This was such a huge family fav I had to share it. A fun way to switch up that cornbeef. Amounts are general, all depending on what you like. You can leave off the cabbage slaw but I really like that cold crunch with the rich pizza. I served with extra horseradish and sauerkraut on the side. All you need it some Dark Chocolate Stout 60 second mousse and you have a perfect Friday night meal!
Luck of the Irish Pizza
1 pizza crust, can be gluten or grain free too
1 TBL Dijon mustard
2 tsp horseradish
1 TBL oil, I like avocado oil
Thinly sliced cornbeef, a generous cup or so
Grated cheese, a mix of swiss and gruyere is lovely
Pre-heat oven 400◦F and roll out your pizza crust. Mix together mustard, horseradish and oil. Adjust amounts to your liking and brush the entire top of the crust with the mustard mixture. Sprinkle some sauerkraut over the pizza, Top with cornbeef and then cheese over the meat. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While the pizza is baking, make slaw and serve with cooked pizza.
3 cups finely sliced cabbage
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 TBL. oil, like olive or avocado
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix dressing together, taste and adjust to your liking. Add cabbage and green onion to dressings. Toss and serve with pizza. I like to pile it on top of mine.
Do you know that feeling "if I trust you, will you hurt me"? I was burnt bad a long time ago and have trouble letting others into my heart. But I am trying to be brave and risk being hurt. I do not want to miss out having someone add to my life!!
"Saying no leads to confidence and confidence opens up the world and that is a liberator!"
Gosh it has been a year since I started dealing with my blood sugar/pre-diabetic stuff. A year ago I was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, panicked, sick (even though I pretended I wasn't) and thought it might be the end of me writing about food. I was having HUGE sugar/carb withdrawals, wondering what I could eat and having a pity-party. But boy what a difference a year can make!
I now am walking 3+ miles 1-2 times a week (when I started I struggled with ½ mile).
I continue to let an incident a year ago (almost crashed the car w/ my daughters in it), be my wake up call. When I do not want to do something, I remind myself what will happen if I go backwards.
I am weight lifting 5# dumbbells for 10/15 minutes (when I started I struggles w/ 2 ½# dumbbells for a minute. I have really weak and flabby arms. It is the one part of my body I am focusing on).
David and I go hiking now!
I made myself run. I often have to push in with buff 20yrd guys to get the weights and lift in front of them (really hard to do :-O
I have dropped 2 sizes. (I bought size 14 jeans the other day. I was a 18/20 a year ago) PS. I do not know how much I weigh because I refuse to weigh myself. I guess I do not want to be defined by a number.
I have figured out how to eat without eating things like pasta, rice, bread, etc. (It is not hard. A little weird but not hard once you figure it all out).
But the biggest thing I have now is confidence. I am confident that I can do whatever needs to be done. I can get healthy. I am getting healthy. I feel clearer, lighter and stronger. It is a nice feeling. I mostly spent this past year reading, listening and learning about our health, blood sugar, how to eat, etc. and I think what I learned the most is we are all different. Sorry, wish there was some magic one way pill for all of us but there is not. However I do think there is a few things that are true for all of us.
“just eat less and move more?”. This idea is pretty outdated and NOT true. Yes, most of us should probably eat less (at least less junk) and should move but it is just not that simple. Really!!
Sleep. Getting sleep is just as important as what you eat!
Handing stress. It is not so much having stress, as it is how do you handle your stress?
Veggies. We all need to eat more vegetables, I mean wayyyy more. 60% of my diet is vegetables.
Water. Drink more of it. First thing every morning I have is a glass of water with a TBL of raw cider vinegar and lemon oil. I try to carry a bottle of water with me all day. I find it helps me drink more.
Over-exercise, DON'T! Yes we need to move more but over exercising can shut down your metabolism, especially when you first start out. So take it slow. Take days off so your body can rest. Also work on building muscle. Strength training is very important to your health.
Active lifestyle. This is not the same as a concentrated work out. Look for ways to have to move more, like parking farther away or taking the stairs or standing when working on your computer.
The reason why you need to look first at your sleep and stress is it can mess with your hormones and metabolism. If they is not working right, then you will struggle to get healthy and loose weight. Your body needs to get "back in-line" so to speak to work efficiently. I really did not lose much weight the first 6 months but after that it just sort of started coming off. I think that is because my body was/is healing. Healing takes time. Repair takes time. So remember to look at your sleep/stress, drink more water, eat a lot more veggies and move but do not feel like you have to kill yourself everyday in high energy exercise. Build up slow, do something for a while and then take it up a small notch. I think these are rules we all can live by and can make a huge difference in our lives.
I get a lot of notes asking what program I use?. I do not use a program. My mom has type 2 diabetes and has been able to control it through diet, so I followed her example and then tweaked it for myself. Also I get lots of notes telling me "I love my carbs! I cannot have a meal without bread or potatoes or cereal". I love carbs too and there are some really healthy ones. You do not have to cut out carbs but I do. For me it is simple. I eat high carbs, it turns into sugar in my system, raises my blood sugar too high and my body cannot handle it. I cannot argue with this fact. But I will say this, it sounds like some of you are having some problem and do not feel healthy. I think most of us know in our gut what we need to do and change. I did, I just did not want to do it because lets face it, it is not fun.
But this is what I have learned this past year. There is something stronger than "having fun and my cravings". That is confidence! It takes work to say no to things we love but are bad for us. Just like I have written about in the past that frugality is not a killjoy but a liberator, well the same rule applies to discipline. Saying no leads to confidence and confidence opens up the world and that is a liberator. When you believe you have it in you to do what you need to do, you suddenly own your life. Croissants do not own me now. They are an amazing part of my life (I had one for Valentines day, it was heaven) but I choose when and where to indulge. I guess what I am trying to say is at first you feel like so many things/foods are being taken away from you. You feel helpless and angry, well I did. It takes time to see that yes, you may be loosing something but you are gaining so much more. Something, that as time goes on is much more satisfying. I do not know what this up coming year holds. All I do know is I am sure I will learn even more about my myself, I can say no and will try to grow a bit everyday. I will continue to bloom where I am planted!
A girlfriend was cleaning out her basement and thought I might like this chair. It has great lines and I thought it would be interesting for photos. It is falling apart thought and cannot be sat on. I took it and then thought of ways it could still be used.
Actually Chloe is on the one who came up with the idea of using it as a side table. We needed one and the chair just fit. To make it more stable for cups of tea or a glass of wine, we simply pulled out a pretty metal tray. It works beautifully and it was free. Maybe you have a pretty old chair you can upcycle into a side table?
I am a HUGE fan of slice n' bake cookies kept in the freezer. They are easy to put together, freeze well and whenever you need a treat or visitors are stopping by, you can just slice off a few and bake them off frozen as needed. It is hard to find grain-free baked treats that are both yummy and not time consuming. I found these amazing grain-free Rosemary Shortbread cookies that have become my go to cookie. I played with the recipe and came up with my contribution, chocolate/coffee version. You cannot go wrong with these! Especially when my picky eater even loved them, then I knew I had a hit!
Café Cookies, grain free
Make about 2 dozen
1 ¾ cup almond flour
¼ cup coco powder
1-2 tsp. instant coffee, depending on the coffee and how strong you like it
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 TBL. sugar (I used coconut) *see note about amounts
1 tsp. salt
Put all ingredients in a food processor and with the pulse button mix together. Cut butter into small cubes and added to dry mixture. Pulse to start mixing the butter and flour together. Then mix until the dough rolls into a ball. If after a minute if the dough does not come together, sprinkle a bit of water. The dough should be like a soft play dough. On a piece of parchment or wax paper, shape dough into a long log. Wrap and set in fridge for an hour or the freeze.
Pre-heat oven 300◦F Slice cold dough into ¼ inch slices. Set cookies on parchment paper. Bake 12-15 minutes. Let cookies cool on the cookies sheet. They will crumble if you try to move them warm. Then enjoy!!
Note about sugar. These cookies are slightly bitter and not sweet. I need to consume as little sugar as possible, so this the amount of sweetener I use. Depending in how bitter your instant coffee is you can change the amount to suite your liking. Also the sugar amount could be upped all the way to a 1/3 cup. You could also use regular sugar if you like. I use coconut because it is so low on the glycemic level. Play with the amounts of coffee/sugar and enjoy!!
This salad was inspired by one we had on New Years eve. It was a beet salad my husband loved. Now I have known David 29 years and have never seen him eat a beet, let alone like it. I adore beets, so I am thrilled. I came home, played around and came up with this salad. I have to say even though I love raw fennel, roasting it has become my new go to. Roasting fennel, like roasting most veggies, brings it sweetness out and softness the strong flavors. If you like fennel I would suggest you try roasting it and see what you think. I keep some on hand to throw in dishes. It is so much easier to just roast a big pan of something and then have it to use!
Tips on changing your beet hater!
1. Golden beets have a much sweeter and softer flavor. Even thought I used red beets for this photo, I try to use golden when I make it for David.
2. Buy the best, fresh beets you can. Also roast/bake them!
3. Do NOT used canned beets. Really I have found most pre-cooked beets to be mushy. You want them cooked tender but not mush.
4. I marinate them for a couple of days before serving them to hubby.
5. Also I cut them up and put them in the dressing while they are still warm (thanks for the tip Angie).
6. Use a dressing with a lot of flavor. Basically you want the beets to taste like the vinaigrette. I have found if you can get someone to eat something (even if you have to drown it in other flavors) over time they get use to the veggie and then you can go lighter on the flavors.
Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette
to roast fennel pre-heat over 400˚F
Take whole fennel and cut in thin slices from top to bottom. Set slices on parchment paper. Lightly oil both sides and sprinkle salt on-top. Roast 45-60 minutes. I like them tender but still a bit al dente, firm. But cook to your liking. When fennel is cool, cut into small pieces. I store fennel in a covered bowl in the fridge, to use as wanted.
oil to taste, 1/4-1/3 cup or so. I like avocado oil for this.
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all together, taste and adjust to your liking. Amounts of beets and fennel is up to what you like, what you have on-hand and how many people you are serving.
Like I mentioned in my tips above. I like to marinate the beets in the vinaigrette a few days before serving them, so I do the fennel separately. Then add the roasted fennel to the beets and vinaigrette just before serving!
I have been thinking about some chats I have had with friends recently. All were congratulating me on sticking with my diet changes and asked how I avoid food temptations. Like how have I not eaten pasta in 8 months or how do I avoid popcorn at the movies theater and so forth? Well there are a lot of reasons but it mostly came down to two things. First, I do not want to be sick anymore. Second, I like food too much. See, in case you do not already know this about me ;-) I am a food snob. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE food but I love good food, real food, well made food. Some old popcorn with oil and powdered butter does not tempt me. Well honestly, it temps me when I walk in the movie theater but I know when I get it in my mouth I will not be happy.
That is it! When I have a treat, I want it to be worth it. I want to savor it. When I am running around and am tempted to just pick up anything to eat, I stop and think. "Do I really want this to be my cheat?" Because I only get a few cheats a week. If it was more than that, it would not be a cheat but a lifestyle. And if I am going to have a food lifestyle it is not going to be on cheetos, grocery store doughnuts and coke! No it will be salads freshly picked from the garden, perfect pastured bacon and artisan cheeses. Well those foods take time and thought.
When you have time and thought, you can really think about what you want to eat and what you should eat. It gives you time to decide how much you want those doughnuts. For me the question is also, how good are those doughnuts? I will love them? Are they worth ruining the 3 miles I walked? How much will they set me back? Nine times out of ten the answer time ends up being no and that keeps me on track. It also frees me up to really enjoy my splurges. Which by the way you will never hear me say cheat. This is another post I will write soon but I do not talk bad about food anymore. Well real food, I do not talk bad about real food. So I do not cheat, I spurge and when I do, I do it with a full heart. I stop, enjoy every morsel and feel no guilt.
Do you struggle with saying no to food that makes you sick? Are you feeling pulled all over the place like a small child by foods that is unhealthy for you? Do you not know how to say no? Well first you need to unhook yourself from those foods. Which I will not lie, it is not easy. I suggest not eating them for 4 week. Yes a month! You need to curb your cravings. You need time to heal your gut. (By the way did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system? Keep getting sick? It might have to do with what you eat and how it affects your gut.) I also found when I stopped eating certain foods I did not want them anymore. Take pasta for example, I did not eat it for 8 months and when I did it tasted weird to me. I do not miss it.
Mostly what I wanted to say in this long post is to pull out your food snob. When you are tempted, when you body is screaming for something you should not eat, when you feel lazy, stop and think. Ask yourself if it is really worth it? Do I want to sabotage my goals, my health for that? Now the answer to that ding-dong might be yes but then SAVOR it. Plan for it, make it your treat, not a last-minute-give-in. Love what you eat. Love it unabashedly. I have a saying (ask all my friends) “What if I die and this is my last meal?” Do I want to have died after eating a micky d’s burger? Heck no! I love food too much to eat that. More importantly I love myself too much!
Ohhh this was a hard message for me to learn in my youth. I wanted to be a friend to everyone and ended up being a doormat to a lot. It was hard to learn to say no. I ended up looking like a ... well you know what. But I realized I did not have to sacrifice myself for others. Also if someone wanted me to sacrifice who I was, then they really were not a friend in the first place!
PS there is times on ones life where you are called to give above and beyond yourself but that is a specific situation. Not a full time thing.
I have several goals this year. 1.My hubby. We have been very busy the last few years and have not had much time for eachother. That will change this year (we are hiking together). 2.To finish the next Wren novel. 3.Of course my health. To continue to make slow but deliberate steps towards health, including accepting my faults. They make me who I am! What is your goal?