mixture on it. Cover with another sheet of wax paper, then use a rolling pin to flatten out to desired thickness. Cut into 8 rectangular pieces and repeat with second half of mixture. METHOD 2: skip the wax paper all together and free form patties by hand. METHOD 3: on clean work surface lay down wax paper, place half of the meat mixture down and flatten out with hands to desired thickness. Use a biscuit cutter cut to shape the patties. Repeat with second half of the meat mixture. Cook in coconut oil over medium heat until browned on both sides. 

You can freeze these raw or cooked, I went ahead and cooked all of mine up to help cut down on my time in the kitchen each morning. I used wax paper to keep the patties separated and put them into a quart size freezer bag. 

Depending on the size and how thick or thin you make the patties will determine how many it yields. I was able to get 16 rectangular patties. The carb count for these is basically non existent. Using maple syrup would change that, so keep that in mind. If you decide to make these with maple syrup just remember to omit the granulated stevia. 

I had three this morning with a couple of egg muffins that I made, such a nice carb free meal! 

(Pictured above: Half of the egg muffins are dairy and meat free for me. The other half have ham, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese which are G-Man’s fave!) A simple and easy low carb breakfast that you can customize with any flavor and add ins. These were really fluffy, the almod milk added a nice light texture to these. I used cajun seasoning, turmeric powder, kosher salt, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Gave a good whisking and portioned it out to all the silicone muffin cups. Baked @375*F for 20 minutes, plan to make more to freeze. I love breakfasts that I can grab and warm up. Makes for a hassel free morning. 

Hope you give these sausage patties a try, play around with the seasonings and let me know what you think. I love getting feedback from you all! If you have any questions please email me at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Instagram: @nok_amandagayle, for more recipe ideas/inspirations. 

Have a blessed week! 

My Life with Candida Albicans(Here I Go Again)

Afternoon everyone, hope your Wednesday has been a blessed one so far. Today I want to share an update on my candida detox, plus an article I just found that explains what foods to eliminate when you suspect you have a candida overgrowth, and a recipe that I made a couple of nights ago that was absolutely delicious and dairy free! So this will be a jam packed post, but bear with me! โ˜บ๏ธ Below is a picture that is NOT the most flattering, but it shows just how bad this mess has gotten. 

Picture from Sunday night. It spans from shoulder to shoulder, the worst of it in the center. It’s still creeping slowly up my neck, but for now it’s not as bad as it was last Wednesday. As of today, it only itches around the edges of the rash site. There is a soap I found that I plan to try, it’s designed for these areas so I’ll share more after I give it a go. 

For a while now I have been dealing with this candida overgrowth and die off. Ever since my first die off from a few years ago I have done just enough to get over the worst of the symptoms and once the die off would clear up I would slowly begin to add certain foods back into my low carb diet. I can already hear the clucking of tongues from certain folks ๐Ÿ˜‰, trust me I have been kicking myself since last week for not having realized sooner how detrimental that decision was to my health. Just like low carb/keto is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle, so is eat to keep your candida in check. And yes, EVERYONE has candida in their bodies. It’s a nasty bacteria in your digestive system and when we aren’t eating right, when we are pumping our bodies full of antibiotics(including the animal meats we eat) we are feeding the candida. That’s when things get out of balance and we start having issues with our sinuses, allergies, skin related problems(ie rashes, eczema), flatulence, brain fog, IBS, fibromyalgia, yeast infections, and so on. It just seems to snowball and we can’t figure out why all of the sudden we are having all these issues. 
That’s been my life now since 2011 and quite possibly longer if I think about it. This could explain my most recent issue with the top of my left foot. It was hurting to the point where I could barely walk. Which that has actually started to improve over the last few days! I’m not hobbling around as much and I can stand for short periods of time with minimal issues. This is great news since this means I will be able to get back to my workouts! 

So what is it EXACTLY am I doing to improve my health? What protocol am I following to eliminate the candida overgrowth? It’s not any one thing or method. I spent last weekend reading anything and everything online, refreshing my memory of what needs to be done. The first thing I did was change my diet. Since I am already living a lower carb life, I knew I was going to have to give up more even MORE foods that may have been contributing to the overgrowth. And Saturday night proved to be a near breaking point for me. I was emotionally drained and frustrated by the realization that I would have to give up a lot of my favorite low carb foods for a while(possibly forever) and it all hit me that night. I was hungry and wanting stuffed green olives. My go to snack food when I have the munchies. High in fat, zero carbs, and I can easily eat half a jar! No judging. ๐Ÿ˜’My 13 yr old comes in and asks me what I’m doing. Trying to keep the shreds of emotions in check I tell him I’m hungry and can’t have the things that I would normally go to. At this point I could feels the tears welling up and I absolutely hate crying in front of people. When I cry it’s messy and ugly, so I took a few breaths to calm myself and without skipping a beat G-Man told me “so fix yourself some eggs.” 

I won’t lie, I scoffed at that idea. For one eggs don’t like me. Honestly, they make me sulfur gassy(and there goes any hope for finding a future husband). Before I could stop him, G-Man was already grabbing the container of eggs and asking me what meats and veggies I can have. He was shocked when I told him I can’t have sausage patties, deli ham or turkey, and no more bacon. Pitiful, I know. ๐Ÿ˜” So he grabbed tomatoes(which aren’t EXACTLY a safe thing but it added color to my dish), frozen green beans, and a green onion. He stood there watching me fry a couple of eggs in coconut oil with a handful of green beans, added in a few tomatoes for color, seasoned it all with Himalayan seas salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Garnishing the top with thin slices of green onion. And that was dinner! It was so satisfying, delicious, and simple! 

I know not too many folks like to give God credit these days, but I have to take a moment to. If my son hadn’t come into the kitchen when he did I wouldn’t have eaten such an amazing meal. I would have eaten half a jar of stuffed green olives, maybe some cheese slices, and hated myself later. God intervened by using my son to ground me (meaning forcing me to focus) and get me thinking what I should do instead and kept me from eating the very things that have led to this overgrowth and further the issue more. 

Sunday was even better! I had to make the decision to stay home from church since I was experiencing some IBS issues(again I’m just killing my prospects here lol) and didn’t want to chance anything. I rarely eat breakfast y’all, I take after my Memaw, leave me alone for an hour after I get up and let me enjoy my morning coffee(only for her it was hot tea). Coffee fills me up but I made half a cup instead and fried up two eggs just so I could get something into my system. Lunch came and I was starving! That’s when I made this…


All right, it’s not the prettiest bowl of food, but it was tasy! Stir fry veggies and garlic ginger chicken, it made four servings so I had enough for dinner and some to freeze! Sunday afternoon my detox pills arrived and I was actually excited! Me, I hate swallowing pills, but I was actually excited about having THOSE! I know, crazy. ๐Ÿ˜ With my biggest meal I take my pills every day and haven’t had too many issues with them(mild burping…I’m batting a thousand already who cares anymore?!). And this is what is helping me to combat the candida overgrowth. I still pine for the foods that I used to eat, but I know in the end it’s better that I go without and finally get well after years of neglect. 

So…

Goodbye to : dairy(heavy cream, butter, cheeses, cream cheese), processed meats(kielbasa, spam, hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, deli meats), mushrooms, peanut oil, mini sweet peppers, fathead pizza dough and bagels, creamy/cheesy casseroles, homemade ranch dressing, ketchup, mayonnaise, low carb brownies(because of the chocolate and butter), pork rinds, low carb protein smoothies(because the protein powder I love has whey in it), mashed cauliflower(I tend to make it with cream cheese, parm cheese, and heavy cream), pickled foods(sliced jalapenos, dill pickles, stuffed green olives), naturally sweet veggies and fruit, and the list goes on. 

Say hello to: dark green veggies(kale, broccoli, chard, romaine), cruciferous veggies(cauliflower, cabbage), organic meats(beef, chicken, and pork…not a fish fan), peppers, fermented foods(soy sauce, sauerkrauts, kimchi), squash, zucchini, green beans, onions, garlic, coconut oil, evoo, safflower oil, avocado oil(and avocados), hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds, eggplant, blueberries, unsweetened cranberries, stevia, xylitol, vitamins and supplements, and candida detox pills(two pills once a day). 

Here’s a link to a site I found today that gives a basic outline of what foods to avoid and what foods are safe when killing off the candida. CLICK HERE

A friend recently asked me how my ice cube diet is going. ๐Ÿ˜ I love her cheekiness! If it were anyone else I wouldn’t have laughed. For the most part I am able to maintain my low carb lifestyle while incorporating more of the anti-candida regimen. I don’t feel as bloated, the gas is slowly going away, mental clarity is emerging, I’m not as tired during the afternoon, but I am still battling with cold extremities, that might take a bit longer to get over since I’ve dealt with it for years. Plus I actually dropped a pound over the weekend which I haven’t been able to do for a while! 

Now, what yummy recipe do I have for you?! 


It’s baked chicken legs(you can use breasts, thighs, wings, or the whole chicken, go nuts!!) with oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower, served over a very basic romain salad topped with spicy brown mustard. 

What you’ll need:

12 chicken legs, skin on

No salt added seasoning of your choice(the one I used is pictured below)

Evoo

2 pounds frozen broccoli

1 pound frozen cauliflower

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Directions:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two sheet pans with non stick foil. Coat the chicken legs evenly with salt free seasoning and place on sheet pan. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered. Crank the heat up to 425 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. 

In a large mixing add frozen broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle on evoo and season with pink Himalayan sea salt. Spread out on remaining sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until it reaches a desired doneness. 

Serve with chopped organic romaine lettuce and use your favorite dressing. It’s simple, it’s easy, and leftovers are great the next day for breakfast with a couple of fried eggs. Leftovers can be frozen or used for those Bento boxes. Just make sure to debone the chicken first before storing. Makes it easier to enjoy later on! 

Below is the no salt added seasoning recipe I used. 


I store mine in a regular mouth glass jar and washed off a screw on lid from a Kraft Parmesan cheese container. This way I can shake on the seasoning on one side or measure it out from the other. I can’t remember if I doubled or tripled the recipe at the time I made this, but it is worth it! I use it on my eggs, veggies, beef, pork, and of course chicken. 

You can make a non-spicy version by leaving out the cayenne pepper. I think the next batch I make I’ll add turmeric and ginger powder since both of those are amazing anti-candida seasonings. 


If you have any questions please feel free to ask me below or email me at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram(@nok_amandagayle). I tend to post a little more frequently on IG these days since it’s quicker. But I hope this post has helped to shed some light on this growing issue. If you suspect you are suffering from a candida overgrowth, here is a link with a list of symptoms. CLICK HERE. This is definitely something you DO NOT want to leave untreated. I will be honest with you, there is a lot of controversial information out there, please be careful with your research and take a majority of it with a massive grain of salt. What works for one person won’t always work for another, there is no one size fits all protocol. There’s a basic outline that we all have to follow, but how I am approaching treatment is not necessarily going to work for the next person. 

In the meantime, take care, happy healthy eating, and hope you all have a blessed week! 

Low Carb Double Chocolate Brownie Smoothie

If you have yet to try the Holy Cow, LC/GF Brownies recipe from this blog then you are missing out, because today’s recipe is centered around those brownies. 


Yesterday on Instagram I shared this image shortly after making the smoothie. I feel compelled to apologize that the cup isn’t filled up all the way. It’s mostly because I’m not a major chocolate fan. But I hope you can over look a half full glass and be tempted to try this amazing recipe!

I know chocolate smoothies tend to be a hit with most folks, personally I think you need a high quality cocoa in order to achieve that decadent, rich, chocolatey goodness that tricks your brain into thinking that you’re being bad only you’re not. Now, my recipe uses vanilla but chocolate can easily be used instead. I prefer to use True Whey Protein Powder, it’s sweetened with Stevia, has 1g net carb per scoop, is soy free(which is important for us PCOS Cysters), and the vanilla flavor works with every flavor of smoothie I have made thus far! 

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 c heavy cream

1 c ice cubes

Almond milk, optional to thin out

2 tblsp unsweetened Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder

2 tblsp Stevia in the Raw

2 scoops True Whey Protein Powder

2  Holy Cow, LC/GF brownies

Other add ins:

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Low carb chocolate sauce, drizzled

Whipped cream, on top

Dark chocolate nibs, garnish

Directions

In a blender, add all the ingredients minus the brownies, and use the ice crush setting. If it gets too thick, add a splash of almon milk to thin out. Add brownies and other optional add ins; pulse a few times to incorporate completely. Portion out into your favorite glass(es) and enjoy! 

My nephew wanted a mint flavor, so in his glass I added a few drops of peppermint extract into his cup. My mom tried a spoonful and was blown away by how much it tasted just like the brownies(she’s my blueberry smoothie fan). Even G-Man was impressed and I can barely get him to have anything but a strawberry smoothie. 

So what are the carbs for this glass of sinful goodness? Are you sitting down?! 

3g net carbs

Now, I use MyFitnessPal to calculate and this could change depending on the brand of ingredients you use. 

So far I have made several different flavors, in future I may get a wild hair and blog about them. 

Strawberry Pomegranate 

Strawberry Banana 

Blueberry

Snickerdoodle

Mint Chocolate Chip

Double Mint Chocolate Chip

Mocha

Tropical Fruit with Pomegranate

Also check out my Pinterest board of low carb smoothie recipes, I have found oodles of delicious recipes on there. I like to look through even the high carb smoothie recipes for inspiration and figure out how to make them low carb. 

Y’all have a blessed weekend and take care! 

Low Carb Cream Cheese Pizza Sauce

I am a pizza junkie! No joke, if there were an option of foods in front of me, I would always choose pizza! And a few weeks ago I discovered a wonderful low carb dough recipe that is allowing us to enjoy pizza again. And Saturday night I made my all time favorite, sausage jalapeรฑo! 


The dough recipe I like to use is found over at Ditch the Carbs. Super easy recipe, I like doubling it to make sheet pan pizzas. Each sheet pan will yield 15 slices, and you can add any toppings you like. So far, I have made the traditional pepperoni cheese pizza, Hawai’ian pizza, a meat-za, supreme, and sausage jalapeรฑo. 

The cream cheese white sauce that I made is a lower carb version of one that I’ve already shared on here (<—click). The low carb version can be made without jalapeรฑos if you prefer, substitute with banana peppers which are mild, or use thin slices of sweet bell peppers. You can also use this sauce over zoodles and chicken for a chicken alfredo night. Just make sure to thin it out a little more. Next on my list is philly cheese steak pizza and I plan to use this sauce for that. 

What you’ll need:

8 oz brick cream cheese

2 tblsp butter

Heavy cream, to thin out

Grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp each: granulated garlic, onion powder, dried basil

Black pepper, to taste

1/4-1/3 c chopped jalapeรฑos, optional

Directions:

In a medium bowl add cream cheese, butter, and seasonings(granulated garlic, onion powder, dried basil, and black pepper). Microwave on high for one minute, or until butter is mostly melted. Use a whisk to incorporate the butter into the cream cheese. Add parmesan cheese and enough heavy cream to thin out the mixture just enough so you can spread it. Again, using old time southern measuring here, if you want it thick then use very little to no heavy cream. Finally, stir in the chopped jalapeรฑos, if using, and you’re set! 

Prebaking the fathead crust is key, I find that I don’t have to flip mine and bake again if I just bake it for 13 minutes. The bottom gets nicely browned but not burnt. Once you’ve prebaked the crust, that’s when the fun really begins! Add the cream cheese sauce, some mozzarella cheese, sausage that’s been cooked, drained, and crumbled. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

Now what I like to do is let the pizza rest for 5-10 minutes. This will help the crust to cool down enough to where you can actually pick it up and it’s not flopsy at all! The best part….leftovers are even better the next day! Taste more like a high carb pizza even though it’s not! I love mine cold, I know that childish. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are the carb counts? When I entered in the ingredients on MyFitnessPal it came out really low, less that 1g net. No. Joke. Now, depending on the brands of ingredients you use it will determine the carb count, so please keep that in mind. I use full fat EVERYTHING. Ooo and I’ve made calzones out of the fathead dough! Those were bomb diggity! I highly recommend seasoning the dough before baking it. I like to mix in our homemade Italian seasoning, but take care the dough will be hot and you’ll need to work quickly. I usually have to wear two sets of nitrile gloves on my hands. It helps but I still managae to cook my fingers anyway. Eventually it’s going to get to the point where I’ll lose all feeling in my fingers lol! ๐Ÿ˜œ Hopefully not, but I did notice that when I accidentally gave myself a mega steam burn on my right thumb last week, it took a few seconds longer for me to notice what had happened. Oh well, all part of being a cook! ๐Ÿ˜ 

Let me know what you think about this low carb cream cheese sauce and if you tweak it please share, I love hearing from you all! Have a blessed week and happy low carbing! 

Low Carb Gluten Free Bagels


Super easy recipe, are they just like real bagels? Not quite, but they are chewy, not eggy, and 100% satisfying! My brain sees bread, thinks bread, but is relieved to finally have something without all the heinous carbs and gluten. Thanks to Wholesome Yum this recipe is already out there for the masses! Plus with it being 5g net carbs per bagel it’s an absolute win!! 

For 6 bagels you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups almond flour, super fine

1 tblsp baking powder

2 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

2 oz cream cheese

2 eggs

Melted butted, optional

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet pan with either parchment paper or non-stick foil. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine almond flour and baking powder, set aside. 

In a large bowl add mozzarella cheese and cream cheese. Melt in a microwave for 2 minutes stirring halway through. Once melted add dry ingredients and eggs mixing throughly with a spoons or your hands(I wore nitrile gloves while mixing). Let it cool for 15-20 minutes, or longer, depending on how warm the dough is. 

Portion out into six balls and roll out into a rope shape. The smaller the better, and join the two ends pressing gently to seal. Now here’s where you can get creative: you can brush the tops with butter before baking, or add seasme seeds, chia seeds, or whatever your heart’s desired. I keep it simple and just brush with butter. 

Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes(I find that 12 works great for me) and voila! Don’t dive in immediately, let these cool before serving. Trust me, they are easier to slice in half once cooled and enjoyed in numerous ways! 

When I first made these last week, no joke, they looked horrendous. ๐Ÿ˜’ See…


Yeah, not exactly what a bagel is supposed to look like. However that did not stop me from frying it butter and adding a slice of deli ham and pepper jack cheese to it! ๐Ÿคค


And that picture is why I had to try again! 


So glad I did! I even made them smaller and tried using my small donut cutter which proved to be a very bad idea. That just forced me to go back to free forming them and this time I took care to not make them too big. These cute little morsels are so delicious! 

G-Man loves to take these and make bagel pizzas, naturally he says it’s not as good as his Grandma’s pizza dough but hey for a quick low carb option it is pretty darn good!

So if you’re like me and miss bread then this is the way to go! Make the bagels the night before for a quick breakfast on the go, toast them up in the oven or fry them in butter, add cream cheese or pack it full of protein! Lox bagel anyone?! 

Happy baking!

Carrot Cake (LC/GF/DF) & Update

Happy Tuesday to you all! I trust you all had a great Easter weekend with your family and friends!

I realize I didn’t give an update last week, there has been a positive turn with my health. Last week I checked my right breast for any signs of lingering blood and all is clear! Five weeks of eating clean, taking supplements, laying off dairy, gluten, and carbs as much as possible have really helped! This is why I’m thinking that my issue was a hormone imbalanace, which goes hand in hand in my PCOS. It’s amazing what a change in lifestyle can do!

Going low carb has not been easy for me, especially when the majority of recipes call for butter, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and heavy cream. All of those I used to use in great abundance, especially the cheese and butter!! Learning to go without has been difficult but worth it! Last week I lost another four pounds for a grand total of 21.9 pounds, I’m extremely pleased and shocked that in just five weeks I could lose that much. This has all been due to a change in what I’m eating, I plan to start exercising once I lose some more weight. My track record with exercising isn’t too good, I usually wind up injuring myself, which leads to months of recovery, depression, and undoing all my progress by eating all the wrong foods again. It’s what I’ve done for four years now, so this time HAS to be different. Easing into exercise, even at a snail pace, is the only way I can ensure I don’t overdo anything. And out of the rabbit hole now, lol sorry! Back on topic…

Low carb food options are even harder to come by when you HAVE to exclude gluten and dairy. One of the ways I’ve been able to manage without dairy is to use raw organic cold pressed coconut oil. It lacks the coconut smell and taste which allows me to use it for everything from cooking my morning eggs to baked goods. It measures the same as butter(eg. 1/2 c melted butter can be replaced with 1/2 c melted coconut oil) and I have used it in my baked goods with great success! And one such recipe was the carrot cake I make for Easter!

   (Voila!!! This is a crazy easy recipe and thankfully it doesn’t take everything in the kitchen to make it. I do have some slight adjustments I plan to make the next time I make this, such as reducing the amount of carrots and nuts. The original recipe is found at Ditch the Carbs site, and below I have copied here.)

INGREDIENTS

Low Carb Carrot Cake

3 cups grated carrot

5 eggs

200g / 7 oz butter melted

3 tbsp granulated stevia or sweetener of choice to taste

1 ยฝ cups ground almonds/ almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

ยฝ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

2 tsp vanilla essence

ยฝ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

200g cream cheese

1-2 tbs granulated stevia, or sweetener of choice, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Low Carb Carrot Cake

Beat eggs, melted butter, stevia, and vanilla together.

Add grated carrot, walnuts, and coconut then mix ground almonds, spices and baking powder.

Pour into a greased and lined tin. Bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes or until a fork pushed in, comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Warm the cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it.

Stir in 1-2 tbs stevia or sweetener of choice.

You could also add some lemon zest to give it more flavour. This would add a small number of carbs.

Cover with cream cheese frosting.

NOTES

I used an 8 inch/ 20 cm cake tin.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size: 1 slice iced Calories: 321 Fat: 31.6g Carbohydrates: 5.8g Sugar: 2.9g Fibre: 2g Protein: 5.7g

Yes, this is a dense cake with a tremendous amount of flavor! It was so nice to be able to enjoy one of my favorite cakes without all the guilt. With that said, I did make a couple of changes to the recipe in order to make it dairy free and to make up for the lack of mixed spice(which I’m sure pumpkin pie spice could work also). 

I swapped out the butter and used melted coconut oil instead, very easy adjustment, and in place of the mixed spice I added 1/8 tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves. Both enhanced the cinnamon flavor beautifully! I did make the cream cheese frosting, but chose to not add it on top of the cake. I left that as an option for my family to add to their own pieces. 

For myself, I made a whipped coconut cream, very easy and can’t remember where I saw this idea. If I run across it I’ll be sure to update this post. All you do, is the night before you make this, place a can of unsweetened full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator. Do not shake it up before doing so. What you are wanting to do is chill the separated fat from the coconut water that is on the bottom. The next day, open the can and scoop out just the chilled coconut fat into a small bowl(the leftover water can be used in low carb smoothies, in soups, and sauces, or you can just drink it straight), sweeten with a couple packets of stevia, a dash of cinnamon, and about one teaspoon of vanilla extract(or any extract flavor you like). Use a handmixer and whip the contents for 30-40 seconds, or until all the lumps are gone. And then enjoy! 

I wish I had known about the whipped coconut cream sooner, it’s also delicious in coffee! It doesn’t have the staying power of whipped cream, but hey the yummy cinnamon flavor is still there and it fills my coffee with healthy fat goodness!  What more could a low carb gal ask for?! Pizza smothered in cheese…but I won’t go there. ๐Ÿ˜’

Hope you all enjoy this recipe, please leave your reviews over at Ditch the Carbs for the cake recipe and I look forward to sharing more of my health journey with you all later and hope everyone has a very blessed day!

YAY!!!

Rosemary Chicken and Veggies

Yesterday I tried to get this post up and my computer crashed on me and I lost the entire post. In this post there are two recipes, one for the chicken and another for the veggies. So here goes…

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Rosemary Chicken and Kale

Serves 2 (can be doubles or tripled)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour

4 chicken thighs, with skin and bone**
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary or you may use fresh
1/2 dried basil
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Kale, chopped
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced and divided
Turmeric

Heat oven to 375*F. I purposely didn’t measure the chopped kale when I placed it in my 8×8 baking dish. I just filled it up to the top, don’t worry it cooks down ๐Ÿ™‚

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Top the kale with half of the sliced onion. Sprinkle with turmeric if desired or other seasoning. I didn’t use any salt or pepper on the kale and onions. But if you choose to then it would be best to not salt or pepper the underside of your chicken. Set this aside.

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In a small prep bowl combine rosemary, basil, red pepper flakes, onion and garlic powder. You could also add thyme, sweet summer savory, and oregano. Set it aside and prep chicken with salt and pepper. Be sure to get under the skin as well. Place the chicken thighs on top of the onions and kale, sprinkle with rosemary blend and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until chicken is done all the way down to the bone. You can use boneless thighs, just lower your baking time accordingly(20-30 minutes works good for me). Let it rest for a few minutes before serving!

Italian Seasoned Vegetables

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Bake Time: 25–30 minutes

1 16 oz bag frozen green beans
1 16 oz bag frozen cauliflower
Remaining onion slices from chicken recipe above
1/2 pack Good Seasons Italian Seasoning
Pinch of salt
Olive Oil

Prep a 9×13 baking dish with a drizzle or spray of olive oil. Bake in the oven along with chicken.

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Dump the green beans and cauliflower into the pan. Add onion slices and toss together. Add a pinch of salt and sprinkle Italian seasoning over the veggies. Bake for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.

Nutritional Info for 1 serving of Chicken(2 thighs) and kale:

Calories: 269
Fat: 20g
Carbohydrates: 4g
Fiber: 1g
Net Carbs: 3g

Nutritional Info for 1 serving of veggies:

Calories: 42
Fat: 4g
Carbohydrates: 2g
Fiber: 1g
Net Carbs: 1g

Enjoy!!

Protein for PCOS and Muscle Repair

Here’s a great article directly from an email I received from Insulite Laboratories:

WHY PROTEIN HELPS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST PCOS

Our calorie needs may drop as we get older but it doesn’t mean our protein requirements follow suit. This is especially true in light of the need to maintain strength to exercise regularly to better manage PCOS symptoms.

While the official Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is the same for all healthy adults, there’s considerable evidence that older people need more. Elderly people tend to eat less food, putting them at risk of under-consuming protein.

When the body has too little protein, it breaks down muscle to get the protein it needs for other vital body functions, leading to reduced strength. Insufficient protein has also been linked to an increased risk of hip fracture.

The current RDA for protein is based on body weight: adults need 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day, with people who work out regularly having higher requirements.

To help preserve muscle, most experts advise older adults to aim for 1 gram of protein per kilogram. For a 150-pound person, that’s 68 grams of protein a day, an amount that can be found in seven ounces of chicken and 2 1/2 cups of milk or soy beverage.

One great thing about protein is that it keeps you fuller longer, especially when eating carbohydrates. I always combine the two together at my meals, and I suggest you do the same. How can you start eating more healthy protein choices today?

I loved that article, it’s great to read something that steps outside the realm of tradition.

Now for some additional information ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve recently gotten back to my workout routine, mostly walking with variations thrown in for interest. Every morning I workout before I have breakfast, and once I cool down completely, drink two cups of water, I’ll go and make a protein packed breakfast. Usually consisting of a meat (beef, turkey, chicken or pork) and eggs. Occasionally I’ll throw in some broccoli for added color but also for Vitamin C and to aid with digestion (I need all the help I can get lol). In the month I’ve been working out and having a protein breakfast every morning I have less pain afterwards. My calf muscles which seem to give me so much grief are hurting less when I can consume enough protein soon after my workout.

Think back to health class…

When you are working out, the strenuous activity can create tiny tears in your muscles. This is why you’ll feel it burning or hurting depending on the level of intensity. After a cool down most people grab a protein shake or will eat a high protein meal to help aid in the healing process of those torn muscles. Protein needs to be ingested within an hour after working out in order for to work properly in soothing sore muscles. You don’t have to have a big meal, but any of the following will do the trick!

  • peanut butter on toast
  • lean sliced turkey on a bagel
  • a protein shake(preferably one that is soy free and low in carbs. Look up True Whey.)
  • fish such as flounder, orange roughy, albacore tuna, crab and salmon with a little lemon on a salad
  • eggs either hard boiled, scrambled, made into an omelet, or cooked over medium
  • liquid proteins such as milk will move more quickly through your body(take care if you’re lactose intolerant)

Keep in mind that solid proteins will digest more slowly than that of liquid proteins found in a protein shake. I understand it’s common thought to consume post workout proteins with carbs, but if you’re trying to cut back on those, like I am, take care in what you choose to pair your proteins with. Make sure they are complex(oat bran, wheat germ, barley, maize, buckwheat, cornmeal, and oatmeal to name a few), protein bars are not always a healthy choice either. Sure they are convenient and easy to carry along, but they are chock full of chemicals, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners(which are neurotoxins), and full of empty calories if you’re counting. I look at protein bars as a snack item and not even a snack at that. Use them sparingly, don’t use them as meal replacements, and try to stick with bars that are relatively low in carbohydrates. Quest Bars are an excellent source of protein as well as all natural ingredients and they are low in carb!

As a woman of teal I strongly suggest staying away from anything with soy in it. Soy is a GMO crop, meaning it has been genetically modified. Rendering it unsafe for most human consumption. There are also phytoestrogens in soy, which doesn’t sound bad in and of itself. As PCOS Cysters we tend to run a bit low in our estrogen and you’d think that getting some plant estrogens would be an ok solution, right? I wish that were so, phytoestrogens are not real estrogens at all. They may seem like mammalian estrogen but their structure is quite different. PCOS Diva says,

Phytoestrogens in soy are not true hormones, rather they are similar structurally so theyย  act like hormones and can cause endocrine disruption.ย  They can bind with hormone receptors and can interfere with the production of hormones. They are 1200x less potent than human estrogens.ย  But if you are eating large quantities of soy it can become a problem.ย  Soy phytoestrogens are not weak. Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle.

 

From one Cyster to another, avoid as much soy as you possibly can. Soy in women can cause PCOS symptoms, cause abnormal hair growth on the face, back and chest, as well as lead to infertility. Men, soy isn’t any safer for you either. Research has shown that men who consume soy on a regular basis have a greater chance at being infertile, have higher levels of estrogen in their system causing breast tissue growth, slow down male hair growth patterns, and affect erectile function. Dr. Joseph Mercola, about the only doctor I trust anymore these days and a leader in natural health, has written several articles about the dangers of soy(Click HERE to read more). He strongly urges people to only consume fermented soy in small quantities, but even better to not consume ANY at all, especially if you are highly sensitive or allergic to soy. We have been duped for so long that it’s difficult to stop listening to what doctors, health specialists, and even what our own government is spouting. Anything that has been genetically modified you should always be wary of, if it’s not growing outside or has organic origins then don’t eat it.

By getting back as close to nature as you possibly can, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll start to feel overall. Certain health disorders/diseases will begin to taper off and may even disappear all together. We were given dominion over the land, not to modify it, but to cultivate it and to provide for ourselves the rich bountiful harvests of each season!

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It’s been too long…

If I could hug this page I would and every single one of you as well! I have missed being able to write on here, the issues with our laptop had gotten to the point where we had to get yet another charge cable. I know it must be time to get a newer machine but really? The time it’s going to take to back up and move everything I need is enough for me to mentally shut down. I don’t like thinking about it. Not only is it nice to have the computer back but also the camera. I had no idea that Dad had taken it with him when he left for his Dad’s funeral. I sincerely thought I had misplaced it. But all is right in my little night owl kitchen again ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Today is April 1st, how many of you are actually prank your friends, neighbors, kids, and coworkers? You can share, I don’t judge! In fact, my cousin and I pranked my Dad once. So bad, I had gotten several tampons for free in the mail, well I don’t personally care for tampons. My cousin and I had this brilliant idea to tie them to the inside and outside of my Dad’s car ๐Ÿ˜€ Under the back bumper where they could dangle, inside handing from the mirror, tied to the air vents, even one proudly tied to the car antenna. Oh, to be young and stupid again hehe I’ve never done anything like that since then, but growing up my siblings and I always enjoyed pranking Dad. My oldest sister would work her make–up magic and make it look like we had bruises, we’d then call Dad and tell him that my brother had beat me up with his baseball bat. Hehe, yeah we were horrible! I keep waiting for Dad to get me back ๐Ÿ˜€ One of these days he is going to do…just a matter of when?!

 

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I have gotten back to my works outs. Walking every other day, using a workout app on my device to keep help with my upper body. The first day was brutal, squats. That’s just wrong lol And the second day wasn’t any better, squats and lunges! I felt like throwing my iPod out the door hehe but I didn’t, I pushed through it all and burned over 300 calories. Even though I’m trying to lower my carbs and be more mindful of what I make, I do still plan to share all the goodies I can on here. Smaller portions of course and try to keep this blog on track with it’s original intent. Sharing great recipes and reivews! I am contemplating having a separate blog for my weight loss journey, but I haven’t completely settled on that one yet. It’s very hard for me to open up about that with folks because of just how much I have to lose and I don’t want to become the victim of pictures getting snagged for false advertising, or have trolls show up with their nasty comments. There’s a lot to consider, a lot to think about. But so far I’m happy with almost losing three pounds in just a few days. Literally! I started last Tuesday and this past Friday I weighed in and was down no joke almost three pounds. I was blown away! The winds are changing, I can feel it, something is different this time ๐Ÿ™‚ And I am doing my best to keep up!!

I’ve taken this post in a different direction than I intended to, but there it is ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just so happy to be back on here, I can’t wait to get my next recipe that’s in queue out for y’all to try ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a vintage one that I found in my great-great aunt’s recipe folder. I couldn’t tell you for sure if she ever made it but it sounded yummy to me. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned for that!

 

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A great reminder!