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

Cycling in Carbs

Disclaimer: I’m just trying to figure this all out as I go.

Lately I’ve been feeling¬†really¬†tired and rundown.¬† This past week I’ve had that awful zombie-esque feeling I get sometimes.¬† Lupus and auto-immune disorders run in my family.¬† My grandma died young and a major factor was her lupus.¬† Because of my genetics and family history, my body is just incredibly sensitive to inflammation.¬† If I eat something inflammatory, I’m feeling it,¬†big time.¬†¬†The chief inflammatory offender being gluten, of course.¬† But also carrageenan, soy lecithin, MSG, preservatives….

It keeps me eating a mostly clean diet, so it’s good in that sense.¬† But I have been eating¬†pretty¬†clean and still, the feeling persists….

I happened to listen to this¬†podcast specifically on women, inflammation and the keto diet.¬† It’s the “wellness mama” herself (she’s kind of a legend!) and Thomas Delauer- an expert on all things keto.¬† It’s a great podcast, check it out.¬† If you want to know fo sho that this Thomas guy knows his stuff; just check out his transformation-¬†woah

He lost 100 pounds and now models on magazine covers.¬† So¬†pretty¬†sure he knows his stuff.¬† But anyhoos, one thing he discussed is the topic of “cheating” on ketosis.¬† He cycles in carbs when he stops feeling great.

See, our bodies do store reserves of glycogen that can last for weeks.¬† But those levels do get depleted eventually.¬† That’s when you start feeling run down, achey, tired, etc.¬† Bingo.

I’ve been at this for three months with only one official cheat meal (haha I did “cheat” eating some mediocre leftover gluten free mac and cheese but we won’t discuss that!).¬† Maybe at this point I need a cheat meal or two to rev up my engine.

I’m going to give it a go.¬† No crappy restaurant food this time, though.¬† I’ll probably make a homemade meal with some rice or potatoes- all in the name of replenishing glycogen stores, of course! ūüėČ

With the keto diet, as with anything- you need to listen to your body.  What worked well at one point might need tweaking in the future.  You have to be flexible. 1950s-blond-woman-winking-eye-vintage-images

 

Son of a Biscuit

I love (really love!!)¬†that I am able to incorporate baked goods into my ketogenic lifestyle.¬† This makes me incredibly happy.¬† I’m an ok cook but an enthusiastic baker.¬† I’m not incredibly talented or anything, I just enjoy it.¬† The warmth of the oven, the aroma wafting through the house, tasting warm and gooey creations… it make me happy.

My latest creation was a recipe I adapted from chocolate chip cookies at perfect keto.  Can you think of anything nummier than a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie?  Me neither!  20180221_184356.jpg

If you’re into cookie dough, this is one recipe where the dough is almost better than the finished product.¬† I might have helped myself to a few bites…and this recipe may have been my dinner last night. ūüėČ

I didn’t want my recipe to be too dry (as recipes with almond flour can be) so I reduced the “flour” down to 2 1/2 cups and did equal parts almond and coconut flour.¬† I also added almond and vanilla extract.

For my chocolate I chopped up a 90% dark chocolate bar.

I also found that I had to “nuke” my butter and coconut oil.¬† They said room temp, but my room temp is a bit too chilly for coconut oil to blend.¬†¬†20180222_081614.jpg

The end result was delicious.¬† Still a bit dry so have a cup of steaming coffee or cold milk to wash these down.¬† The texture is a bit more biscuit than cookie, but the taste is¬†pretty¬†close.¬† This is a more sophisticated, grown up cookie.¬† Just sweet enough to be a treat, minus the guilt.¬† Your kids won’t steal them.¬† Win-win.¬†cookies

Cheating on Valentine’s Day

Sweet son of a monkey wrench I am feeling like poo this fine morning….

a123I was waffling all day on whether or not to “cheat”.¬† I read some articles.¬† I did some thinking.¬† I decided to cheat.¬† We went to Applebees and I got barbecued chicken with a side of mashed potatoes AND fries.¬† I had a glass of white zin.¬† I ate everything on my plate and had a couple chocolate truffles as well.¬† The fries were really good.¬† But pretty much immediately after eating I felt my heart beating harder.¬† I was thirsty all night.¬† My stomach was¬†not¬†happy with me.¬† The chocolate was really disappointing.¬† It tasted like gritty sugar and chemicals.¬† I guess my taste buds have really changed.

My carb-fest must have spiked my insulin and blood sugar and I had trouble falling asleep and basically slept like crap.¬† I am feeling¬†terrible.¬† If a food hangover is a thing, baby, I’ve got it.¬† Waking up after cheating on Valentine’s day with a headache and regret…. sounds like a country song that I don’t want to hear!

However, irritatingly positive person that I am; I am already framing this as a learning experience.

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Stars from Scars, People!

The takeaway for me is that I’ve gotten used to feeling better.¬† Sleeping better.¬† This experience really put that into perspective.¬† I like feeling good.¬† I don’t like feeling like a steaming pile o’poo.¬† Carbs and sweets really aren’t even something that appeals to me anymore, or not enough in the context that how they taste isn’t worth how they make me feel. ūüí©

I feel a sense that I was right in thinking that this ketogenic diet is much more than a diet for me.¬† It’s a way of life.¬† It’s the way of eating that best supports my health and well-being.

I don’t know if I’ll have more cheat meals in the future.¬† I probably won’t eat more crappy Applebee’s food, that’s for sure!¬† ¬†But truly and honestly I enjoy the keto-friendly food that I am eating and I really don’t see a pertinent need to cheat, on such a rich and indulgent diet that yields so many benefits.

From a physical standpoint this one cheat experience didn’t ruin my state of ketosis.¬† From what I’ve read online, there are people who are militant and overzealous about the state of their ketones.¬† I’m not.¬† I don’t know if I left ketosis or not but I know for sure I am definitely in ketosis this morning.¬† My lovely breathe is always a reliable clue.ūüćí

 

A Tale of Two Soups

Here in Minnesota winter is stretching on and on… this is my current view.¬†20180203_121256.jpg

Ice, flurries, and air temp of 12 degrees F.

One thing that I love to do on cold, crummy days is make a huge batch of homemade soup.¬† It’s healthy, it’s delicious, it’s a clever way to get vegetables into my little angels (cough*brats*cough)…

I usually stick with the local favorite, chicken & wild rice soup.¬† It’s so good there is absolutely no need to try anything else.¬† Plus my kids love it.¬† This stuff is manna from Heaven.¬† Seriously.

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Those little blacks things aren’t bugs, ya’ll.¬† That’s Minnesota Wild Rice!

Don’t drool, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Well, the soup, wonderful as it is, is NOT keto-friendly with the big golden hunks of potatoes, carrots and a flour roux.

So this morning I made soup for my hyperactive little darlings and a low carb soup for myself as well.¬† It’s Saturday so I can ignore my kids and putter around in the kitchen in peace for two hour stretches while my husband gets to deal with, er, enjoy quality time with them…

I split up the chicken stock I had made overnight into two pots.¬† It’s super easy to make stock.¬† You just cook a whole chicken, debone it, and cook the bones, giblets, and neck in your crockpot (covered with water) overnight on low.¬† It’s one economical way to wring every bit of flavor and nutrition out of a poor little chicken.¬† You can eat the chicken with a side for dinner one night, then turn the leftovers into soup the next!!¬† That’s a lot of meals out of one $5-7 dollar chicken.¬† Stock is also super easy to make, a delicious base for soup, and incredibly¬†healthy.

So getting back to my tale… in my smaller stock pot I tossed some broccoli florets and diced asparagus into my broth on medium heat.¬† In a separate sauce pan I melted 1/2 stick of butter along with a cup of heavy cream and the random leftover cheddar cheese I hunted down in my fridge (about 1 1/2 cups).¬† I brought it to almost boiling and whisked it into a delicious butterery, cheesey, low-carb “roux” for my soup.

I dumped it in to my stockpot along with some leftover chicken.¬† I added a good amount of salt, pepper and seasonings.¬† Sorry, people, I don’t really measure anything.¬† One of the great things about soup is that you can throw in just about anything and it comes out great!

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Seasonings that help the magic happen

I then let the flavors meld together for about 20 minutes while I made the¬†other¬†soup, the one with carbalicious veggies we won’t mention again… ūüėČ

Then voila! 20180203_121702.jpg

Hearty, rich warming soup that is both filling and delicious and gloriously low-carb!¬† You’ve got collagen from the stock, a bit of protein from that poor wrung-out chicken, fiber and nutrients from your veggies, and phyto-nutrients from the herbs.¬† One bowl will have about 475 calories, 40 grams fat, 21 grams protein and only 5.8 gram carbs.

Plus it warms the cockles and steels the soul against the long, dreary winter!

 

Keto Mocha Pots de Creme

I came across this¬†recipe¬†for the ultimate chocolate dessert, or Mocha Pots de Creme.¬† My first thought was, “YUM!” my second was “I can adapt this easily to make it keto-friendly!”

Chocolate?  Check.  Heavy Cream?  Check.

My version turned out with a strong dark chocolate and coffee flavor.  Which I love.  You could easily add more sweetener and omit the coffee, if desired.

You’ll need:

  • 4 ounces baking (unsweetened) chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-5 tablespoons desired low carb sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp coffee, either instant or finely ground
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

First you’ll break up your chocolate in a medium sized glass bowl.¬† Add your coffee and salt.¬†20180201_173530.jpg

In a small saucepan combine the heavy cream, egg yolk, sweetener, and vanilla.  Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until it just begins to reach a boil. 20180201_173455.jpg

When it just starts to bubble dump it on top of the chocolate in the glass bowl. 20180201_170933.jpg

Let it sit for about a minute. Then stir. 20180201_173430.jpg

Scoop into glass ramekins or serving dishes of your choice and refrigerate until firm.  Lick the bowl.

Easy-peasy though it looks and tastes fancy-schmancy!

If you divvy it up into 4 servings you are looking at 400 calories (eat it after a light dinner!), 9.5 total carbs or 3.5 net carbs, and 37 grams fat of delicious, keto-friendly numminess! 20180202_081546.jpg

Where’s the fourth serving?¬† It never made it into a serving dish!

 

What I Eat

When I read about a weight loss success story I really want all the details.  I want to know what you actually eat!

So I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been eating regularly on my ketogenic diet…

I always start my day with coffee.¬† I’ve played around with different versions of bulletproof coffee but what I’m drinking now is coffee mixed with a spoonful of collagen, some sweetener, and heavy cream.¬† I just enjoy the taste of real heavy cream over butter or coconut oil.¬† I add a spoonful of collagen, unflavored, because it has incredible¬†benefits¬†and adds extra creamy texture to my coffee.¬† I buy this one because it is cost effective, pure¬†collagen.¬† My sweetener is a mix of all the “natural, artificial” sweeteners I have bought and experimented with.¬† Monk fruit,¬†erythritol and stevia.¬† I just dumped them all into a gallon ziploc baggie, mixed them, and add a small spoonful to whatever I want to sweeten.¬†¬†20180128_063906.jpg

My coffee is usually my breakfast, because it is so rich and heavy.¬† I’ve really noticed an improvement in the way I feel after adding in collagen.¬† Plus, it’s amazing for skin, hair and nails!¬† I really recommend it if you suffer from joint issues, digestive problems, or just want prettier skin!

I usually take my supplements in the morning as well.¬† I take 5,000 ius vitamin D because I live in the arctic (Minnesota), I take iron cause I tend to run low, and I take cod live oil because I’m not a fan of fish though I believe in the benefits of omega-3s.¬† I also take a good multi just to make sure my bases are covered.¬† It may sound like overkill but I’ve done a lot to restore my health with vitamins and supplements.¬† In my early 20’s I developed celiacs disease.¬† I went to a lot of doctors who were pretty clueless.¬† I had to figure it out on my own.¬† By that time I had shredded my gut from years of cluelessly eating gluten and was severely vitamin deficient from lack of proper absorption.¬† I lost a lot of my hair. ūüė¶¬† I felt 90.¬† It was terrible.¬† So, yes, I do believe in being your own health advocate and proper vitamin supplementation!

Getting back to diet….so I’ll do my workout and shower and then have some kind of recovery meal.¬† Sometimes it’s just scrambled cage-free eggs, cooked in a good amount of butter, with a mound of sharp cheddar cheese.¬† Or I’ll do a protein shake.¬† I like using whole milk (lower carb, higher fat) and designer whey protein because it is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit.¬† ¬†That will also serve as lunch.

For dinner it’s meat and veggies.¬† For example in this pic I have a turkey burger (dressed up with curry seasoning) cooked in a liberal amount of avocado oil and topped with pepper jack cheese.¬† With a side of mayo, of course ūüėȬ† And riced cauliflower sauteed in butter.¬† It¬†almost¬†tastes like hashbrowns.

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I’m not a food photographer!¬† It’s yum, I promise.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking.¬† The diet really forces you away from eating processed food.¬† Which is really a good thing.¬† Grocery trips are quicker because I’m just zooming around the periphery of the grocery store.

I’ve also been eating a lot of salad.¬† I hunt down dressing that is made with an acceptable oil, like avocado.¬† It’s super tasty and a way to keep your fat macros up.¬† I always add plenty of either shredded parmesan or cheddar cheese.¬† The salads are so nummy that my kids want them too!¬†20180115_063254.jpg In this one, I’ve made my own keto cobb salad.¬† There’s ham, cheese, soft boiled eggs.

So, you can see that it is possible to lose weight eating foods that are delicious and filling.  Foods that are going to add to your health and well-being.

I don’t want to do a lot of snacking between these filling meals… but snacks I incorporate would be things like parmesan crisps or spoonfuls or peanut butter.¬† I also like bai and vitamin water zero because they have zero net carbs, taste good and help me when I need to cover up my keto-breathe (an unfortunate side effect that hasn’t yet dissipated).

At this point, there are no desserts.¬† I’m honestly really ok with that.¬† As soon as I started keto my sweet cravings almost entirely dissapeared anyways.¬† There are a lot of keto dessert options that you can make though.¬† Maybe I will incorporate more in the future just to mix it up a bit.