Flourless Chocolate Muffins

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These muffins are so good that even my kids love them!¬† They are keto-friendly and gluten free.¬† I found the original recipe here¬†https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/keto-chocolate-muffins/ on a sidenote: I will always share my original recipe sources unless it is completely original.¬† I think it’s common for bloggers to plagiarize other bloggers but I don’t roll that way.

I just changed the recipe a bit to suit our needs but the basic recipe rocks.  The muffins are flour free and packed with protein, nutrients and fiber but have a taste and texture almost identical to chocolate cake!

You’ll need-

  • 1 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup natural low-cal sweetener (like monk fruit or erythritol)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Melt the peanut butter and butter together till soft in a microwavable bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend till well mixed.  Spoon into greased muffin tin and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.  Be careful not to overbake!!  It will dry them out.

You can add in low carb chocolate chips but they don’t need them.

These muffins are delicious dipped into coffee or fairlife filtered milk!!  And they are so good even your kids will eat them up! 20180508_07134956793713.jpg

Age in Reverse

Yesterday I came across this photo of my husband, his mother, and I from 2011.¬† This was 7 years ago.¬† I would have been 24 or 25.¬† Still a youngin’ by any reckoning.¬† I was taken aback though, because I seriously look younger now, at 31.¬†oldcicic

Yes, I know, my husband is really tall.  It leads to awkward hugs and a constant battle over the driver seat settings in our cars!

At the time I was dealing with severe chronic fatigue.¬† It was starting to dawn on me that I had celiacs disease.¬† But it took a long time to give up wheat.¬† It took time to grieve the fact of all that I had to give up.¬† I loved pizza and pasta and sandwiches…and just eating like a “normal” person.¬† Plus, at the time, the gluten free options were limited and pretty gross.

I knew my potential future though.¬† I come from a very large Irish Catholic family and virtually all of my dad’s 10 sisters had MAJOR auto-immune health problems.¬† Lupus, celiacs, hashimotos, R.A. just to name a few.¬† I didn’t want to live sick and die young.

I gradually made changes as I learned.  I went from eating a standard american diet to a more natural anti-inflammatory diet.  I cut back on sugar (I was a major sugar junkie!) till I eventually cut it out together.  I also have to avoid preservatives, MSG, carageenan, nitrates and soy lecithin.  If I eat any of these triggers I will feel like absolute death.  My body is just hyper-sensitive to inflammation.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I have to eat a very limited diet, I choose to see it as a gift.¬† It forces me to be accountable and eat well.¬† I mostly embarked on my health journey in order to feel better.¬† I’ll be honest, I’m not there 100%.¬† I still have days were I feel exhausted.¬† I still slip up and eat food I shouldn’t.¬† But I’ve come so far.¬† My health issues started me on a path not only towards healing, but towards optimized health.¬† The journey has been tough at times, but I’ve learned so much along the way.¬† For that I am grateful.

Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little!) but I think I look younger now then I did then.  When you take care of yourself, it shows.  Especially as you get older. 20180510_0909142132568400.jpg

Make smart choices to feel better today.¬† Make those smart choices into your habits and routine.¬† Those smart choices will have a cumulative effect, one of them being a more youthful appearance, and who doesn’t want that?!

A Salty Arguement

Ayeayeaye…. I’ve been doing a lot of research into fasting.¬† In the age of the ‘net that of course has led to watching youtube videos.¬† And cringing.¬† A lot.¬†cringe-embarrassing-funny-humour-humor

I¬†really¬†hope people take a lot of the info out there with a grain of salt (literally in this case!).¬† There is a slew of videos that advocate water fasting, which is fine, but these people are drinking up to 2 gallons of water a day.¬† They also report feeling weak, sick and nauseaous.¬† For the simple reason that they are flushing out their electrolytes and putting themselves at risk of hypnatremia; a legit, potentially life-threatening medical condition in which your body doesn’t have enough sodium.

People have been taught to think of salt as bad and water as good.¬† It’s¬†way¬†more nuanced than that.¬† Proper hydration includes salt.¬† Salt is an essential nutrient, necessary for your survival.¬† If you’re not taking it in, in amounts needed to balance water intake, you are risking water intoxication.¬† People have died from excessive water intake.

My old pastor actually suffered a concussion when he passed out from low sodium on a 40 day water fast he was doing for spiritual purposes.¬† He hit his head and was lucky it wasn’t worse.

You¬†do not ever¬†need to force down 2 gallons of water a day.¬† You probably do not even need 1 gallon.¬† If you are taking in a lot of fluids, or sweating heavily, you need to be mindful to replace lost electrolytes just as much as lost water.¬† If you are doing a strict water fast I’d either limit the water to a reasonable amount or add a pinch of healthy salt.¬† In this case more does not = better.

You body is intelligent and you can follow your thirst cues.¬† When you’re thirsty, drink.¬† If you’re not, don’t.¬† It’s pretty simple.¬† You wouldn’t gorge yourself on food if you weren’t hungry, because you doubt your hunger cues (or I hope you wouldn’t…) so why would your hunger cues be accurate but you thirst cues are faulty??¬†¬†the-iconic-picard-facepalm

Sorry, I’m ranting at this point.

But one of my first “breakthroughs” came when I realized the standard health advice on drinking water was wrong.¬† I too believed dehydration was a constant threat to be diligently guarded against.¬† I brought my giant water cup¬†everywhere.¬†¬†I needed a cup holder at all times and quick access to a bathroom.¬† I was also always cold and tired.¬† I was keeping myself in a constant low-grade state of hypnatremia.¬†CwJTMri

When I stopped that nonsense I felt better almost immediately.¬† I now add liberal amounts of sea salt to just about everything.¬† I drink when I’m thirsty.¬† It’s pretty simple.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to go against conventional health “wisdom”.¬† Remember when the experts told us margarine was good and butter was the devil??¬† Exactly.¬† But please, most of all, do your own research.¬† Listen to your body’s cues and feedback.¬† Our bodies are trying to communicate to us what they need, but are we listening?¬† I’d trust your body over a youtube expert any day.¬† ūüėČ

 

 

Tight Shoulder Tips

We all overdo it sometimes.  Or we tend to hold stress in certain places.

I’m a neck person.¬†BC7982-002

As in, I’ll often hold stress in my neck and shoulders.¬† I’ll have to¬†consciously relax them back and down as they tend to get tight and roll forward- which is no bueno for your body mechanics and good posture.

The reason I’m typing this now is that my shoulders have gotten painfully tight again.¬† It’s stress for sure, but also just hitting the weights too much.

I’m realizing that training my shoulders more than once a week leads to them balling up into little angry knots that hate me.

Shoulders can be tricky.  You want to train them, but you have to be really careful not to overdo it.  Especially in any movement where you are pushing weight up over your head.  You also want to be conscious not to hold tension in your neck or jaw on lifting movements.

But if you are like me and they get tight in spite of all this- there are some things you can do.

First off is the really old school option of a hot bath with epsom salts.¬† You can be fancy and do magnesium flakes instead.¬† I like to add 2-3 cups to a very hot bath along with 10 drops of lavender oil.¬† It’s incredibly¬†therapeutic and the magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxant.

A great foam rolling option is the rumble roller.  16RMRURMBLRLLRFRMEAC_is

It looks like a medieval torture device but this thing¬†works.¬†¬†I bought mine back in 2013 when my shoulders were in awful shape from breastfeeding and carrying my baby around 24-7.¬† I still use it almost everyday.¬† I used to have to go to the chiro weekly because my back, neck and shoulders were in so much pain.¬† I very rarely go now.¬† At around $70 it isn’t cheap but mine paid for itself pretty quickly.

You can also go super cheap and use a tennis ball.  Just put the ball between your tight muscle and the wall or the floor (whatever works best, depending on the muscle) and rub it out.  I really like this method for working out my tight hip flexors.

Of course the cheapest (free!) option is to stretch every day.  Learn some good stretches and do them often.  Try to maintain good posture throughout your day.  When you drive give your posterior neck muscles a workout by pushing your head back into the head rest instead of letting it go forward like a turtle.

Of course nothing really works as well as a good ole massage.¬† ¬†You can do what I do and beg a message from a friend or family member.¬† Or go ahead and treat yourself to a professional massage.¬† Sometimes it’s the only thing that’ll do!