breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘diet success’

Paleo Banana Pancakes

My daughter gave me this recipe and I’m not sure where she got it. It’s very similar to Mark Sisson’s Almond Banana Pancakes but with a few more ingredients and different proportions.

Here’s what I LOVE about these. Growing up, a very special treat for us was my Tennessee-born grandmother’s Buckwheat Pancakes. Or the recipe could have come from my Oklahoma-raised grandfather’s side of the family. No matter.

These pancakes required a starter, were yeast-based, and were weird little tangy, almost crepe-like pancakes. My gentle mother could be driven to distraction trying to cook the Sunday morning treats. They would always stick to the cooking pan, and come to our plates like shrunken, shriveled, blackened bits of heaven.

The magic really happened when butter melted in pools on them and sorghum syrup was drizzled atop the stack. Wowza.

And these Paleo Banana Pancakes have a look and taste reminiscent of my beloved buckwheat pancakes. And while they may look a little dark, they do not taste burned. I have tried them with sorghum and maple syrup. MyBrattyTasteBuds are leaning toward maple syrup.

Paleo Banana Pancakes

Paleo Banana Pancakes

Paleo Banana Pancakes

3 ripe bananas
3 T. ground flax seeds
1/4 c. almond butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
dash cinnamon

Mash the banana. Stir in other ingredients. Drop by quarter-cups onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form and pop, then turn. Be sure to cook through, about 1 minute per side. Don’t worry if they cook up a bit dark. They will taste fine!

Worry-Free Holiday Eating

This is an epic holiday season for me. Epic.

For 60 years, I have dreaded the holiday season while salivating uncontrollably. MyBrattyTasteBuds would be screaming “Bring It On!” while my Brain was cowering in the corner of the kitchen in the fetal position, not an ounce of fight left in it.

My non-Paleo signature treat

My non-Paleo signature treat

My signature holiday goodie was a recipe a friend shared with me years ago that was actually on the back of a chocolate chip bag. Amazingly, no one in my circle of friends and family ever saw that recipe, so it gradually became Mine. If someone would have handed me a plate of these More Delicious Than Snickers bars and I ate one or two, Brain would have been OK. But BrattyTasteBuds would insist on making double recipes, cutting off the ragged sides to make perfect bars, and eating said ragged edges so thoroughly no one ever knew they existed. There are a lot of ragged sides on my double recipes.

Back to the Epic Nature of this holiday season. MyBrattyTasteBuds and my Brain are so very happy together now that there is no war. There are no little battles. There is true joy and peace in this household. There are some Paleo goodies around, and they are so satisfying that BrattyTasteBuds politely enjoy a reasonable amount, and then take a long nap. Brain is free to think about more important things than taming taste buds.

Paleo Treats

Paleo Treats made by my daughter. Full of healthy fats and protein!

It is the most amazing thing to be craving-free during the holiday season. It is the most amazing thing to be guilt-free at this time of the year. Amazing. And Epic.

(Recipes for Paleo Treats are easily found online!)

Best Hot Paleo Fudge Sauce Ever

MyBrattyTasteBuds just gotta have some chocolate in their lives, and they are now very particular about it. They like it rich, creamy, salty, smooth, melt-in-your mouth delicious.

They helped the Brain create this treat to float islands of Cappuccino Coconut Bliss:

Hot Paleo Fudge Sauce

Hot Paleo Fudge Sauce
Single Serving

2 T. Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips
dash cinnamon
dash sea salt
1/4 t. coconut oil
sprinkle of instant coffee (can omit)
dash of almond or coconut milk

Place all in a small microwavable bowl. Nuke for about 30 seconds. Stir well. Plop a few teaspoons of your favorite Paleo frozen dessert into this delectable soup and enjoy! No guilt allowed, by the way. It’s OK to lick that bowl clean.

Maybe There Is a Foodie Inside of Me After All

MyBrattyTasteBuds would argue they have always been Foodies, because they would eat anything that tickled their little fancies. They would argue they have always loved food.

And they would have a point. But I’m going with a different definition of Foodie. I’m thinking of a person who likes to know where their food comes from before shoving it in the mouth. Who likes to know how it has been prepared before swallowing. Who enjoys the taste so much that smaller amounts satisfy the stomach. Who never feels guilty about eating.

And that would definitely NOT have been me during the reign of MyBrattyTasteBuds. Ninety-five percent of my meals and snacks were guilt-inducing. They were full of sugar and bad fats, or processed beyond recognition, or enormous.

In honor of this change of status, I finally bought this:

Mortar and Pestle Box

 … And used it to make a delicious spice blend from the awesome book by Diane Sanfilippo, Practical Paleo:

Mortar and Pestle with Spice Blend

… Which I used on a whole roasted chicken, again from Practical Paleo.

I feel very much in touch with ancestors of long, long ago who developed this tool to “process” food in new ways, adding enjoyment to what most likely was a pretty mundane existence. It has definitely spiced up MyBrattyTasteBuds’ lives.

Satisfaction. Guaranteed. Part 2

In Satisfaction Guaranteed Part 1, I talked about my feelings and blood work numbers before and after my Paleo eating change. I showed my BrattyTasteBud Training Regimen (Short Version):

More Water
More Veggies
More Good fats
More quality protein
Very little grains
Little dairy
Little sugar
Unsweetened black coffee as treat

I gave details about drinking more water and eating more veggies. Now it’s on to the rest of the Training Plan.

Examples of healthy fats and oils

  1. Fats. The Worst Word in the Diet Dictionary, right? We’ve been told for so long that fat is bad that we don’t even question it anymore. We’ve replaced fats in our diet with so many other substitutes that our bodies are totally starved for the benefits of fats. Not convinced? There is much solid information about the need for good fats in our diet. Here’s a place to start: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/healthy-eating_b_629422.html. I also love www.marksdailyapple.com for great information about fats. I have found that eating reasonable amounts of good fats (avocado, nuts, nut oils, coconut oil, ghee) is self-limiting. A dollop here, a spoonful there (while cooking, snacking or in a meal) makes MyBrattyTasteBuds very happy. My body is quite satisfied for longer periods as it uses this fuel it’s been designed to burn. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  2. Protein eaten as close to its natural state makes MyBuds swoon. Organic eggs, grass-fed beef, minimally processed chicken and turkey, organic raw nuts, nut butters and nut milks are all featured in my meals. I found that eating roasted nuts, even unsalted ones, triggered fist-to-mouth overeating, a clear signal for me that something was off. When I stick to the least-tampered-with choices … SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  3. Grains used to be my drug of choice. I do not say that lightly. MyBrattyTasteBuds led me into many a dark alley lined with donut shops, massive cinnamon rolls, pecan pies, light and fluffy breads, rich cakes, fresh summer corn on the cob, oatmeal, chewy artisan breads … and I indulged at will. MyBrattyTasteBuds fought me on this one, big time. Every time I contemplated eliminating grains, they would begin to chant: “You’ll never be able to do it!” If I’m perfectly honest, they are right to a degree. I still eat one piece of sprouted grain bread a day to keep my grain monsters at bay. However, my body has been very clear that blood-sugar spikers such as white bread and kettle corn bring on massive migraines. I would not have discovered the cause of my migraines had I not taken out the grains, and then indulged in one, only to get slammed with the headache. Very soon, I am going to experiment with getting rid of that last piece of daily grain. We will see if I am satisfied!
  4. Dairy has never been high on my list of must-haves … except for ice cream … and that leads right into sugar. MyBrattyTasteBuds always preferred their sugar wrapped in some kind of bread, preferably deep-fried or laden with unhealthy fats. Ice cream on the side used to be perfectly acceptable. I put dairy and sugar reduction at the bottom of my Training Plan because they were the easiest to cut. If I was consistent with water, veggies, good fats and high-quality protein, I didn’t even think about dairy and sugary foods. (There is a very nice coconut-based frozen “ice cream” that MyBuds love.) SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  5. Coffee. Full of anti-oxidants. I have never wanted anything in my coffee but the good old bean and water. I nurse four espresso shots over 24 to 36 hours and don’t give it much thought. The smell of coffee brings strong, positive emotional responses for me. If there is a downside to coffee, the emotional boost I get outweighs it. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

If you have BrattyTasteBuds and decide to give any of my Training Plan a try, let me know. I would love to hear your questions, experiences, challenges and successes!

Satisfaction. Guaranteed. Part 1.

Before BrattyTasteBud Training: wake up hungry, eat breakfast, get hungry, eat snack, get hungry, eat lunch, get hungry, eat snack, eat another snack, eat dinner, eat seconds, eat dessert, eat after dinner snack, feel bloated, feel guilty, review all food choices, berate BrattyTasteBuds, go to sleep, wake up and begin again.

After BrattyTasteBud Training: wake up a little hungry, drink water, have small protein smoothie, work out, drink water, eat brunch, feel satisfied, drink water, eat afternoon snack, get a little hungry, drink water, eat dinner, feel satisfied, eat a very small dessert, drink water, go to bed. No guilt.

Current results of BrattyTasteBud Training as measured by my dietician using OMRON Body Composition Monitor:
(Numbers are from start date of Jan. 31, 2012, June 27, and August 22, 2012)
Weight: 152 / 137 / 133 (lost 19 lbs.)
BMI: 26.7 / 24 / 23 (was overweight, now in normal range)
Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 / 30.2 (was high, now normal for my age)
Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 / 29.8  (was mid-normal, now high normal)
Body Age: 60 / 53 / 48 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)
Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 / 6 (less than 9 is normal)

BrattyTasteBud Training Short Version:

More Water

More Veggies

More Good fats

More quality protein

Very little grains

Little dairy

Little sugar

Unsweetened black coffee as treat

 BrattyTasteBud Training Details:

  1. Drink 80 ounces of water throughout day. This is a challenge and everyone is SICK of my way-too-frequent bathroom visits BUT BrattyTasteBuds have a tendency to confuse thirst with hunger. If I give them enough water, they quiet down nicely. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  2. Add veggies to every meal. Make every meal 2/3 veggies. Yes, even breakfast. Who says you can’t have a salad first thing in the morning? Throw in a hard-boiled egg, bacon, avocado, some tomato and drizzle a little almond oil/balsamic mix … SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

To be continued …

Summer Paleo Cobbler

Farmer’s Markets are the BEST! I scoped out the Boise (Idaho) Saturday Market this week with my daughter and two of her daughters. Three-generational outings make my heart smile!

Boise has a strong population of refugees. Many hard-working men, women and children lovingly nurture mini-farms as part of the Global Gardens program. We stopped at one of their stands and bought green beans and one bunch of a leafy African green (I can’t remember their name, but it started with an “m”. Let me know if YOU know what they are called and I’ll update this post.)

It was Berry Day at the Market. I picked up blackberries and boysenberries to share with my 92-year-old berry-lovin’ mother-in-law. (She loved them!)

In the evening I used them to make my No-Bake Paleo “Cobbler”.

Berry Cobbler

Coconut Milk, Agave Nectar, Go Raw Ginger Cookies

Making this Cobbler involves placing berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and a squirt of agave nectar (depending on sweetness of berries) in a bowl, and crumbling the cookies on top. That’s it.

Summer Yummer, for sure!

A Bite Will Do It

My wonderful dietician has given me lots of hints …. all of which have truly pleased MyBrattyTasteBuds. One that I’ve been experimenting with is something MBTBs and I are calling BiteSmall.

We just concocted and consumed this BiteSmall:

banana bread with cashew butter

It’s half a slice of Paleo Banana Bread with about a teaspoon of cashew butter, rolled in a bit of cinnamon/palm sugar.

I discovered if I ate a whole slice of the banana bread, I experienced heartburn. I stayed away from the bread for a few days, and the heartburn disappeared.

So far, no heartburn with this BiteSmall! TasteBuds smiling as I write!

Current Weight/Fitness Stats

Went to my dietician today. I’ve been going to her since Jan. 31, 2012.

First number is from that date. Second is from today.

Weight: 152 / 137 (lost 15 lbs.)

BMI: 26.7 / 24 (was overweight, now in normal range)

Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 (was high, now normal for my age)

Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 (was mid-normal, now high normal)

Body Age: 60 / 53 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)

Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 (less than 9 is normal)

I’d like to elaborate a little on the Skeletal/Muscle Percentage. From the end of January until the first part of April, I went to the gym to do weight machines every other day or so. I was really focused on cardio, and was walk/jogging or using the elliptical machine for 45 minutes seven days a week. I would aim to burn about 350 or more calories through cardio. My skeletal/muscle percentage showed an average monthly gain of 0.2%.

I started Crossfit in early April, 2012 and my average monthly skeletal/muscle percentage growth doubled to 0.4%. Not surprising, but validating. I will emphasize here that I go to a well-run Crossfit gym that knows how to work with all ages and body types/needs. I am a Careful Crossfitter as well and am pushing myself *slowly* to get stronger.

I adopted *mostly* Paleo eating ideas right when I started going to my dietician. She is very open-minded and did not discourage me from Paleo. She asked me to watch calories, however and I’m glad I did. There are a LOT of calorie-dense Paleo foods that are exactly like non-Paleo treats in terms of Taste Bud trickers and can lead to overindulgence. My dietician sees these pitfalls in almost all eating plans. She worked with me to develop healthy attitudes about them and strategies for enjoying them without going over the top.

One of the best outcomes: I have more and more days of a tremendously content stomach/body connection. Truly, truly eating when hungry …. stopping when about 80% full … truly, truly feeling emotionally full as well as physically rejuvenated.

Addiction and Why Paleo People Don’t Eat Wheat

Last year, I mentioned a fact about my appetite to several people I’ve known all my life. These people have never had a weight problem. One belongs to an older generation, so she grew up on real homemade foods, and is an excellent cook. She does not eliminate any foods from her diet, but eats responsibly. The other is my age and has been vegan for many years.

I mentioned that no matter how much I ate, I never felt full. And along with that, I never really felt hungry. My appetite-o-stat was non-functional. I thought they would nod and say, “Yeah, me too.” I thought it was normal.

Nope. They looked very puzzled. Neither had any idea what I was talking about.

Those two moments started me on my quest to understand what was going on with me. I knew my weight fluctuations weren’t good for me, but I had been around lots of people who were on the same roller coaster as I was … hence, the feeling that there was something normal about it.

After reading about Wheat Belly I am wondering if MyBrattyTasteBuds were victims of a wheat addiction.

I did love bread. Breads. All kinds. One piece easily led to another. Sandwiched between episodes of bread eating was dessert eating. Sweet breads were my special delight. I won’t list them here because that would be kind of like remembering them in a worshipful way, which takes me to a dark place.

So perhaps MyBrattyTasteBuds didn’t really have a chance. Or really a choice. Once the wheat hit the system, it was BingeTime.

Dr. William Davis, in “Wheat Belly”: “For some people, wheat is addictive. And, in some people, it is addictive to the point of obsession… Understanding that wheat, specifically exorphins from gluten, have the potential to generate euphoria, addictive behavior, and appetite stimulation means that we have a potential means of weight control: Lose the wheat, lose the weight.” (page. 44).

[There is a lot more information about properties of wheat that apparently wreak havoc on our bodies in Dr. Davis’ book. On his blog, he makes this disclaimer: “Nothing here should be construed as medical advice, but only topics for further discussion with your doctor.”]

I am not totally wheat free, but I have cut dramatically down on wheat products. Like last night when cooking spaghetti for the grandkids, I taste tested a strand for done-ness. And I used a corner of a piece of bread to soak up some of the Paleo spaghetti sauce. But neither of those activities triggered a binge or even the desire for one. I admit to one piece of Ezekiel bread a day, but no binge trigger there either.

One payoff of eating Paleo for me? For the first time in my life, my appetite-o-stat is working. It feels AMAZING to feel hunger, eat the right amount of the right foods, and feel satiated afterwards. Understand, this is a new feeling for me.

And I’m *almost* a Paleo person who doesn’t eat wheat. Now I have a better idea why Paleo people don’t eat wheat.

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