Friday, September 25, 2015

Septembers song & Chicken Wing Bites!

I've been absent the past few weeks. I apologize for that. Work has seemingly taken up more of my time than I was aiming for with this transition I am making in my life. Unfortunately, the stress has me in a bad head space, and I've had very little time to think. The one thing that has been weighing on my mind is how easy it would be for me to just throw in the towel right now, and quit. That's my normal go to when things become overwhelming and stressful. But, even though I've stumbled the past few weeks, I've not given up. I've still gone to the gym. I'm still eating (relatively) healthy (with the exception of a couple days where I had the "fuck it's").

The thing about stress, and not sleeping, and nightmares is that all that cortisol is building up and building up and storing everything as fat. So while I haven't lost any weight in the past few weeks - I (thankfully) really haven't gained, either.

So, I would have to say I'm blessed. I have a very hard time digging myself out of slumps when I feel like I'm losing my way - but am working hard at not letting the negativity rule every aspect of my life. The past two weeks have been trying, and I haven't been perfect in keeping my cool. But, I am blessed. And those blessing are what I need to keep focused on while traveling this road. I have no pain in my knees since losing some weight and going to the gym. I am blessed. I wake up every day to a loving husband, soft fur baby kitties and bunnies that love me and depend on me. I am blessed. I have a job when so many are without an income. I am blessed. I have made friends that I can truly depend on and lean on when I feel myself spiraling out of control. I am blessed. I have a family that supports me and loves me, despite my faults. I am blessed. I love in an area with such visual beauty in the mountains and the rivers. I am blessed. I have food to eat, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on my back. I am blessed.

With all these things - why do I let the few negative moments that happen rule my mood? That is a question I am still trying to answer - but am slowly learning how to (better) manager my emotions. I have never really had the best coping skills.

BJ and I are going to take a "mini vacation" at the end of October for our anniversary. I'm looking forward to that. I would love to get some good photographs of the foliage in the mountains here in Pennsylvania. This time of year makes me long for home - Vermont. Some of the best memories I have are during the fall, with my friends, at the fall foliage parade in Groton - the end of summer parties, and bon fires, and ghost stories. When I look at my life in pieces - despite the few fragmented parts that were negative - my life has had plenty of blessings.

This is the time of year where I would normally bake lots of fall treats, warm comforting foods that fill our bellies and warm our souls. Bj and I have been trying to experiment as much as we can on weekends inventing recipes of favorite foods so we can still feel that same comfort we would eating the things that got us to where we are - but with much healthier versions.

One of which is wing bites. It's foot ball season, it's fall, you want something snacky on the weekends. There is a place down the road called Nina's and they have *** the best wing bites ever ***. But... they are dusted in flour, then fried in vegetable or corn oil. Not so healthy. We found a low carb gluten free version that is the bomb! And so few ingredients.

Here is BJ cooking up some low carb gluten free wing bites. Awww!

First, what we did was take chicken breasts and trim them of fat and what not as well as we could. Then with kitchen sheers, we snipped the chicken into bite size pieces. In a bowl, we combined 1 jar of Parmesan cheese, and 1 bag of pork rinds (crushed into crumbs) and mixed together. In a separate bowl, we broke some eggs, and mixed with a little water. Dip chicken bites into egg, then into the Parmesan and pork rind mixture, back into egg, then back into Parmesan & pork rind mix. This is a double dredge technique. It makes the chicken *** super *** crispy and oh so good.

I am super terrified of deep frying things. I hate working with oils and have a fear of getting grease burns. So we did small batch pan frying using coconut oil in a deep small pot. We filled the pot maybe 1/2" with coconut oil.

These are what the chicken bites look like right out of the coconut oil. Yum!

We love Nina's wings so much, we decided to just buy a container of their buffalo sauce - which is nearly zero carb. This makes the perfect weekend snack, especially for those of us who watch football.

So in the midst of the craziness that is life, counting my blessings, and reaching towards my goal - we find time to create comforting food that reminds us why being healthy isn't just a diet, it's a way to live.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Having a bleh day?

So last night after we made that delicious Lobster Cauliflower "Fried Rice" for dinner - we ended up going to Planet Fitness around 11pm. Yep. 11pm and we headed to the gym. Yesterday was kind of a rest up day for me. I haven't been sleeping that great recently, and the weekend is sort of my time to rejuvenate. Although, I always seem to be up at about 6am regardless. I napped for about 4 hours last night, got up, made dinner, then went to the gym. Hence the late hour. But you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

Last night we worked out pretty hard. I had been sick this past week, as was my husband, so we didn't really "push" it at the gym. Last night was good, I felt good, and was happy we went. Though, I was having a "fat girl at the gym" kind of evening. I knew I was doing something good for myself, but at the same time, I felt horrifically fat (well, fatter than I am) and sort of bleh. That "bleh" moved into today as well. Even as I sit here typing, I'm looking down and am wondering - why does my stomach seem more distended today?? What is going on? Perhaps I'm retaining water for some reason, that could be it. But it's not discouraging me.

I got up this morning, I made coffee - I did some beginner basic yoga to stretch my arms, legs, and torso out. It felt ** good ** to stretch. I don't stretch enough, I think. That may be partly why I cramp so much. I did some squats with my exercise ball against the wall - then I did a different type of squat using the ball on the floor, and hand weights. I always feel better after I do some exercise. It makes me question why I fought it so hard in the past.

Before we went to the gym last night, I watched the video that is making rounds on the internet by Nicole Arbour titled "Dear Fat People". I guess my reaction is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to peoples reactions to her video. Now, before I post this - I'm going to state upfront - I do NOT condone what this woman did or said in her video. I have PCOS, I am fat, I have lived with an eating disorder for almost my entire life. I do not tolerate or condone bullying. But I also do not let other people like Nicole Arbour dictate how I feel about myself, anymore.

This is what I posted on my facebook today in regards to the video.

Okay, I have to address this because clearly the world is ending because a pretty, thin chick posted a video about fat people. You know what? Who the fuck cares.

Maybe if we stop pacifying each other and deliver some brutal honesty - perhaps people might change. Perhaps allowing people to believe that they are not killing themselves with food is part of the problem.

I am 100% for positive body image. I am 100% for people being happy as they are, and who they are. What I am not ok with is pretending that being big and beautiful DOESN'T come with health risks. Being obese is NOT ok. Being obese isn't empowering. It's a CHOICE. And while we all have the right to chose how we want to live - we also have to accept the consequences of those choices.

I've lived almost my ENTIRE LIFE over weight. Maybe it was the 12 years at Blue Mountain Union of being bullied and harassed ** every day of my life ** for being over weight that gave me a thick skin. But as a fellow "fat person" I will not sit here and say that I am healthy, even if I am loving myself, my body, and my journey as I am traveling now.

It has taken 35 years for me to come to this point where I finally LOVE MYSELF enough to CHANGE. To care about my health, my mind, and my body. To also acknowledge that my choices don't only affect me - but they affect my family, my friends, and society as a whole.

Part of caring about each other is caring enough about yourself to make healthy choices. Maybe if I had ONE FRIEND 20 years ago that was THAT brutally honest with me and didn't pacify me with shit like "Oh you're just big boned" or "You'll grow out of the weight!" MAYBE just MAYBE I would have woke up sooner. Don't pacify people - no matter what the issue. Drinking, smoking, drugs, eating disorders - you're doing people a disservice when you don't tell people the truth. Be honest. Be brutally honest. It's the only way.

Now, with this being said - I do not condone nor do I agree with bullying people, being disrespectful to people, or being an ignorant asshole about subjects that you clearly know nothing about. I do, however, believe it is our responsibility as people to ensure that those in our lives understand and recognize that poor choices, and bad behavior - whether it be eating disorders, drug addiction, alcoholism, etc - is not something that is "ok".

Lets say you have a family member or a friend that is headed down a dangerous road with heroin. Do you pacify that person and say "Oh it's ok, you'll grow out of it" or "Don't worry, you'll get board with that stuff eventually, and then you'll kick the habit.". No. You wouldn't do that. You would fight, scream, cry, beg, bargain, and sometimes bribe that person to STOP what they are doing that will ultimately kill them. We see this every day, yet we as a society put blinders on because we think it's "not our place" to say anything.

Fuck that shit.

If it isn't our place to say anything - whose place is it? And when will that person show up? Will they show up before it's too late?

We keep hoping and waiting for someone else to make the first step towards awareness. Eating disorders, obesity, drugs, alcoholism - it's all linked. They are all addictions. And they SHOULD BE talked about. They SHOULD BE brought to light. There is no shame in that. There is no shame in saying "I'm addicted to food, and I need help". There are millions of people who suffer from some form of addiction.

Yet, telling a fat person that their choices are not only affecting their own health, but also affecting their family, friends, etc - it's frowned upon.

Why? Why is it NOT ok to tell someone that what they are doing to themselves is dangerous? That it's hurting them, and others?

Believe me - I know all about eating disorders. I know all about fat shaming, and being bullied, and how terrible it feels to be on the receiving end of it. But I also know the strength I have in myself - the strength I have found in myself through the commitment and determination of others - that those words from people who have no idea what my health is, what my history is, what my path is - those words FUEL me. They are what keep me FIGHTING.

So I'd like to say Thank You to the Nicole Arbours of the world. To the Christine Emerson's. To the Jim Nelson's. To the people who at one point in my life made me feel "less than" and "worthless". Thank you for giving me a reason to keep fighting. You've only made me stronger. You've empowered me by showing me that I am stronger than you, than your words, than your misunderstanding and your judgmental hate. I am stronger than you gave me credit for. And I prove that every day.

People, words, actions... these things only have power over you if you allow them to have power over you.

And tomorrow is only as threatening as today we allow it to be.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lobster Cauliflower "Fried Rice" - Low Carb and DELICIOUS

Who doesn't love Chinese food? I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it going in... but two hours later...

But lets face it - you eat Chinese food, you're hungry shortly after. Why? Because there are not enough good fats and proteins to actually satisfy your hunger. Bj and I developed a delicious and satisfying version of fried rice using cauliflower tonight that will sure to become a regular staple.

I am not a "huge" cauliflower fan, per say. In fact, it has taken my husband almost 2 years to convince me that Cauliflower is not the evil mush of the universe that I think that it is. Many recipes have been tried where cauliflower was involved, and I steered clear because of my preconception of how it is going to taste. I think it may be a texture thing.

But, I am learning to appreciate it. In this recipe, you don't know that you're eating cauliflower. It tastes like rice. Which is fantastic, because I love rice. You can't have "Fried rice" without that classic rice taste, right?

So, we start with ricing the cauliflower. We took a whole head of cauliflower, and riced it in our ninja blender. I ended up only using maybe half of the head of cauliflower. It makes ** A TON ** of rice.

We found a giant bag of frozen all tail lobster meat at Wegmans a few weeks ago. I thawed about 1 cup of the lobster meat. In a saute pan with white truffle oil and butter, I reheated the lobster meat with a clove of minced garlic.

I had some frozen peas & carrots in the freezer, so I microwaved them for a few minutes - about 1 cup - and strained. After we fry up the cauliflower rice, we add these in.

The caulifower rice goes into the saute pan with white truffle oil, butter, and garlic - saute for 4-5 minutes - and then I made a well to add two scrambled up eggs. I cooked the eggs in the pan with the rice, and once the egg formed curds, I mixed the rice into it. I added the peas & carrots, and the lobster - and voila. Fried rice.
This is so easy to make, and it's so satisfying. I don't think I'll ever need to call in for Chinese food again. Why spend money on sub par food when you can make your own healthy versions at home? Plus, you get to spend time with those you love. The kitchen is the heart of a home - this is where memories are made. Go get you some Cauliflower fried rice, and make some memories in the process. It's well worth it.

1/2 head, medium (5-6" dia) Cauliflower, raw, riced
1 cup Peas and carrots, thawed
1 cup Lobster Meat Cooked
2 clove Garlic
4 tbsp White Truffle Oil
4 tbsp Butter, salted
2 tbsp Liquid Aminos

1. Cut Cauliflower florets and rice in a food processor or ninja blender. Set aside.
2. In a wok put 1 TBSPN White truffle oil with 1 TBSPN of butter, and 1 minced garlic clove. Sauteed the thawed Lobster meat in this mixture to heat through - set aside.
3. Cook frozen peas and carrots in microwave for 3-4 minutes on high (covered) and let stand.
4. In the wok, pour 2 TBSPN White truffle oil, and 2 Tbspn butter with 1 minced garlic clove - allow butter to melt - add in RICED cauliflower. Cook cauliflower for 4-5 minutes.
5. Make a well in the Cauliflower - add two raw scrambled eggs - allow to cook, stirring constantly - once the eggs form into curds, mix into the rice - drizzle with 1 TBSPN White truffle oil, and add 1 more TBSPN Butter.
6. Add in your strained carrots and peas - mix into the cauliflower / egg mixture.
7. Add in your lobster meat, and stir. Drizzle 2 Tbspn of Liquid or Coconut aminos on top - and serve.

Low Carb Hazelnut Pumpkin Pancakes

Mmmhmm... Pancakes. Fluffy. Delicious. Satisfyingly perfect for a weekend brunch.

This morning I woke up and was about to make our usual waffles for breakfast - but I really wanted something different. We recently bought Hazelnut flour from Wegmans about a week ago and I've been wanting to experiment with it. So, this is sort of a no recipe, recipe. I started putting things in a bowl, and voila! Pancakes.

3 TBSPN Crushed pork rind crumbs
3 TBSPN Hazelnut Flour
2 TBSPN Coconut flour
1 TBSPN Swerve sweetener
1 Tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

Mix all these in a bowl together, set aside.

3 Ounces cream cheese - softened in microwave for a few seconds
2 TBSPN Softened butter
2 TBSPN Unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 TBSPN Water
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
4 eggs

In a separate bowl - mix all the wet ingredients. Once everything is completely incorporated - add in the dry ingredients. Mix. If the mixture is too thick, add a tad bit more water to thin out.

Spray a frying pan with coconut oil, and griddle as you would normal pancakes. But be careful when flipping - these pancakes are delicate. Nothing is better than pumpkin in the fall. I do believe this will be a staple for us on the weekends.

This made 10 nice size pancakes. I topped ours with sugar free maple and a little whipped cream. It tastes like you're eating something bad, but these are low carb, sugar free, and gluten free. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lets talk breakfast

Eggs are a main staple in a Low Carb lifestyle. Two eggs equal 1 Carb. So, we eat a lot of eggs. But plain ol' eggs get boring after a while. I'm always looking for new and creative ways to have my eggs (and more protein, too!). Weekends seem to be the time that my husband and I experiment in the kitchen. We shop normally on Friday nights, then prep and cook the weekend away. Here are a few our breakfast creations - and hopefully if you're in an "egg rut" this will inspire you to try something new!

Egg Taco's with a cheese taco shell

We start with about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. For this we used a cheddar cheese. I line a paper plate with a piece of doubled over parchment paper. This helps to prevent the plate from melting, but also to peel the cheese off. I spread it out evenly on the plate, making sure no big obvious holes in the cheese - and I place in the microwave for 30 seconds. If the cheese isn't slightly golden brown yet - I put it back in for 10 seconds. Normally it takes about 45 seconds, depending on how much cheese I use. You don't want this to turn BROWN. Otherwise the cheese is burnt. Once I get the color I'm looking for (a slight golden brown) I take the parchment (making sure to NOT touch the area with cheese) and lightly fold it over to make a shell shape. I hold it in this position until the cheese sets. About 1 minute. Then carefully pull the parchment off the cheese, and set the shell aside to completely cool.

Meanwhile, I scramble a couple eggs with heavy cream - and SLLLOOOWWWWLLLYYYY cook them on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper, and mix in a tiny bit more cheese to the eggs. Set aside.

We always have batches of cooked grassfed taco meat in the fridge - so I'll heat up about 1 cup of the meat, and with a spoon ladle a bit into the cheese shell, top with egg, then a tablespoon of salsa. This is absolutely delicious. It is one of my favorite go-to's in the morning. Hell, even as a snack at night!

Paleo Wrap Brisket & Egg burrito

A few years ago we went Paleo. We discovered some really neat recipes to make food more wholesome and healthy. These wraps (if made very large) can be kind of carby - but we found making them in our small frying pan, the carb count was only about 4 carbs. What you'll need is:

4 Large eggs
2 Tsp melted coconut oil
2 Tbspn water
1/2 cup Arrowroot
2 Tsp coconut flour
Pinch of salt

Whisk eggs with water and oil. Add all dry ingredients, and whisk until no lumps. In a small frying pan, lightly spray with coconut oil. With a 1/4 measuing cup, ladle some of the batter into the hot pan. You want this to be set at about medium to just below medium heat. If you've ever made a crepe - it is the same process. Put the batter in the pan, and turn the pan to coat the enter bottom with the batter. Cook for a minute or two until the surface is not very tacky. Flip over for another 30 seconds. Set aside, and continue making your wraps. You will get 4-6 wraps out of a batch depending on how big you make them, and how much batter you use.

I start by putting a bit of shredded cheese on the base, then scrambled eggs, then shredded brisket. My husband slow cooks our brisket for 10 hours with his own spice rub, and omg... it's delicious. Top that with some sugar free low carb BBQ sauce, and roll 'er up! Voila! Brisket egg wraps.

Sometimes, just a big plate of Eggs and meat is all you want... Taco meat, eggs, salsa, sour cream, and of course - cheese. I know, I'm addicted to cheese. It's DELICIOUS.

Pumpkin Cream cheese Flax Pancakes (3 carbs per pancake)

So, we just kind of threw things in a bowl one weekend. And somehow, magically, it worked. These definitely satisfy my urge for pancakes. And they are super filling!

3 Tbspn coconut flour
2 Tbspn flax meal
2/3 Cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 Ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup cottage cheese
6 Eggs
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
2 Tbspn Vanilla protein powder
2 Tbspn swerve
1 Tsp baking powder

I know it seems like a lot of ingredients - but trust me - these are worth it. And it's easy to make. Throw all WET ingredients in a bowl, and mix together. Throw all dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix together. Pour the wet into the dry - and mix. This made Ten 4" pancakes.

I hope this gives you some new ideas for breakfast - we certainly enjoy them!

Savory Cheddar Chive Waffles

Sometimes, you just want a sandwich. It's a craving that no other food can fix. But what do you do when you're living Low Carb and bread is not remotely an option?

Low carb savory waffles are the answer... they are dense, they are satisfying, and they aren't even a little bit bad for you. Well... unless you eat 20 of them, that would be bad.

A few weeks ago we made regular old breakfast waffles with a base recipe (recipe is in a prior entry) and we decided to fiddle with the recipe to make these waffles savory, so we could sometimes enjoy having a sandwich. (Little secret: You can even make a rockin' grilled cheese with these!) Oh, how I've missed my turkey sandwiches... or grilled cheese with tomato... or egg, bacon, and cheese... GOOD GRIEF! I'm hungry.

We prepare our batter in big batches so that we can make these ahead for the week. Then, once all waffles are done and cooled - we store in those really big zip lock bags in the refrigerator. They keep well for a week. That's one of the things I like most - they don't seem to turn to mush. Who wants mushy bread? Not I!

Well, here it is - the recipe. If the batter seems too thick, add more water to thin it out. The more waffles you get - the less the carb count per waffle. Enjoy!

4 tbsp melted butter
6 eggs, 1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, and garlic powder
\ 1 tsp Pepper 1 Tbspn chives
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbspn Swerve sweetener
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup (however cheesy you like it) shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: 1 small onion cut into small bits, sauteed.

Put melted butter, sour cream, water, seasonings, chives in blender, and blend well. Add 1/3 cup coconut flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp swerve sweetener. Blend again. Hand mix in shredded cheddar cheese and optional sauteed onion bits. Pour onto waffle iron, 1/4 cup at a time.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


A few years ago BJ and I started on a path towards living healthier. We were going full Paleo, gluten free, etc etc etc. We did very well while we followed the plan. The problem was we gave up when we didn't see the results we wanted, or thought it was taking too long to get there. I suppose we have to keep going through these things until we finally decide that it's not just one aspect of our lives we have to change. We really need to change everything - from emotional well being, to mental state, to eating and living healthier.

A few years ago I wrote a list of excuses. And I reread these. I really should just print this and post it on every door in my house as a reminder of WHY I am doing what I am doing.

There is no better time than today. There is no better reason than, because you love yourself enough to make your life a priority.


Are what got me to 426 Pounds in 2004

Are what got the inches around my abdomen to be taller than my height

Are what allowed me to wear a size 34/36 (in 2004)

Helped my joints ache

Prevented me from fitting in movie theater seats

Provided constant pain to my feet

Caused me to avoid all camera's and camcorders

Encouraged me to ignore mirrors at all cost

Caused me to gauge where I sat in a restaurant based on how wide the booths were

Created someone who didn't believe in herself

Brought out the very worst in me

Made it easy to ignore my needs

Festered and festered in each growing pound and inch

Allowed me to eat WHATEVER, WHENEVER

To lose control of my health

Put blinders on reality

Fogged my thoughts and feelings about myself

Robbed me of decades of my life

Gave me a reason to Give up

Caused me to shield myself from developing healthy relationships

Prevented me from having friends because I was too worried about what others thought

Allowed me to keep abusive friendships out of fear of losing the few "friends" I had

Excuses led me to where I am now, its time to get up and do something different.

This photo... is one of the most embarrassing photos I've ever had taken of me. 2003, at my heaviest weight of 426 lbs. I was eating myself to death. I allowed my past, my present, my inability to see a future contribute to the excuses I made for why this was all right. I wish I could go back and talk sense into this girl.

My whole life I've hidden from myself, from my friends, from family because of shame. I never wanted to talk about my weight and my self control issues because I wasn't ready to deal with them head on.

Why does it always seem like it takes a terrifying event to shock people into action? To taking control of their life?

I won't give up on me. I am going to stumble. I am going to fall sometimes. But I won't allow myself to get to the point where I can't walk again. I've never been so scared in my life. I never truly believed until that moment that I was really killing myself with my own behavior.

I am worth the fight. Eventually, I will win. Maybe not tomorrow - maybe not in 3 months. But I will win.