Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Challenges in Creativity #6 - Breakfast Smoothie

Cutting out eggs has been a challenge, but one I really did need to tackle.  Of all the foods I've cut out, not eating eggs has made a difference.  Prior to my Alletess IgG test I knew that eating eggs too many days in a row definitely didn't sit right on my stomach.  However, after eating a 3 egg egg white omelet this past weekend for breakfast at French Meadow Bakery, it's definitely not just in my head.  Eggs  make me feel burpy for about 2 hours after eating them, totally not worth it on a regular basis.  My guess is that small amounts in some baked items or mayonnaise in the future will be ok, but for right now, I'm still avoiding them 99%.

Over the past two months I've perfected my breakfast smoothie, and made it dense enough to keep me full for 3-4 hours.  At first I was worried having just a "liquid" for breakfast would leave me starving in  an hour, but I've been pleasantly surprised.  The key is having adequate amounts of protein (30-40g) and enough fat (15-30g).  I find that adding a solid fat such as an avocado or nut butter to be more satisfying than using a liquid such as canned coconut milk.  But others will disagree.

Smoothies for meals have never been a favorite of mine, but when time is short and I want something that doesn't require cooking, these are the best option.  Having a dairy and egg sensitivity means that whey and egg-white protein powders are not an option.  Thankfully there is a new protein powder on the market...and it's made from beef protein.  That's right, dehydrated and powdered cow meat, kind of like powdered beef jerky.  No it doesn't taste like a steak, it's vanilla flavored, and super delicious.  Now, I like a really thick smoothie, so thick in fact you have to eat it with a spoon.  It's more like a breakfast pudding or soft serve ice-cream.  If you need it thinner in order to drink with a straw, just add 1/2-1 cup water.  On days I don't want any beef in my diet I will switch it up and use a pea protein or other plant based protein, but they don't mix as well and are a little grainy.

drawing my blender for stress relief

1 cup Unsweetened carton hemp, coconut, or almond milk, or water
3/4-1 cup frozen fruit (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blackberry, cherry)
1/2 avocado
1 Tbs ground flax or chia seeds
1.5 scoops Pure Paleo Beef protein powder (30g) or equivalent of other protein powder.

21g fat
34g carb
34g protein
13g fiber

Optional Add-ins
1 tsp glutamine powder
1-2 Tbs Aloe juice-for gut healing and joint health
2 Tbs hydrolyzed collagen-for gut healing and joint health
1 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
kale / spinach

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Challenges in Creativity #5 - French Fennel Stew

I've kept a pretty up beat tone about this whole elimination diet, but let me be honest, cutting out all these foods sucks.  If you have gone paleo and think that eliminating grains and dairy is bad.... try giving up coffee, chocolate, eggs, garlic, ginger, and anything fermented.  I thought I'd be able to use some of the AutoImmune Protocol recipes but I was totally wrong.  Most of them contain coconut, garlic, ginger, and cabbage or green beans.  Of course, other recipes in the paleo world also use a lot of tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, salmon, and almonds, so those are all out too.  Thus, the last two months have left my tongue feeling very bored.  No indian or Thai curry.  One or two stir-frys turned out ok but not great, along with a few dry taco salads, and NO MAYONNAISE!!  No mayonnaise means no broccoli salad or chicken salad two of my favorite summer time dishes.  Going out to eat has been a huge challenge and I've pretty much had to "cheat" just a little, but only 2 times, so I'm ok with that.

As I think of my frustrations, I am humbled by the fact that I should just be thankful this is only temporary.  I am also thankful for the abundance of food (high quality food) that is available to me; while many people within my own community struggle to purchase cheap, low quality food such as  peanut butter, bread, and frozen pizza.

Any whooooo... Ryan has been traveling during this time and that has made these changes a little easier.  At least I don't have to subject him to these restrictions all week long, just on the weekends.  He did grill up some amazing chicken breasts one Sunday.  Just salt and pepper, for the most delicious crispy chicken skin.  You really can't go wrong with a piece of grilled meat, as long as it doesn't get overcooked.  Speaking of chicken, Whole Foods has two rotisserie chickens whose seasonings do not include garlic.  During my first or
second week on this diet I picked up their herbs de provence chicken in desperation of something that I didn't have to cook for dinner.  But I didn't necessarily feel like eating rotisserie chicken 4 days in a row, and figured I could use the leftovers to make a soup or stew.  When on an elimination diet, you're really not supposed to eat the same thing multiple days in a row; but with Ryan traveling during the week that's almost impossible for me.  Unless I want to cook everyday and shop multiple times a week to prevent over buying and having food go bad.  So...sticking with the French theme I also grabbed some herbs de provence seasoning and two fennel bulbs before checking out.  After eating a leg and thigh with a salad at home I got to work making soup.  What I ended up with is something I will definitely be making in the future.

French Fennel Stew
2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 Tbs ghee or lard
the breasts of a rotisserie chicken, skin removed, diced or shredded
1 quart chicken broth/stock
1-2 Tbs Herbs de provence
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, melt the ghee and sauté the fennel and onion until just softened.
2.  Stir in the Chicken, broth, and seasonings.
3.  Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.
DONE!  Adjust salt, as needed.
Serves 3-4

I did a crock-pot version using a small pork roast this week, and it turned out just as tasty.  Just Nestle a 1-1.5# pork roast in the bottom of your slow cooker, surrounding it with the fennel and onions.  Pour in the broth and seasonings.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Remove the roast and shred, returning the meat to the veggies and stirring to combine.  DONE!