Tag Archive for swerve

Thanksgiving Recap, and Choose Your Attitude

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a good start to the holidays; we did at our house:)  All four daughters were home, even the one who’s working in Puerto Rico; 3 boyfriends joined us, and we had our first 100% Flour Free, Sugar Free Feast.

Here’s a picture of everyone:

thanksgiving group


And here’s the menu:  Turkey from Dark Hollow Farm in Markham, Va ( shout out – they raise them in the woods and they’re delicious!).  Oh, I have to stop here.  We decided to roast the turkey in our Big Green Egg, which we’ve used for several roasts and a couple big chickens this past year, so I felt comfortable.  We live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and it’s been super cold; when we went to light up the Egg, it was frozen shut!  Woops.  Mark was able to feed some starter bricks in the bottom, but even when the inside temp was 400*, the lid stayed frozen.   A little panic set in.  He poured water on it over and over and it eventually opened, but our dinner was a slightly delayed because of this.  Lesson learned though: the Big Green Egg can freeze shut in the right weather.  Plan accordingly.

We also had:  stuffing made with coconut flour bread; mashed potatoes, sweet potato muffins made with coconut flour, brussels with bacon, green beans, mushroom sauce/gravy which I thickened with a tablespoon of arrowroot starch(worked perfect), and carrots with butter and cinnamon.

coconut and barkFor dessert, we had pumpkin pie with a nut crust, apple caramel cake (OMG!!), homemade ice cream w/coconut milk, regular vanilla ice cream from the store, chocolate pomegranate bark, pecan pie bark, and toasted coconut flakes.   The pumpkin pie, apple caramel cake, the barks, and the mushroom sauce/gravy are all on my Pintrest page, but here’s the change we made:  we used Swerve Sweetener – and LOVED it!!  Definitely my new Go-To.

Paleo Cookie Exchange at my house on December 13, from noon to 2.  Bring a flour free/sugar free dessert – or don’t!  I’ll have plenty and everyone’s invited!

Are you remembering your mantra?  “Attitudes don’t just happen, they’re the product of our choosing?”  Our eating habits, our response to situations, how we react to people, these are all ACTIONS we can change or improve.  Nothing about us is set in stone, but plastic.  If you want to change your body, you have to change your mind first, this is an absolute.  If your thinking doesn’t change, nothing changes.  Instead of fixating over weight or thighs or food, think about your heart, your mind, and the vibrations and energy you give off or give away.  You can either start the changes today (or continue the changes you’ve started), and be a new person by January 1, 2014; or you can keep doing the same old thoughts, actions, habits, and attitudes and be the EXACT same person.

Enjoy your Holiday Weekend!  We’re off to the gym for HITT cardio, and biceps/triceps.  Catching Fire Tonight!!!

Holiday Baking Supplies and Links – For Good Paleo Food:)

paleo free thanksgivingHoliday Baking has begun, and I’ve had a bunch of questions on where to find the ingredients used in Paleo recipes, and also where to source local meat, eggs, and dairy.  It’s a lot easier than you might imagine if you haven’t done this yet.

(Speaking of Paleo baking, remember:  PALEO COOKIE EXCHANGE at my house, Friday, December 13, noon to 2.  More details after Thanksgiving, but EVERYONE is invited!)

I’m just going to make lists, ready?

For any local meats, dairy, or eggs, go to local harvest.org., or eat wild.org; and this one, which is cool because it even has restaurants, eatwellguide.org.  If you haven’t checked out these sites, I bet you’ll be shocked to see what’s available: dozens of small farms in your vicinity, that either have co-ops, deliveries, stores, or SHIP DIRECTLY.  Check them out.

What’s the point of the extra effort, when you could just go to Wegman’s, Whole Foods, or any other grocery store?  Small local farmers are following a trending movement of feeding their livestock traditional foods (grasses/hay) instead of just grains.  If you’re avoiding grains because of digestive and immune issues, you’ll want to avoid eating animals that eat them also.  Whether the gluten proteins that cause so many problems passes on to humans via turkeymeats/animal products is an issue that’s HOTLY debated; but here’s a certainty:  grain fed meats, eggs, and dairy contain high amounts of Omega 6s fats (inflammatory), and not much if any Omega 3s fats (anti-inflammatory).  Omega 3s come from grasses, and Omega 6s come from grains.  One of the biggest reasons red meats cause inflammation is because MOST PEOPLE EAT MEAT FROM ANIMALS FED INFLAMMATORY GRAINS.  We are what we eat.

Next, paleo/low carb flours that don’t contain gluten and don’t spike blood sugar.  The most common ones you’ll see in recipes are almond flour and coconut flour.  There’s also plantain and sweet potato flour for those with auto-immune issues who are trying to avoid nuts.  Most grocery stores are carrying almond flour and coconut flour, but there’s a bunch of sites selling them online: here’s a link to VitaCost options,  and here’s a page from Google.

One of my favorite sites?? Tropical Traditions!! What don’t they carry:  every and any coconut product you can imagine, plus hundreds of other different and fun baking, beauty, and home products that are natural and non toxic.  They even sell, and ship, eggs that are special because they feed the chickens coconut, which leaves the yolks rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides and Lauric Acid (trust me, you want those things).

Next up, sweeteners.  I use a lot of Stevia in the Raw.  I’ve just bought my first bag of Swerve and can’t wait to try that.  I also use liquid Stevia.  I’ve tried Truvia, and while it bakes well, I’m a little leary of it.  We do use honey and maple syrup in some of our baked goods.  Monk Fruit sugar is in a lot of recipes I see, and they just started selling that at our local grocery store.

Lastly some Recipe Sites, these are fun!  The Paleo Mom,  All Day I Dream About Food, Elanaspie Pantry, and Civilized Caveman.  Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten Free sites are so popular on the web that I haven’t bought a cookbook in years, I just use the computer.  I’ve also joined Pintrest and I think that’s a great way to keep a “recipe file”.

That’s it for on the cooking end. I have to finish this post with a reminder of this weeks mantra, “Attitudes don’t just happen, they’re the product of our choosing.”  We can choose to make this holiday about family and friends and community, or we can choose to make it about gorging ourselves into a coma.  Whichever of those we focus on is going to happen.  Choose your thoughts wisely, and let me know what you’re making for Thanksgiving!