A Health Foodie Craving Tale- Pumpkin and Banana Junkie with a Side of Chocolate Addiction

A Health Foodie Craving Tale- Pumpkin and Banana Junkie with a Side of Chocolate Addiction

As soon as Starbucks gives the pumpkin spice latte signal I am ready for soups, pumpkin, root veggies, and twice the banana.  Unfortunately, this summer held on with its fierce grip and autumn flavor had to wait.  Now oven is on and so are the baking experiments.  The start of this tale was a girl (me!) seriously craving some banana bread of the gluten free kind. Anything of the baking variety with me becomes an experiment.  Cooking is more my thing, but baking is becoming a necessary skill to acquire.  After emptying my cabinets and pulling a basic recipe, this deliciousness was created-   It’s mix of grains with protein, omegas, fiber. Good stuff.  But it taste bad.  Like you wanna be bad.

Gluten free Banana Bread

What you need:

Brown or white rice flour 1/2 cup

Flaxseed 1/4 cup

Oats   3/4 cup, ground (gluten free for GF challenged)

Large egg with 1/3 cup of melted butter OR   1 cup of applesauce (go Vegan!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 to 3 very ripe bananas

Prep and bake–

1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃ my metric friends), then coat with butter or baking spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan.

3. If your oats are not ground then do so. I use my blender because it makes it a fine powder which I prefer. Add the flaxseed, ground oats, and rice flour together and set aside. All components should equal 1 & 1/2 cup.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add the egg and melted butter or add the applesauce.   Do not do egg and butter with applesauce.  Apple sauce is a second option. One or the other. Applesauce is a great substitute for an egg allergy or staying on the vegan track.

3. Add baking soda, vanilla extract, sugar, and flour combination to the banana mix.  Stir until blended well.

4. Pour mixture in the coated loaf pan. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, etc on top.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. If you are not sure as I often am, use tried and true stick a butter knife or toothpick in the middle and if it comes out pretty much clean, it is done.

It satisfied the sweet craving quickly and a slice was filling.  I did go for two.  I did extra elliptical minutes, I earned it.    I am not a natural baker and it’s more like learning a made up language most of time.  Pulling from my inner Frankenstein creator I made this next tastiness come alive. These cookies are anyone with a pumpkin craving that shares my banana obsession. The chia and flaxseed lend to omega and protein.  Pumpkin and bananas add great nutrition. Oats are a source of great fiber.   You can tamper with it (at your own risk) to make them to reduced sugar or add other nutrients for more punch. It follows a similar pattern to the banana bread but the consistency will be much different since it does not use flour.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies/Bars

What you need:

Chia 1/4 cup

Flaxseed 1/4 cup

Oats   1 cup, ground (gluten free for GF challenged)

Large egg with 1/4 cup of melted butter OR   1/2 cup of applesauce (go Vegan!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 very ripe bananas

1/2 can of pumpkin filling/puree

Prep and bake–

1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃ my metric friends), then coat with butter or baking spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan or a muffin tin

3. Ground the oats, flaxseed, and chia together.  I had to ground them in sections since my blender is small.  All components should equal 1 & 1/2 cup.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add pumpkin puree, egg/butter or applesauce.   One or the other. Applesauce is a great substitute for an egg allergy or if you are a vegan.

3. Add baking soda, vanilla extract, sugar, and oat/flax/ch- ch- ch- chia combination to the banana mix.  Stir until blended well.

4. Pour mixture in the coated loaf pan or 3/4 full of each muffin tin section. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, etc on top.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes for loaf pan and 30 for muffin tins. If you are not sure as I often am, use tried and true stick a butter knife or toothpick in the middle and if it comes out pretty much clean, it is done.  The loaf rises only a little and they can be cut into bars.

I did manage to willingly share my creation, which is a feat when chocolate is involved.  The recipe was doubled so I was able to do a loaf and twelve muffins.   It makes a great part of your morning with cottage cheese or yogurt.  If you are on the go, grab one or two with a protein shake. Having a nourishing breakfast item prepared is the best ending to this girls tale of cravings and wellness.

Enjoy and Namaste.

Advertisements
Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Spicy foods and I have had a long time love affair in our food relationship.  It seems that now we are at least on a separation if not headed for limited contact relationship.  Our relationship literally burns my heart, among other things.  Heart burn, acid reflux, and bile reflux are serious conditions that do more than irritate.  Due to high acid production, it can erode your digestive system from mouth to intestines.  It can be painful and may even cause esophageal spasms.  Not being able to use your esophagus sucks at the very least and scary at times.  To find balance in your food relationship, you need pH balance- acid vs alkaline.  This doesn’t mean acidic food are bad all together, many have amazing nutritional value and for some people, acidity is needed.  For us fiery, acidic bellies- we need to tone it down and tailor our relationship.

It’s starts with “we’re on a break.” For some time or all the time or on a limited basis you need to quit these foods: caffeine, citrus fruits, cocoa beans (coffee/chocolate), tomatoes, spicy, hot temps, high fats, processed, fried foods.  A relationship with a medical professional may help you decide what that relationship will look like.  These foods are either high in acid or cause more stomach acid production.  If you are extra sensitive then avoiding most fruits, gluten, dairy, and onions may be of benefit.

So now what do I eat?  I truly did have a spicy food addiction.  In treating and making new relationship routines I have become a humongous fan of oats.  I like oats before, but it’s a whole new love now.  Oats are excellent for regulating blood sugar among many things but for the sake of stomach acid- it absorbs acid and helps regulate the guts.  Every morning I have oatmeal with raw honey and sliced bananas.  Every. Freaking. Morning.  Raw honey, it HAS to be raw, has amazing healing properties and bananas are on the helpful with the acid list.  Ginger in tea or added to a meal is another pH balancing friend.  Probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha will tip the pH scale in your favor.  And veggies.  Veggies are alkaline which is the yin to acid’s yang so to speak, especially those greens and carrots.  Avocados, herbal teas, nuts, seeds, tofu, amaranth, and legumes are other alkaline options for daily contacts in your food relationship.

Love red sauces.  Me too! What do I do with tomato based sauces to combat acidity? Carrots.  These handy veggies in a puree aid in leveling out tomato’s acidity.  Cooking time is important too.  It need to be limited and I do not cook my sauces over thirty minutes.  More cook time, more acid.  Spices and herbs can contribute to raising the pH level.  An example is enchilada sauce.  I either eliminate the chili powder completely or reduce it, the up the cumin by half more.  This can be applied to any enchilada sauce recipe or pin you see.  Below I have included how I make my carrot puree plus a recipe for a reduced acid pasta sauce.  The carrot thing really does work.

Carrot Puree

2 carrots peeled and diced in 1 cup of water.  Cook until soft and blend or food processor until smooth.  You can double to make extra to store or freeze for later use.

Reduced Acid Pasta Sauce

  • 2 ( 29 oz) can of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of carrot puree
  • 2 bay leaves (cue 90’s kid in school lunchroom memories)
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano

img_1285.jpg

Cooking: measure it, dump it, stir it, and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes.

You can cook longer if you can stand higher acidity.  TBH- I love longer cooked sauces; however, they are not loving me back at the moment.  Care for your gut as it cares for the rest of you.

Please like share or pass along!

Namaste

Image

The Art of Letting Go

There is always something to let go. 

Sometimes it’s a thin thread of irritation of long lines, traffic, or a thoughtless action.  Other times it reaches the catastrophic level.  Then there is all in between.  When we do not let go, any where on the scale, it builds up.  It infects our mental health and manifests itself in our physical health. Stomach ache, fatigue, headaches, indigestion may all be emotionally driven.  Anxiety and worry may be fueled by a need to let something go.  The great news is that simple steps is all you need to arm yourself.  Not so great is that it is a process and it can be messy.  For the larger issues in life it takes multiple acts and time.  Trust that process and trust yourself to find ways to cut the cords.  Make your masterpiece of release and peace.

photo of multicolored abstract painting
Photo by Free Creative Stuff on Pexels.com
  1. Never suppress the emotion or issue.  Always acknowledge it.  It’s important to note what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and it’s trigger.  Noticing and dwelling are two different actions. Noticing is as an objective description by you.  Dwelling is nose dive into the emotion with fingers pointed, often in many directions.  Note the feeling  Note it’s cause and it’s trigger. Write it if it helps.
  2. Say it. Breathe it. Release it.  You can say out loud or in your head, ” I release _______________ as it no longer serves me.” Inhale then exhale it out. When it’s something small, like your child says momma a million times,  acknowledgement and a good breath out is generally enough.

 Then again, sometimes it’s not.  

Even one is different and digging in deep to release looks different for everyone. 

Pick what jumps out at you. This is what you need at this moment.

  • Make it a ceremony.  Most happy moments in life are marked ceremoniously; by party, pictures, commemorative dates, etc.  Letting go can be one of those moments of joy for you to make space and unburden yourself.
    • Make a bonfire, I am all for setting – environmentally safe- things ablaze.  You can use an object or write what you want to release on a paper then throw it in the pyre.
    •  Light a candle. Its is a bit less dramatic; however, it is effective in marking this moment of letting go.  Repeating the statement in step two, reciting a mantra, saying a prayer are ways to enhancing your candle ceremony.
  • Write it out.  Write a letter to your younger self, future self if the letting go centralizes on you.  Journal or write a letter to a person to unload.  If you have letting go of a person or something between you and them, write to them.
  • Make literal art.  Coloring pages may help.  Create an abstract of what you feel.  Use your favorite medium and symbolism in an artwork.  Or create art that has nothing to do with it at all.  The act of creating aids in processing emotions and thoughts.
  • Confide or confront.  Sometimes a coffee or tea meeting helps to unleash those bottled thoughts and emotions.  A trusted and honest friend may help you process through all of them.  You may need to confront a persona and feeling ready to respectfully and firmly do so.  Do so.  You are not responsible for their actions but are in control of appropriately expressing yourself.  You might want to write it out first.
  • Meditation and prayer.  Clearing the junk in your head and heart are essential.  In one or several sessions, meditation and prayer give you the opportunity to process, organize, and offer your burden to the heavens.  My favorite is under moonlight. It is one of the closest settings I feel to my creator.  Put yourself in that literal space and head space to let go.

UntitledIn everything in your art of letting go find grace and love for yourself.  It’s important to know that you are in control of you and no one else.  You are worthy to be respected and other people are worthy to be respected.  When you meet at this intersection of kindness for yourself and others, it makes creating your masterpiece of release easier.  Inhale your comfort and exhale your complication, worry, irritation, etc.  Take up your brush and design your letting go.

Namaste

Find your masterpiece of peace

Next week may be what you need in your food life.  I and #thecalmRiley certainly did.  Say “YES” to leveling out the pH in your food relationship with new recipes and quick tips.

Health Foodie: Using Nature and Nutrition to Subdue the Head Monkeys

Health Foodie: Using Nature and Nutrition to Subdue the Head Monkeys

 

 

Here me now- I am not claiming total head monkey control.  However, there are ways to quite them and get them mananged.  This has been HUGE for my daughter and I.  We have monkey riots in our heads often and they just needed to settle the hell down.

When the head monkeys are out of control they need to be fed.

First in a head monkey’s diet is sleep.  Lack of sleep makes them louder or controlling them harder. I am not sure which. Either sucks.  Set a iron clad routine.  For adults, around 10 P.M. and up around 6 P.M. following the rhythm of nature. If that time frame not possible, seven to eight hours where you are able.  Uninterrupted.  My kids and I are still in negotiations on that part.  Settle into a non engaging activity thirty minutes before bed time.  I absolutely CANNOT read  before bed.  Book are engaging and insomnia inducing for me. My daughter it’s the opposite effect. As a  matter of fact it can put her to sleep in the middle of the day, so she claims.  Find a relaxing activity you can walk way from.   Listen to your body. I have been sleeping in an extra when possible due to my iron deficiency and children.  I need the extra sleep.  I am not against sleep aids and if you need them use them with care.

Head monkeys love food.  What you feed them either fuels crazy or appeases them.  Avoid high fats, sugar, dyes, chemical/processed foods.  It reeks havoc on your nervous system and incites head monkey riots.    Caffeine needs to be on a short lease.  There are some studies showing restrained amounts of coffee in the A.M. help rev those brain engines, possibly- POSSIBLY- helping those with ADHD.  It’s not conclusive.   However, in small amounts I find it helps.  The best thing you can feed yourself is water. HYDRATE. Don’t give them a fighting chance.  Head Monkey grub should rely on protein and not just meat protein.  Even  good-for-you lean meat protein in high amounts taxes your kidneys.  Nuts, beans, lentils should be mingling with your chicken, turkey, and lean beef. Frequently. YOU NEED CARBS. Actually, the head monkeys do.  But carb responsibly.  Whole grains like oats, amaranth, brown rice, quinoa, barley are the bread/pasta ingredients to look for.  Avoid processed, refine, and white flour.  Especially bleached. Saying “bleached flour” out loud just literally tasted nasty.  Bleached?! Whole fruits and veggies are smart head monkey carbs and nutrients. Eat them. In abundance. Then watch those head monkeys quiet down.

What you eat is as important as how and when.  Breakfast needs to be a protein punch and the afternoon follows suit.  Afternoon is when you start to drop in your energy rhythm and wish for those kindergarten naps.  Eat a light protein snack.  Small meals space about two to three hours apart regulate your blood sugar, showing those head monkeys who’s boss.  Drink water all in between.

You may want to consider supplements depending on your head monkey issues. LISTEN CAREFULLY KIDS AND HEAD MONKEYS.  Supplements are not for all ages and can negatively interact with other medications.  Check and double check with professional input.  Vitamin Bs (“S”-plural) in a multivitamin for kids, multi or just B complex form for adults is great. The Bs work the nerve system with magnesium, its a head monkey massage.  Omegas are for all ages, stages, and reasons.  We are plant based omega takers but cold fish omegas are VERY helpful in head noise reduction.  If you deal with anxiety, depression, focus issues, etc safely used and effective supplement can help your extra head monkeys. Even if you take medication.

Now that the head monkeys are rested and fed.  Give them a run.  You need to get active- daily and through out the day. Simple stretches, standing up and down a few times when you have desk duty makes a difference. Commit to getting that heart pumping.  It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do. Then get hands on.  Head monkeys like creativity.  Everyone is creative and not everyone is a Picasso.  Coloring books are just as effective as a Pollock inspired endeavor.  Cooking is creative. Yay food! Working on cars. LEGOS! Just be open and get something in your hands.  If the monkeys are especially loud then meditate while hands on- shameless previous post plug on meditation .  A daily meditation practice is a great preventative for crowd control.  You need to empty the junk drawer but you may worry about the ability focus for so long.  Take five minutes as a starter and if you can go longer great, if not, that’s great.   It’s all about being intentional to help you focus on what you are creating for animal head control.

As of now my head monkeys are on a leash.  While I embrace their quirks and noise at times, the clock is ticking so I am going to go cook something.

My head monkeys namaste your head monkeys.  Find mental peace friends.

Aside

Health Foodie on Those Pains in the Neck.

It’s my birthday!! 🎂 At one time I thought 35 was really, really old. But here I am. Old. Ish. 🤣😉. It’s not so bad and most days are great. I have more wisdom and proud battle scars. Plus a deep appreciation for fuzzy blankets, time with loved ones, warm tea, and sleep. There are some realities of adding another year. Horrible knees since my teens, iron deficiency that impacts my muscles, and my spine is a degenerate. It creates some literal pains in the neck. Ouch. My lifestyle of wellness is to prevent as much as possible, to heal as much as possible, and to manage as much as possible.   For those pains in the neck, literal or not, we do have tools  in nature to cope, manage, and heal.  It is important to note as we continue that seeking a medical professional may be necessary.  In the case of my spinal degeneration, I sought a diagnosis and treatment plan.  My doctors works with my desire for a natural path and diminishing needs to for prescriptions.  With a tweaked food relationship, active lifestyle, and continuous at home therapy- I am slowly finding my groove again.

Food. It’s always been food.

Painless eating requires a dedication in intention and deliciousness.  Antioxidants, lowering inflammation, good fats are among the goals in your food relationships.  Whole veggies and fruits are the potent antioxidant providers.  Get lots of them and mix it up.  They all play a role in providing  your body is missing and reduce inflammation. Green tea is amazing in your daily routine for LOTS of reasons.  For the sake of this topic- its another antioxidant in the battle. Omega rich foods help increase best body function all around. Cod, Tuna, Salmon, Olive Oil, Flax seed, and Chia seeds are all the right Omegas you need in your food life.   The spicy in your food relationship is rather easy and it takes two.  Cayenne and Ginger.  Cayenne added to recipes is a powerful anti inflammatory especially to joints.  Ginger tea and in food is a stomach soother, muscle and joint relaxer, and head massage.  Drink and eat for ache healing.

It’s Essentially In Your Hands

Essential oils are an excellent way to utilize your largest and most absorbent organ for pain reduction.  There are companies that offer ready made oils for pain. However, you may want to customize with these basics.  One of my favorite essential oil blends right now for cramps and tight muscles is Vetiver and Eucalyptus with carrier oil in a roller bottle.  About 3 drops each does the trick.  Eucalyptus is potent and should be taken with caution if you have high blood pressure.  Other excellent options for tight muscles or cramps or painful joints are lemon grass, ginger, peppermint, and cayenne.  Cayenne is a fantastic for joints in food and oil. But it brings some heat, take caution.  Sore muscles and headaches/migraines benefit from similar essential oils as those for pain.   Some times a migraine/headache cause sensitivities to scents.  Test them one at a time to be sure one scent doesn’t irritate you.

Get Active. Sort of.

If your able, activity is beneficial to aches.  A light walk at any time, any length that you can handle is an excellent way to boost blood flow for reducing inflammation and working out kinks.  This increases oxygen, increases cell growth, and removes waste.  Adding a warming pad can have a similar benefit if you are not able to move.   It’s important to note that inflammation needs cooling like an ice pack (no more than twenty minutes).  Under medical care, get a consultation on what is best for you.  Light stretching is an gentle way to pull oxygen into your muscles.   Yoga is my favorite way to do this. Largely because yoga is so versatile and can be individualized with no equipment or lots of accessories. It’s up to you. A studio offering yin yoga or restorative yoga would be of benefit.  Yin yoga is the slowest – less poses being held longer with props to support your body.  Restorative is my constant to heal and build muscle that isn’t strenuous.   Yet, getting to a studio may be difficult.  There are plenty of yin videos on YouTube and the Down Dog app has a restorative option.  I am not linked to either of these companies;  however these are easy at home options.

My hope and prayer is that you find healing in these simple daily changes for a healing lifestyle.  Certainly throwing in a massage or acupuncture further the benefits.   Lots of love in your journey to healing and growing wisdom.

Please share. It would be a great gift!🙃

Namaste 💕🧘🏼‍♀️

That Gut Feeling: Recipe Add Ons

That Gut Feeling: Recipe Add Ons

Summer time is our busiest; however, for many this is the reverse when school starts.  To keep that amazing gut feeling in your food life we have a couple of recipes to add to the food relationship.   These recipes at substance, healing power necessary to sustain you, but not weigh you down either.   I find veggies and herbs are an excellent way to get the nourishment without a heavy gut discussion afterwards. These recipes of my favs in the food relationship, nourishes well and not complicated.

Mediterranean Inspired Pasta Dish- aka “I’m obsessed with olives and herbs”

Feed approximately 4 people

Ingredients

  • Pasta or “Pasta”: (pictured) g-free linguine or zoodles, linguine, fresh pasta, etc.  12 oz pasta or 2 zucchini
  • Olive oil 2-3 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves: 3 cloves, diced
  • Fresh parsley: about 1/2 cup chopped (optional add in dried parsley 2 tbsp)
  • Green olives: 1/2 cup diced
  • Roma tomatoes, 3 diced
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Cooking

  1. For packaged pasta cooked as directed and set aside.  For zoodles, saute in 2 tbsp of butter for about 5 minutes or soft and firm.
  2. In a skillet pour in olive oil, garlic and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes
  3. Add in diced tomatoes, green olives (if using dried parley add here) and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in pasta or “pasta” and fresh parsley.  Cook for about 3 minutes
  5. Plate and mix in parmesan cheese in preferred amounts (I love cheese, no judgement from me)

Pasta and veggies are a favorite combo but I love tzatziki like none other, that with grilled veggies and flat bread, it’s an upbeat gut feeling.

Grilled veggies with Rosemary Flat Bread, Tzatziki Sauced

Feeds 4-5 people

Minus picky veggie eaters

Ingredients

Rosemary Flat Bread

  • Gluten free all purpose or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour (g free),  all purpose flour (for g)
  • Dried Rosemary  2 tbsp
  • Garlic, 2 cloves diced
  • 1 egg
  • Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Olive oil

Cooking flat Bread

  1.  Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Mix dried ingredients first (flour, rosemary, baking powder, garlic)
  3. Stir in egg and milk
  4. Slowly pour half the water in to mix.  Each flour is different and some absorb water more that others.  As you mix, slowly add in the rest of the water.  Stop when the ingredients are mixed well but the dough isn’t sticky.  If it does’t become sticky, add a touch more flour.
  5. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet (it can be placed on a baking stone with no oil)
  6. Take a 1/2 cup size portion, roll into a ball and press flat.  All of this can be done with your hands.  No other tools required.
  7. Bake flat bread for 8-10 minutes on each side.

Just the Basics Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

  • plain Greek yogurt 5 oz
  • Dill, dried  1 tsp
  • lemon juice 1 12 tsp

Cooking

  1.  Mix all ingredients together and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours

“Grilled” Veggies

Ingredient

  • Zucchini  2, sliced long ways
  • Yellow squash 2, sliced long ways
  • Tomatoes on the vine 4, cut into quarters
  • Mushrooms 8 oz
  • Fresh oregano  1/2 cup chopped
  • Fresh parsley 1/2 cup chopped
  • olive oil
  • Optional addtions: olives (yes plz), red onion, eggplant, bell peppers, carrots

Cooking

There are two options here.  Throw it on the grill or bake.  Since our grill is O-3 (out of order) these directions are for baked.  I know the ultra professional tip is to give temperatures but if I’m honest-  I forget half the time (ADHD). Much of our relationships don’t have measuring tools, cooking veggies can be one of those instances.

  1. Oven preheated to 375ºF
  2. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet then lay out veggies on baking sheet(s).  Zucchini and squash cook the fastest, place them together.  Place tomatoes and mushrooms together as well.
  3. Sprinkle chopped oregano and parsley over veggies.
  4. Put in tomatoes and mushrooms first.  They need a good 15 minute head start.
  5. After 15 minutes place zucchini and squash. Cook an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Check veggies to make sure they are soft but firm to touch with a fork.  Or knife. Please don’t use your fingers.  Trust me.

Now.

Throw it all together in any combo you like.

Cooked veggies are easy to digest.  With herbs, vegetables reduce inflammation from gut to brain.  Grain sustains and adds fuel.  It’s a food relationship to satisfy and provide great gut feelings.  Come back next week for simple ways to deal with the aches and “pains in the neck.”  Subscribe and then your tools for an exceptional life comes to you. 🥘💌

Namaste 🥙🥐🍽

P.S. I am not a fan of spam- the “meat” or email.  Pinky-promise for only the good stuff- no email, app, or phone invasions.