Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The best dessert I've ever had...

seriously. I'm not going to ruin this with words. Words just don't do this dessert justice. All I can say is that it's been 3 days since I made this, and I am still dreaming about it.

Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Ice Cream and Raspberries

Chocolate Mousse
recipe from French Women Don't Get Fat

4 oz dark chocolate
1 tbsp sugar
3 egg yolks*
5 egg whites*

*You need to use free-range, pastured eggs for this recipe.

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set on top of a pan of simmering water on medium heat.

2. Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the sugar. Stir well and let the chocolate sit for 5 minutes to cool. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.

3. Beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks are formed. Gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture until well blended.

4. Pour the mousse into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. (I'll be honest, I could only wait an hour and it turned out just fine)

For those taking this to the next level...

Let your vanilla ice cream (The best I've found is Trader Joe's brand) sit on the counter for 10 minutes, until it's just starting to soften. Fill each bowl with a scoop of ice cream. Drop a heaping (or two) spoonfuls of mousse on top. Add raspberries.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Lunch Box

There are tons of great lunch ideas going around right now, since it's back to school time. Here are some of the best I've found.

Back to School, Back to Lunch! by Wendolonia. She's included a printable PDF file too!

20 Easy Bento Lunch Boxes Some of these are so elaborate, and I would never find the time to do it. But, cute ideas!

The Lunch Box Post An oldie but goodie. I've had this one saved for a while. Tons and tons of great ideas!

School Lunch Pictures This is a link to Weelicious' facebook page. She posts a picture of her son's school lunch every day. Beautiful, balanced meals!

Laptop Lunches Flickr Page I will be frequenting this page a lot!

Weelicious School Lunch Video

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Raw Strawberry Pie

Raw Strawberry Pie
recipe from A World of Wisdom

1 cup almonds (I used almond meal from Trader Joes)
1 cup soft, pitted dates
1/2 tsp vanilla

Grind in a blender or food processor. Press into the pie plate.

7-8 large strawberries
5 pitted, soft dates
2 bananas
1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in the blender and pour into pie shell. Decorate with additional strawberries and chill.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simplify, Simplify

I love to research, dig around, read books, etc. If I've got a spare minute, I'll open up a nutrition book and get sucked right in. I've learned so much about food and health over the past few years. It's great having my mind full of good information, but it can also get very overwhelming. Body Ecology Diet, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Primal, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, raw, and on and on and on and on and on. We are always evolving our diet around here to see what best fits our family. But, it really can make you crazy after a while.

It was nice having my brother here this summer. He was a neutral third party that could see things for how they were. He helped me simplify all of the thoughts in my head. Here is what he came up with.

Blake's Life Principles

Diet: Try to eat more 'real' foods than 'processed' foods
Have plenty of color diversity in your meals
Eat organic grass-fed meats

Exercise: Walking and running will give you a healthier heart
Weight training will strengthen and tone the muscles
Doing anything is better than nothing

Leisure: Scriptures are first priority
Conference talks and books authored by General Authorities come next
Email is the main use for the Internet
Watch movie/TV programs sparingly, that are uplifting and bring a calm spirit into the home

Home: Enjoy wholesome music (secular and spiritual)
Cleanliness invites the Spirit of the Lord
Enjoy the outdoors at much as possible

Church: Attend church each week
Make a plan for monthly Temple visits and follow through
Have weekly Family Home Evenings

Could it really be that simple? Yes, indeed, I think it is.

Thanks, Blake.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

Blueberry Banana Pancakes
adapted from a recipe in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook (one of my favorites, worth every penny!)

1 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
3 tbsp flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups milk, we used almond milk (you may need a little more if your batter is dry)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 banana, lightly mashed
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

1. Grind oats into flour in a blender. Place oats, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium sized mixing bowl and stir together.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, syrup, and banana and stir together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together. Add a little bit more milk if it is too dry. Don't over-mix.

3. Heat and grease your skillet. Pour batter and put blueberries on top. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side. Flip, being careful to not let the blueberries drop. Cook another 2 minutes, or until cooked through.

My batter made about 12 hearty pancakes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Intuitive Eating

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.

3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.

4. Challenge the Food Police Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence--the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you've had "enough".

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won't fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won't solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You'll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.

8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.

9. Exercise--Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it's usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.

10 Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It's what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.