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

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.  😉

 

 

Frozen and Cheating

It hasn’t been a great week.

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My oldest son, definitely sums up the week!

In the spirit of being transparent and real (keep it real!)- I’ve been cheating left and right.  Popcorn.  Easter candy.  Chocolate bunnies.  I’ve been on the cheating train and that train is a crazy one.  In my defense, it has been spring break week.  It has also been snowing, freezing, windy and nasty.  So I’ve been pent up with three kids with serious spring fever.

We’re not going to kill it 100% of the time.  I am working on viewing myself with a bit of compassion, honesty, and of course- humor.  I stepped on the scale yesterday to face the music and thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

I got super strict with my carbs again and got that rush of ketone-energy that I’d been lacking.  The problem with the diet is that it only works as long as you follow it!!

I’ve found that the more I cheat, the more I want to cheat.  I just need to be super strict, and it is actually easier.  Because a “few” sips of my kids chocolate shake turns into a few chocolates turns into gummy bears turns into feeling awful… you get the idea.

It doesn’t help that my husband thought it’d be a good idea to stock up (and I do mean STOCK up) on clearance Easter chocolate and candy because it was 70% off! 😒

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I’m not kidding!!!!  This isn’t even all of it!

But honestly, as long as I’m being super strict, the cravings disappear and I can ignore the obnoxiously abundant supply of chocolate-covered peanut butter in my pantry.

It really boils down to getting back in touch with your goals.  Then you can decide, is it worth it?  Then you just do it.  Succeeding long term requires a mixture of being honest with yourself but also giving yourself grace… and believing that you are worth it.  That your health should be a priority.  Because junk food may taste good but it isn’t worth it.  Because feeling good is better than momentary indulgences.

Owning Your Health

After realizing I had some symptoms of hypothyroidism I did a lot of research.  Aha, that explains the disappearing eyebrows and my growing coffee habit.  Because I did a fair amount of research I also learned that most people go undiagnosed because many doctors still only test their T4 hormone- which is more indicative of pituitary gland function than thyroid health.  This video by Dr. Ken Berry is particularly helpful.  It’s a bit long but really worth it.

So when I went in to get my numbers checked I politely insisted on getting my T3 levels checked as well.  It’s so important to remember that your doctor is working for you.  If you spend a couple hours researching a concern before you go in, you may (unfortunately) be better educated on that topic than your doctor.  There’s no need to be arrogant but be clear on what you want.  If I had just my T4 checked, like she suggested- my results would have come back normal.  But I told her I wanted to check T3 and that is where the problem was revealed.

I learned that T4 results can be normal for years while a patient is still suffering from hypothyroidism and that testing T3 is far more accurate.  I was able to look over some old results.  I had went in a couple times a few years ago to get checked out, because I was feeling tired.  They only checked my T4 at that time, which was “normal”.  We are really privileged to live in this day and age when there is so much information available at our fingertips.  It just takes a bit of time and being proactive to educate yourself.

I also learned that the typically prescribed medication; synthroid, only addresses boosting T4 levels.  Many people go on it and don’t feel any better.  The natural (and superior!) option is taking dessiccated animal thyroid.  With animal thryoid, you get all four thyroid hormones in a natural form.  The article goes more indepth on the benefits of natural thyroid over synthetic.  Doctors have been treating patients with dessiccated thyroid for over a century.  So guess which option I’m embracing? 😛

Did my keto diet cause my hypothyroidism?  I don’t think so.  I’ve had symptoms for a long time.  I used to boost my energy with a lot of sugar and caffeine.  Maybe since cutting out the sugar I’m just feeling the effects more.  I had hyperthyroidism as a young adult and a doctor told me then my thyroid would eventually burn itself out and I’d become hypothryoid as I got older.

Treating and medicating yourself may be a bit too much for some.  And it has it’s risks, for sure.  You don’t have to “prescribe” yourself anything but you can still take steps to be proactive in achieving your best health.  Don’t look to the doctor for a pill for everything.  If you can lower your cholesterol with oats and bergamot, why not do that over taking a pill with a laundry list of side effects?  dreadzen2

Anyways, much love guys and thank you for reading and hanging out with me on my journey! 😘