11/25/14

Salad Bar Brownies: Part of a Sugar Free Christmas

I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I love the parties, the food, the gifts, and the fun. I hate the tummy bugs, the flu, the colds, and the blahs. Unfortunately, the food, particularly the sweets and treats that are so much a part of our traditions lead to the sickness and depression that tend to creep up this time of year. Sugar wreaks havoc on an immune system that is stressed. Good or bad stress, our body can't tell the difference and too many late nights shopping or wrapping contributes to that as well.

We can do so many things to help our bodies stay healthy this holiday. The most basic, and maybe the hardest is cutting out sugar. Hard to do because it is so engrained in our society and holiday traditions. But the fact that the "holidays" stretch from Halloween to New Years means that as Americans we spend 60 plus days in a sugar coma! You CAN change that! I did it myself. I started two years ago. No sugar in November and December. And guess what!


Christmas came all the same!
It came without cookies
It came with out cake
It came without all the nice things neighbors bake.
It came with out toffee
It came without candy
It came without brittle and clusters so dandy.
Maybe Christmas isn't candy you find in a store.
No, Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!


Here is the first of several holiday recipes to keep the jolly in holiday while nourishing the body.


1 cup mashed sweet potato or pumpkin
Flesh of one avocado
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cup xylitol
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 scoop green fruits and veggies from blendfresh (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
5 drops orange essential oil (Or peppermint)

Mix the sweet potato, avocado, oil, applesauce, xylitol and eggs until smooth. Then add the cocoa, coconut flour, blendfresh (optional), salt and baking soda and essential oil. Mix thoroughly and spread in a 8X8 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until it passes the toothpick test.

Did you notice? For my fabulous 40th birthday, I also became a dot net! (mylampisfull.net) Spread the word by sharing this awesome post! Then everyone can be fabulous!

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11/24/14

How to Read a Basic Food Label

A better title for this post may be:

How to Take the Fun out of Buying Sweets and Candy and Processed Food Every Single Time!

(But I doubt that title would rank high on Google.)

I was in Tractor Supply today and feeling very hungry. It was snack time and I was in need of some fruits and vegetables. My husband reminded me that they have alfalfa pellets, so I could get my greens in if needed. Nah, not today, but I turned the corner and ooooh, cherries! I love cherries.


Well, not really, this is tractor supply after all, not the farmer's market. So it was actually this:


Made with REAL CHERRY juice AND is high in Antioxidant Vitamin C! Sounds like a winner right?

Since the line was backed up and hubs was waiting to pay, I decided to investigate further because the cherry chocolate ones were calling to me and I wanted to see if there was any way I could justify buying these "cherries." To my delight, the back label shows the following:



"Cherry lover's fruit chews are made with REAL CHERRY juice. And they are high in Antioxidant Vitamin C" so....and here is the beauty of this ad campaign..."you can feel good about every delicious bite!" There you have it folks! Rip the bag open and go to town on the cherry cheesecake ones because that just sounds amazing.

Except I am not normal, so I can not do that. I have this weird need to know what is in my "food"...okay using that term loosely here. So, I read further:



Most people would read the ingredients and have the following internal dialogue:

"150 calories...hey only an hour on the treadmill, or I can skip my salad dressing today."
"Fat free! Yea."
"Oh and four servings gets me a full day of daily recommended vitamin C!"

I used to read my labels just like that. I would have totally added it to the cart!

Later on in life, I learned to look at the rest of the story:


Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Dextrose, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Cocoa Powder, Color added (pretty!) Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Ascorbic Acid, Confectioners Sugar, Carnauba Wax, Beeswax.

Today, I have also learned to read between the lines or between the ingredients as the case may be:

Sugar: Likely made from GMO Sugar Beets
Corn Syrup: More sugar? Really?
Modified Corn Starch: Made from (likely) GMO corn, breaks down into sugar...once again, Really?
Dextrose: Ah hem, sugar!
Cherry Juice concentrate: Where did they grow the cherries? Commercial fruit juice is worse for us than soda. Maybe I should just go for a Cherry Coke...Oh, I love cherries. Oh, and cherry juice? 100 percent...sugar!
Natural and artificial flavors: Natural as in Beaver Butt or as in we don't have to tell you what is in our "natural flavor" so we are not going to! In other words, I have no idea what this ingredient is, but likely, it is a nasty neurotoxin called MSG!
Citric Acid
Cocoa Powder
According to GS Globe, the following have been linked to artificial colors:
Red 40: Causes hyperactivity, cancer and may bring on allergic reactions. Banned in Europe
Yellow 5: Causes hyperactivity, chromosomal damage, and has been linked to allergic reactions and migraine headaches. Banned in Europe
 Yellow 6: Known health effects: causes hyperactivity, cancer and is linked to stomach upsets and swelling of the skin.  Banned in Europe.
 Blue 1: Kidney tumors anyone? Banned in Europe.
Ascorbic Acid: Ah, so that is where the Vitamin C comes from.
Confectioners Sugar... and we have more sugar..
Carnauba Wax
Beeswax

In essence, what we have here is a bag of cancer feeding, inflammation causing sugar coated with a little ADHD.

Did I ruin it for you? Sorry! There's more...


Each serving (and that is assuming you stick to the one serving exactly) is about 13 chews, which boasts a whopping 30 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of 13 sugar cubes! 30 grams of sugar heading to your tummy for digestion. Pure glucose digests very quickly and heads straight for the bloodstream.  Sugar in the blood stream is lethal. And our amazing body will not allow us to kill it that easily. It maintains healthy blood at ALL COSTS. The body goes right to work moving that sugar out of the blood and into the cells, never once giving a passing thought to that high Antioxidant Vitamin C, making that selling point absolutely moot!

So, how do you like them cherries? Are you feeling good about every delicious bite? Would you put them in the basket or leave them on the shelf?   It would be preferable that they are banned from our store shelves. But alas, what would life be if there were not any choices...certainly NOT a bowl of cherries!

Did you notice? For my fabulous 40th birthday, I also became a dot net! (mylampisfull.net) Spread the word by sharing this awesome post! Then everyone can be fabulous!

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11/13/14

Carrot Cake Smoothie

On November 3, I entered an exclusive club! 40 and fabulous. To celebrate, I went to the Cheesecake Factory with my friends. So many choices, so little room in my tummy. It was a hard choice, and I agonized over the menu all week deciding on this treat that I seldom (like never) indulge in. I found it! Two of my favorites in one little package. Carrot cake AND cheesecake. Oh, yes please. Wildy satisfying. If you want to live dangerously, you can see it here.  Looks awesome, doesn't it? It tasted good too, for three days after.

The following Monday, I started a 90 day sugar fast...through the holiday? Yes, I am that insane. I am also that desperate to get rid of this 15 pounds I have been carting around since my 4th child was born. Thanks to the wonder that is a smoothie, now I can have my cake and eat it too, well, drink it anyhow. My mom always made carrot cake with crushed pineapple in it. Sounds like a recipe for an awesome, satisfying and nutrient packed smoothie. It is especially good with the fresh organic carrots I just got!! This recipe contains 3 servings of fruits and veggies in one delicious breakfast or snack and is super filling. You could share if you are feeling nice.


 
Get a load of these awesome ingredients:

Carrot Cake Smoothie
Approximately 415 calories (for those who take notice of this kind of thing) if made as directed.

3 organic carrots, roughly chopped.
1 spear of pineapple (around 1/3 cup chopped)
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut yogurt (could sub with 1 oz of cream cheese)
5-6 raw walnuts or pecans
2 pitted dates
1 pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 scoop of Blendfresh Yellow fruits and veggies (optional, but it is 1 full serving of fruit/veggie)
1 raw egg from backyard hens (my preference) or protein powder of choice
1-1 1/2 cups ice
Blend the milk, yogurt, dates, nuts and pineapple until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients, top with the ice and process until creamy. Add more ice to make it thicker, less if you prefer thinner texture.

To be honest, I also got the pineapple upside down cheesecake too. I just couldn't decide. Guess which smoothie I will be making next?

Did you notice? For my 40th birthday, I also became a dot net! (mylampisfull.net) Spread the word by sharing this awesome post! Then everyone can be fabulous!

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11/5/14

Stuffed Tomatoes

I really, really, really love to stuff things. My experience is usually stuffing things in my face. Or in a tortilla or pasta shell or something. As I am really trying to be diligent to moderation in all things, especially where bread and sugar are concerned, I need to find new things to stuff.  I find that there is some satisfaction in stuffing vegetables (or technically a fruit here) with still more veggies.  It is grain free, dairy free, sugar free which (amazingly) does not always equate to taste free!

Stuffed Tomatoes



4 large beefsteak tomatoes
2 T Coconut or Olive Oil
2 chicken breasts, grilled
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large summer squash, diced
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Cut the tops off the tomatoes, and scoop out centers with a spoon, and chop them (the centers) up. Heat the oil in a pan, then add the tomatoes innards, garlic, onion, and squash and stir fry until they reach desired tenderness. Add the seasonings, the chicken and pine nuts. Then divide the filling evenly between the 4 tomatoes.


If stuffing is too much work, then just chop up the whole tomato and kinda stir fry everything together. Now all this talk about stuffing has got me craving...stuffing, and turkey and gravy, and pumpkin pie. Moderation? Aw STUFF IT!

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