Like I said the other day, I have a piece of exciting news to share; however, I’m going to make you wait for it!
And no, I AM NOT PREGNANT! 🙂
Before I get to my news, I want to share a little bit more about how I’m feeling on my diet/cleanse. It truly is quite remarkable how much better I feel now that I’m eating more veggies and protein. The thing is, I didn’t know that I was feeling bad…
I would get a little bloated at times, especially after eating anything processed or just having a large meal. But the bloating had really died down since I stopped eating wheat (almost a year ago). I still had acne issues every once in awhile, but my face is a whole lot clearer than it used to be. And then there were still times that I’d get mighty cranky, usually after eating processed foods.
During the first few days, I was a little cranky, but that was more because I was mourning the fact that I couldn’t eat potatoes or rice or pasta or fruit! It wasn’t because of the food I was eating. Once I got into the groove of things with the diet and I started experimenting with new recipes, I’ve found myself to have loads of energy and I’m super happy 🙂
Plus, I don’t have any type of cravings whatsoever. Sure I look for something sweet every now and then, but I don’t have to have it all the time. And now, even when I eat something that isn’t technically sweet, it actually tastes sweet to me! Take for instance that just five days into the diet, I made mashed potatoes with milk for my honey and some friends. Naturally I had to taste them to make sure I had enough salt and butter in them. I was shocked to find that they actually tasted sweet to me! Crazy how the overly sweetened foods out there today fool our tastebuds into thinking nothing can be sweet without added sugar.
Doing this candida diet and researching more about the Paleo diet (in an effort to find new recipes), a whole new world of nutrition and healthy eating has opened up to me. I have found so many new blogs and loads of information on what our bodies actually need to be healthy that I don’t have enough time to read it all! It’s amazing to think how much society tries to dictate to us what is healthy instead of us listening to our bodies to decide if that __________(fill in overly processed food here) is what we need.
I’ve been keeping a daily log of everything I’ve been eating and how I feel throughout the day. I’ve been surprised to find that fatty ground beef puts me to sleep, lots of broccoli makes me bloat a little, and eating eggs every morning for breakfast is keeping me nice and full, and energized! Even if you don’t do a diet/cleanse of this type, it really is a great idea to keep track of what you eat and how it makes you feel. You can learn a whole lot about how much food affects you by doing this.
Okay, enough of that talk, onto some fabulous new recipes!
Creamy Spinach and Garlic Coconut Sauce (Makes about a cup)
A milk-free take on Alfredo sauce!
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup canned full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup grated parm
- dash of onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Italian seasoning to taste
- handful of spinach, chopped
1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant.
2. Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate garlic.
3. Add the seasonings, followed by the parm cheese. Whisk to incorporate. Let simmer for a few minutes, taste and add additional seasonings if need be.
4. Remove pot from heat. Chop your spinach and add, stir to incorporate.
5. Put lid on pot and let the spinach cook a little before serving.
6. Pour over chicken and veggies or stir the chicken into the sauce and then serve.
This was my first time ever tasting or using coconut milk and I’m pretty sure I could have drank it straight out of the can! The creaminess of the coconut milk, along with a touch of sweetness it adds, is reminiscent of cow’s cream so it has the same mouthfeel, but there’s also the added hint of coconut flavor. Look for more recipes using coconut milk in the near future 🙂
Vanilla Almond Milk (makes 4 cups)
A creamy and flavorful alternative to cow’s milk. Perfect for mixing with vanilla protein powder!
- 2 cups raw almonds*
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- stevia to taste
1. Place the two cups of raw almonds in a bowl that has a lid. Add enough water to cover the nuts and put lid on. Place in fridge and let soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.
2. Rinse and drain the almonds when you’re ready to make the milk.
3. Add the soaked almonds to a blender** followed by the four cups of water.
4. Puree the heck out of it! I did mine for at least a minute if not more. It will become quite frothy.
5. Now you need to strain out the almond bits, so there are two ways you can go about doing that. You can pour the milk mixture over a cheesecloth into a bowl and squeeze the milk out. Or you can use a fine mesh strainer and press the milk out with a spatula, which is what I did.
6. After straining out as much milk as possible, pour it back into the blender, and then pour again through the strainer or cheesecloth. I found that I got a lot of extra almond bits by doing this a few times. Plus, it makes a much smoother final product.
7. After you’re done straining it, stir in the vanilla and stevia (I did half of one small packet of Sweet Leaf). Store in mason jars or other airtight containers in the fridge. Shake before drinking. Should stay fresh in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.
*You can use blanched almonds for less leftover almond meal, or you can use the ones with the skin on. I used almonds with the skin on and it turned out fine.
**I tried to make this in my food processor at first, but it was too much liquid. I ended up using my Kitchenaid blender on the liquefy setting and it worked great.
Save the leftover almond puree and roast in the oven at 250 degrees for awhile. It makes great almond meal to use in baked goods!
I just bought almond milk for the first time the other day because I wanted something to replace the cow’s milk I’m not able to drink right now. I got the unsweetened vanilla and it is delicious! However, it has added vitamins, plus other junk to thicken it up. I just don’t think it agreed with me because I was immediately bloated after drinking it. Therefore, I decided to try making my own, which turned out to be quite easy. A little time consuming, but not difficult. I probably won’t be making it weekly, but I could see me making it every once in awhile.
And now for the exciting news…
I finally got a car!!!!
If you don’t remember, I got into a car accident back in September and totaled my car. We were going to wait a few more months and try to save a little more money to buy me a car, but my honey’s principal offered a deal we couldn’t refuse!
It’s a Corolla and it’s super cute 🙂 It’s quite a bit smaller than an Accord (which I’ve had three of) so that’s going to take some getting used to. But, it’s practically brand new and is going to get excellent gas mileage!!! I only got 23 mpg the other day in my little brother’s V6 Accord, which is terrible especially since gas is now $3.55…Luckily I found someone to carpool with to work a few days a week. It has saved me so much already!
The only bad thing…my honey brought it home on Thursday and then left on Friday for Colorado! We haven’t even gotten the title yet, so we haven’t gotten tags and we haven’t gotten insurance on it. It might another week once my honey gets back before I can start driving it 😦 Oh well! It’s fun to look at in the driveway for right now!