Friday, April 24, 2015

Hello Chocolate Sauce

*1 cup of warm coconut milk (it has to be from a can!)
*1/2 Cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
* 9 pitted (PITTED!!!!) medjool dates (or 12 small ones)
*1 tsp of melted coconut oil
*1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
*1/4 tsp of sea salt

Make it!
Blend it all together in a high speed blender. 
[If you don't have a high speed blender, soak the dates in boiling water for about 10 minutes to soften them.] 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Of Paper cuts and Cinnamon Rolls.

Why writing a post can be hard.

We moved. In June. Right after my last post. We moved to an adorable and super tiny town in Southern Utah. I had built a comfortable life up in Idaho. I had lovely friends that knew me and my situation and were always willing to help and allow me to try to return favors when I could. We had a Wal-Mart where I took the fresh produce for granted. We were within an hour of a big city (really I should say we were within an hour of Costco) and we were having some moments of peace. Heck, I was even feeling a lot better! I was eating perfectly and had shaved down my external stresses quite a bit.

When life gets quiet, I get really nervous.

On that fateful day in June, we packed up our lives as our time with the USAF was complete and headed to France’s hometown to settle down and get some roots. We had a great house waiting for us (First time homeowners! Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, we bought a home in Spokane anticipating a move there, but fervent pray and direction from above can alter plans, and it did. We now had to sell a home that I had spent less than two hours in altogether and we didn’t even live in that state, good times).

Let me list something that we have all read before.

Top 5 Life Stressors:

  1. Death of a loved one (Check, check, check etc)
  2. Divorce (thankfully no check here)
  3. Moving (Check)
  4. Major Illness (partial check, Hashimotos is not terminal, but it’s life altering)
  5. Job Loss (partial check, while he didn’t lose his job, his job ended and we would start a new one)

Boo hoo right? Wrong. I had a roof over my head, my husband, my children, my faith and food on my table. Anything else is just bonus right? And somehow even though I could count my blessings left and right- I was not immune to the stresses of those aforementioned items. Not even a little.

Anxiety attacks crept in. We couldn’t get into our home yet and a family member graciously let us destroy her house for almost a month. The closest Walmart was just under two hours away and then the fridge I was using broke. I had food poisoning the second night there that lasted forever. This same angelic family member helped with my children. France’s new job requires quite a commute. We didn’t (and still don’t) see him much during the week. I couldn’t handle anything again. I was paralyzed by my inability to control my situation. I was so stressed out and not eating much and dealing with my trying to deal that I couldn’t write---let alone be a wife/mother properly (whatever properly means) and the list goes on, I will spare you the details.

So why am I writing now? Because I have yet again climbed out of that hole. I am doing better. I have a routine and for goodness sakes I have eaten dessert and it did not destroy me! Someone once asked me why I am so strict about not eating sugar or other crap foods and my reply was this, if I tell you that dessert once in awhile is okay you will justify eating it every time it’s available to you. If I tell you don’t eat it because it truly is bad for you, then maybe you will only justify it every once in awhile. Food is delicious and I am hoping there is food in Heaven, because, Mmmmmm. So on our sixth anniversary I had two bites of an extraordinary cinnamon roll and it made me absolutley ill. Sure it tasted incredible, but immediately my pulse started racing and I broke out into a weird sugar overload sweat.

I said to him, ‘Honey, that is delicious and has made me so ill that I never want to feel this way again!’ 

So here’s the interesting part.

To my horror, a mere twenty minutes later my taste buds and body said, 'Hey Lindsay, that was good, eat some more, NOW’! 

WHAT?!?!?! SCARY!!!!!!!!! I worked so hard to be un-addicted to sugar that all it took was two bites of a cinnamon roll to eradicate over six months of hard work. TWENTY MINUTES later and I wanted more, more of something that made me sick!! I looked at France and told him to get the rest of them out of our house. He promptly complied, what a dear.

That shocked me. I brushed my teeth and chewed some gum and ate a reallllly filling dinner that night to get away from it. I used to eat sugar till I didn’t want it anymore, looking back I realized that I always wanted to be DONE eating that crap so I would eat a good amount just to get to that point where I could pat my tummy and say, oh yeah, I’ve had enough. That’s mental! I ate my way right to illness I did. Not cool. Anybody ever eat a dessert and swallow the bite so fast just to get another mouthful in? Why do we do that to ourselves?

I have since had desserts at birthday parties, family gatherings, other random events and even ate chips and cookies the other day. Everyone was impressed. But here’s the thing, what are they impressed with? That I am eating ‘normal food’? Why should that be the norm? "She eats toxic, sugar laden food that’s awful for all humans to eat, clap clap clap, hooray!!!"

 (Okay, I got dramatic there, but you get the picture).

I feel like healthy eating is like trying to maintain a budget, the more you cut back and make better choices, the more people around you will wonder what the big deal is. It’s a HUGE deal! We should all help each other make better choices and not judge others for trying to maintain healthier lifestyles. Healthier lifestyles benefit every single aspect of your life and those around you. (That’s really sounding Dave Ramseyish-which is cool with me).

Indulgences here and there are human and I get that. I make a conscience choice every time I eat something I know isn’t good for me. I eat enough to really taste it, then I walk away. I don’t have to justify that anymore, because I am not perfect and nor will I ever be in this earth life. I still try to eat as strictly as I have---and most days I do, because it’s makes a difference! I FEEL BETTER! I am about what people call 80/20. Eighty percent of the time being perfect, twenty not so much. I feel like I try to be more 95/5, because yes, I still have a lifelong autoimmune disease. Life is so stressful all the time that the elements that I can control, I do. That is my power. My power to choose.

Life is about to get crazy again. We are moving. We will be a lot closer to a Walmart and food prepping will get a lot easier. Also, there’s a Whole Foods and a Costco, so I can relax about that. I like those places. :)

As my mom used to tell me, you may not have a big gaping wound right now, but the paper cuts hurt too. My body was covered in them this summer with nary a chance to heal before others came along and it’s hard to type with so many dang paper cuts. You may have a gaping wound and tons of paper cuts too, in fact I know you do. You live on earth. Just know, you for real, are never alone. Thank you for your support and hopefully I can return the favors. Service to others is the best way to heal wounds faster. :)

Trying my best,


Summer. Peaches. Happy/messy moment. I live for these.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Here's An Idea!

Don't laugh at my graphic. Okay, you can laugh, but whatevs. :)

Questions I get the most include, what DO you eat and aren't you starving?

Both of those take some time to answer. Today I will share with you my lame plate composition graphic. It may seem rudimentary and simple, it is. When I go to eat, this is how I really try to do it.

I eat protein---some kind of animal protein. About the size of a fist. This includes poultry, fish, red meat and eggs. The rotation of those is constant and I eat more turkey than any of them.

The rest of your plate is vegetables. I include two at everymeal. A lot is prepped before hand or it's frozen and already has a variety in the bag (frozen---meaning just the veggies, no sauces or extra ingredients) and I throw it in a pan on the stove or in the microwavable bag it gloriously came packaged in. (Against microwaves? I'm not. Your choice!).

You must add fat. You need the calories and the flavor. I hit about two tbs per meal...or more...never less, including nuts/paleo mayo/coconut oil/olive oil/avocado/avocado oil/a mixture of a few etc. YOU need the fat to feel FULL too! FAT is your friend. If something is 'low fat' it usually means 'way more sugar added to make up for the flavor'. It's true. Bah.

Fruit is awesome and is Heaven's way of giving us some SWEETness! Yes! Eat some. It's full of carbs and vitamins and minerals that are bio-available for your body to digest and USE---bonus! Just don't only eat fruit. Sooo many consequences, like, well, low blood sugar from crashing and diarrhea to name a few. For reals. Fruit is muy rico. Don't ever eat it by itself though if you can help it! Eat protein/fat with it. SUGAR CRASH AVOIDED! Whew!

I do this for breakfast/lunch/dinner. If you can take a sec and forget about those meals, breakfast/lunch/dinner and the stigmas that come with them you now have three meals a day that are composed the same, but can greatly vary in taste using all the stuff that mother earth has provided us with-which is a TON. It's no longer waffle/lame salad/spaghetti/crap---aka---(sugar/sugar/sugar/sugarysnacks), it's just healthydelish/healthydelish/healthydelish/healthydelishsnacks. Yah? Cool.

Lame graphic. Awesome info. 
*Also, not to scale, that would be crazy hard to do and worry about.

......go to your pantry right now and pour dish soap allover something terrible that you plan on eating today when your sugar craving kicks in and then THROW it away. Eat something else and then brush your teeth, it helps curb the desire for sugar, for realsy.

Anyone do it? What'd you chuck?


PS If you are starving, you are not eating enough. Increase your portions of all the good food you just spent time making. Add more fat. Don't starve. It shuts your life down.

That's a splat egg (slightly runny) over butter lettuce and cauliflower rice with toasted pecans and 1/2 avocado. Coconut aminos for flavor! Mmmm. This was a breakfast. Just an idea. This has become easy to throw together, it wasn't easy the first few weeks, but as I practiced---it got easier. Thank goodness! 
I just overused the word easy, it's easy to do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Moderation?

You probably don’t think about food the way I do. I think about eating the way I do because I have a disease and someone told me this was the first place I needed to start to get well. I eat better so I can live my life. You should have seen me, especially last fall--- that wasn’t living. In my effort to wipe my plate clean and start over- I have read and asked and consulted with so many health care professionals and those that are simply choosing to eat more ‘whole’ that I am literally bursting with information. Yes, that is what I spend some of my time on, reading about food. :) Why do you care? Maybe you do maybe you don’t.

Keep reading if you want.

You feel how you feel. Maybe you have diabetes, or are obese, have migraines, or experience little things everyday that you think you have to deal with because you are aging. There are over a gazillion ways to not feel good. Do I always feel good? Never. Will you age and will your body slow down and hurt? Yup. (Please don’t think I don’t know about cancer or terminal illnesses. I am well acquainted.)

Maybe you are a healthy individual. Maybe you think that where you are at is just fine. That’s awesome, I hope so.

I’ll just say this, wherever you are in your level of health, you can feel even better. You don’t need to believe me, as I have said before, I have *science to back me up. If you are a member of my faith and think that the Word of Wisdom is all about moderation, it is. I have read it front and back and up and down and read just about all the information the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has available. I follow it.

Do I push Whole30? Maybe a little bit, wannna know why? Because it’s simply an education of what happens when you put food in your mouth. When you are armed with that kind of information, it’s just easier to eat better. You know how when you see cigarettes and think ug!?? Remember how revolutionary that was for the world? Does Whole30 tell you to ‘abstain’ from things? Yes, and only so you can knowledgeably eat them as you work them back in. Maybe you are lactose intolerant and have no idea, maybe that drippy nose or throat cough you ‘always have’ can be eliminated. Maybe you don’t care! That’s okay! I just appreciate knowing there is a better way and I can strive to do it.

Whole30 so closely resembles my autoimmune protocol that it’s the info source I can share with you that generalizes eating better and why.

Isn’t this just a fad diet? Nope, it’s the oldest one in the book. It’s just flashier and says ‘do this for 30 days’. It’s this: replace the packaged foods with actual food....and this is why. That’s it.

Will I eat a cupcake again? Yes, but honestly, I care a lot less about cupcakes these days. Does that sound crazy? I actually think its empowering to move from what can’t I eat to what can I eat.

Are you eating healthy? I was, all my life, until someone (professional) told me I wasn’t. It hurt. Then I grew outta that grief and realized I was simply getting the help I needed. Now I eat healthier and I am a lot more capable of dealing with life than I was. I don’t want to spend my time on earth sick, if it’s something that I can help.

“We will live for our appointed life span. However, we can improve both the quality of our service and our well-being by making careful, appropriate choices.”

I love that, we can improve the quality of our service and our well-being. 

It’s so dang true.

Am I moderate? Yes, I sure strive to be.

FOOD AND EMOTIONS are intrinsically connected. Family traditions and social connections are a lot of times centered on/around food.  Cakes on birthdays, ice-creams pints for break-ups, lemonade on a hot day, everything over the holidays and then starving in January. When you feel like your daily food-doings are being challenged, it hurts. I LOVE making my mom's chocolate chip cookies for my husband and kids, in fact, yesterday for my toddlers birthday I gave him a cookie with candles on it. I brought bananas too, but those I had to give away, the cookies were gone. :)

Sometimes just showing up makes all the difference. Changing the way you eat is intense and crazy, but even one thing better today is one step closer. I am serious about this, anything is awesome and if you falter-then so what!? You are getting somewhere! :)

I know I created some buzz about green smoothies. My point was that smoothies have a lot of sugar and--in context--a lot of sugar, even surrounded by vegetables is still a lot of sugar. That was it. :) I bet your green smoothies are way healthier than most.

Okay, the four of you that read this, I’m done. :) 

Kinda...PS Change is hard and scary for most of us, me included. Like for real. 

PPS I love giving food to people...sweet yummy psychologically pleasing food. So yeah, it's hard. My neighbors asked where all the cookies went. 

He turns three this week and loves cookies. I wasn't gonna give him squash.
 I didn't eat one though.

*Science and I mean qualitative and quantitative, true-blue information.

Monday, May 26, 2014

How I Did the Travel Thing Better

Car-Trip Edition:

I have claustrophobia and car-sickness realllllly bad. I get panic attacks in tight spaces and spending my time in a mess of metal hurtling down the road with no immediate bathroom access is not my favorite thing to do, especially without handy/healthy food. Can you even imagine. This is a lose-lose for me. I can’t even handle tight hugs or stuck zippers. Ack. Anyhoo, it was easier this time and I reallllllly love my husband and we got some great talks in without me closing my eyes and wishing the trip was over. TMI? Okay moving on...

We finally, successfully road-tripped, food-wise, thank the goodness.

In my trusty cooler I had:

Precooked and cubed chicken
Breakfast sausage
Frozen ground turkey to cook when we arrived

4 summer squash that had been ‘noodled’
1 Whole chopped cabbage

Washed Strawberries

Homemade Paleo Mayo
Toasted Pecans
Sea Salt
Coconut Aminos

I drank more water this time, grabbed a burger patty on the road and added veggies if I needed too and went shopping while there. It’s not a perfect system, but I got to think about a lot more than what I was gonna eat. Thankfully. You may be surprised, but food is not all I think about. :) Okay, it’s a lot, but not all.

Thanks for sticking around and asking questions. 

Link to Coconut Aminos, aka, the best thing you will ever buy HERE.
Link to my trusty 'noodler' aka, you should have this already HERE.

Food Textbook HERE. Just get it. Read it. Learn. Stuff like that. :)

Before the trip.

 Packing the cooler.
Pulled together for breakfast one morning. Sweet potatoes, cabbage, 'zoodles' and roasted red peppers with a luscious splat-egg and coconut aminos on top. Mmm.

 PS As I learn, I get better at this. I've been going since January, if I knew then what I know now, dang this could have been easier. :) But we step-by-step huh?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Eating Better is Better with People Who are Eating Better.

Eating Better is Better Easier with People Who are Eating Better. :)

That’s a long way to say that having support eases the process of changing your plate. If you are still with me on this, you have hopefully made some better choices lately and/or tried to understand food a little better. YAY! Hopefully your water consumption is at an all-time high too!

So, yah, I could not do this without my support system. 

My husband and children eat the way I do----when I feed it to them. France usually eats Subway at work. He eats out with his co-workers once in awhile at a Chinese restaurant down the road. My husband and children are eating healthier without the restrictions I have, it's totally doable. I make the kids try my breakfast/lunch/dinner and then break out something if they are not feeling it (it's some work, but worth it, we are making progress). Samboy always surprises me. Today he told me I forgot his carrots and he couldn’t eat his applesauce ‘cuz I didn’t eat my carrots yet!’. For real kid? You mean this is working!? Yay! Haha. Ok, it’s taken months, but this is becoming my kid's 'new normal' too and I couldn’t be more stoked! 

Your support system is not only comprised of the people you share a roof with but with people that will hold you accountable no matter where they live! Read on:

On our road trip to see family this last week (hence no posts) I was excited that they were eating healthier as a family. They have their own system going on and are holding each other to it. The best part was the availability of healthy food in their home and the stories of success and more energy they were experiencing! 

We talked a lot about a lot, and some about food. I don’t want everything coming out of my mouth to be about what people are eating. So if you’ve felt that way---whoops! Sorry! I must have gotten on a roll and didn’t catch the social cues to cool it off. I really can get going.

I thank my husband and docs for support and my extended family and friends for the support and kind words too. YOU need a support system to do this. Ask nicely, but ask! Be accountable to someone. Remember, it could/will change their life too. Change your plate! Change your life.

So the point of today!

Just like a team, you have to have supportive teammates. On the same page. Understanding each other. Otherwise, you will stop and no one will notice and you'll be back at square one. Which if you're cool with it--your choice right?

SiDE StORY: The last thing anyone ever wants to hear at a group gathering is the food-obsessed-person saying things like ‘I can’t eat that’ and ‘I can’t eat this’ and ‘you shouldn’t eat that because it’s the devil’ (ok, a bit of an exaggeration on the last one). Etc. You get the picture. If people ask me questions, I answer. If not, I try not to draw attention to it. "Hey family! You’re eating pizza at the party tonight!? HOW COULD YOU, DO YOU EVEN CARE!? WAAAAA blah blah blah.” 

Yep, that’ll make friends.

So I try to eat beforehand and snack on everything I can when I get there, fruit and salads etc. It’s not a big deal unless you make it one. There is enough drama in the world 'ammi right? :)

LINDSAY!!!!!! I am HAPPY with MYSELF and WHO I AM. Lay off!

Um that's amazing!!!!!  That's seriously wonderful and I believe you. Guess what's even more amazing!? How you will feel when you eat even BETTER! But for real. You don't even know how good you can feel. You don't have to settle ever. You just don't.

Choices & Consequences. Even with food.

The water beast that was introduced to me. Not cheap. 64 OZ and COLD WATER ALL DAY. When it's empty at the end of the day, oh yeah, you've done it. Yesss.

Link for water bottle here.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Once Upon a Time: Part TWO...Real Life.

Let me tell you how I’ve failed.

Once upon a time, last weekend, I did food prep for a road trip to Utah. We packed the car, said our prayers and were off. Oh and guess what, I left almost ALL of my food at home.

I was now in no-autoimmunedisorderfriendly-man's land. The thought of hunger made me panic. Also, I wasn’t drinking enough water because who wants to pull over every hour when it’s already late at night and there’s a 1 and 2 year old on board. Not this girl.

We made it. I ate very little that night; nothing I shouldn’t eat, but not enough of what I should. I don’t think a fast-food burger patty, mustard, and iceberg lettuce did me any favors. Same thing the next day. We were on the run from one place to the next and I had to make it up as I went. Still not enough water. Headaches, check. We danced the night away at a wedding reception and I ate a bunch of fruit. I put my food needs on the back-burner. Hellooooo mistake! Here I am just trying to get by again, I'd been doing so well and feeling soooo GOOD! 

Sunday comes.  A BEAUTIFUL baby miracle of a boy was blessed. We joined our extended family for quality time together and I pretty much just ate a bunch of fruit and pecans.

We drive home. I’m starving and getting rather testy. I’m pretty mad at myself at this point. By Monday morning I am so wasted and dehydrated and migrainey that Atila the Hun would have run for cover and he would have been successful, I wouldn’t have had the energy to go after him. I flatlined. There I was, on my couch at 10 AM, done for the day. I couldn’t even make it to the grocery store. Feelings of failure creeped in. How could I let this happen?!

I had an ‘aha!’ moment, and what an educational moment it was. 

I felt exactly like the girl who needed an intervention these last few years. I felt HORRIBLE and I don’t miss that girl at all. The girl who justified feeling crappy because 'I’m just hormonal' or ‘tired' or nursing or not sleeping or whatever. The one who thought, it can’t be what I am eating! Eating can’t really affect my mood or attitude or confidence! PS It does. I. Don’t. Miss. Her. I am thankful that someone told me to take myself seriously. To put more effort into how I feel! That I have the power to change HER!

Mind you, this last weekend, I didn't eaten anything I shouldn't have, but let me stress this: I didn't eat ENOUGH of what I SHOULD. It goes both ways. Not just NOT eating crap, but eating WELL.  

France is the one who told me to go for it, to call the clinic, to change my life. He gave me permission to get better. I didn’t ‘NEED' his permission of course, but I NEEDED it. I needed someone to tell me to take ME seriously. I needed someone to tell me it’s okay to write about it and take selfies and be vocal and wage a war on sugar. DO I REALLY ‘NEED' SOMEONE’S PERMISSION!? NO! But oh-my-goodness sometimes it’s the push I need and I'm thankful for it!

If you need someone to tell you to change (it WILL improve your quality life) then find someone or ask me to. Give yourself permission to do this. 

But LINDSAY!? We have different bodies and challenges and etc! And it won’t work for me the way it works for you! And I don’t have an autoimmune disease and what you do is not realistic!

Sure it is. :) You will feel better, FEEL BETTER. COOL RIGHT!?


Is it?

Good luck. I hope you gave yourself a pat on the back for making a small change today in the way you eat. Or a big one. Or whatever size one. Good job. Go you.

If you just ate a pan of brownies cause I wrote about how you shouldn’t (well, not directly, obvs) then oh well. Tomorrow's a new day. :) RA RA RA Gooooooooo You!

Soo I AM LOVING THE Pictures of Food YOU are sending me. And the nice notes I am getting and the success stories already. Peeps, it’s been not even been a month since I started writing and hello, you’re noticing changes! 

So once upon a time, in REAL life, this was doable. Still is. I’m not going back.

So yes, I have failed. And it stunk. Chalk it up to another learning experience. Life, *sigh*.

Yeah, I don't miss this chick. 
But look at my chubby cuddly boys! OOOOOh!! I will never NOT miss that! Mmmm

OH PS! You and me, our challenges, strengths, and weaknesses are different, but if the whole world was full of me's, eeek we'd be in a heap of trouble... and pink.