Monday, March 25, 2013

Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies

I have chicken neck. Let me rephrase that. I have big ass swollen glands that make me look like I have a chicken neck. I don't feel sick, but it hurts my face. Woe is me right now. Thankfully, I had 1 more sweet potato brownie waiting for me in the fridge when I got home tonight and now I feel heeeeeeeaps better. If you can, resist the urge to eat these straight out of the oven (fat chance). Instead, pop them in the fridge over night. These bad boys mature real well with age. I discovered this fact by accident. Accidents rule!

Paleo sweet potato brownies (adapted from PaleOMG)

1 1/2 sweet potato (about 1.5 cups mashed)
3 eggs
1 Tbs melted coconut oil
4 Tbs raw organic honey
3 Tbs coconut flour
2 Tbs tapioca flour
2 1/2 Tbs raw cacao powder
Pinch of gluten free baking powder
Pinch of cinnamon
Dash of vanilla extract
Optional extra - tsp of melted nutella or melted dark chocolate.

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease one large loaf tin (or I use two small loaf tins) with olive oil. Personally, I prefer not to grease as it adds extra, unwanted fat. Instead, invest in some silicon bakeware. Seriously, you'll never look back!

Depending on how lazy you are, peel and dice your sweet potato then boil until tender, then mash. For the lazy among us, put your taters in a microwave proof bowl, cover with water and zap for 6 minutes. Drain and whack in your food processor. BLLLLLIIIIIIITZZZ! 

Start with your wet ingredients - eggs, oil, honey, vanilla. Whisk to combine with your mash, or BLLLLLLLITTTTZZ in your food processor for 1 minute. 

Then the dry ingredients - flours, cacao, baking powder, cinnamon. Stir to combine or BLLLLLLITTTZZZ! 

Poor mixture into prepared tins, and if you have opted for the additional extras drizzle over the top of your brownie mix. Bake for around 30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the mix comes out clear. 

Makes 12 brownies. Or 4. Depending on how many you eat before your significant other comes home. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meal Plan - March 21st.

Fun fact about me for this week - I have a problem with leopard print. As in, I have an addiction. It's a major problem. Here I am this week hanging out in Enmore while sporting one of my many pairs of leopard print pants. 

I’m having such a bad hair day. About six months ago I decided to grow my hair out after having sported a pixie cut for what felt like a billion years. Dumb decision. I’m an impatient, anxious person at the best of times so when I declared to all my friends that I wanted mermaid hair, I really hadn’t thought it through well enough. I read that EGG YOLKS help your hair grow quicker (and makes it more shinier and softer and generally more fabulous). Mix 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and dilute with water then rub it on yo head! I’m totes trying this. And then I’m gonna use my leftover egg whites for an omelette. EPIC Saturday plans.

Meal Plan

English muffins & avocado
Pumpkin and carrot soup
Pesto burgers
Paleo granola & fruit
Leftover pesto burgers
Eating out
Eggs white omelette with bacon
 Probably still full from BREAKFAST.
Eating Out
Leftovers from BBQ
Frittata with mince and sweet potato
Paleo English muffins
Leftover frittata
Salmon in a bag
Paleo English muffins
Leftover pumpkin soup
Baked chicken & sweet potato fries
Paleo granola & fruit
Leftover chicken and salad
 Lamb and veggies

Shopping List

Almonds, bacon, eggs, beetroot, cheese, milk, almond milk, olive oil, mince, salmon steaks, chicken, Iceberg lettuce, mixed lettuce, tomatoes, fruit, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, baby spinach/silverbeat, celery, avocado, basil, raw cashews, beans/snowpeas, lemons, BBQ STUFF TBC. 

Health Update

I’ve just recently started my new HS treatment. It’s not fun. I hate making new year’s resolutions, but I do like to set myself goals for the year. 2013 was supposed to be the year I got off all my meds. Started well, but my plans came crashing down 2 weeks ago when I met with my new specialist. While eating clean, organic and as naturally as possible is great, he didn’t seem to think it would have any direct impact on slowing down the disease. There is no scientific evidence to prove that lifestyle (besides smoking and being overweight) will affect the increase and spread of HS. I was pretty gutted. That’s not to say I should go back to old ways of eating and living. The healthier and fitter I am (and I’m a motherfucking machine right now!), the better my body will be at fighting off infection when I do occasionally have flair ups.

So anyway, the new plan for my treatment is back on le drugs. Gross. I’m now on a six month course of Isotretinoin, marketed in Australia as Oratane. The main use for this drug is to cure cystic acne in teenagers as it shuts down the oil glands in the body, which for me should hopefully slow down the spread of HS (as the oil glands and sweat glands work hand in hand), put me into remission or even cure me. It’s quite a powerful yet controversial drug. The side effects range from dry, cracked skin right up to inflammatory bowel disease and vision impairment. In 2009 Roaccutane (the original isotretinoin) was pulled off the shelves in the US because of the significant side effects and the mounting costs of personal-injury lawsuits. To say I was nervous about starting this treatment was an UNDERSTATEMENT! The only other option was more surgery, which I’ve been told could cause even more problems down the track with impairment on range of movement in my right arm. I felt like I didn't have a choice. I’ve been on Oratane for just over a week now and I have the WORST dry lips and skin imaginable. I’m keeping a close eye on everything else, trying to be as healthy as possible, while hating being back on medication. I should know within 2 months whether it is helping or not, and at that point I can make a decision whether to continue treatment or not. *Sigh*. Wish me luck.

(I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been on Oratane or suffer from Hidradenitis suppurativa. Any tips or tricks we can share would be wonderful!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paleo English Muffins

I miss bread. Not the wonder white, tip top, full of bleach variety you buy at woollies. I mean good bread. Organic sourdough. Irish soda bread. Vegemite and avocado on toast. Bread was such a staple in my diet, every morning for breakfast I had toast purely because it was quick and easy (I’m not a morning person whatsoever). One of my work buddies looooooooves bread. I’m talkin all kinds of bread. Slathered with peanut butter. She’s all up in breads grill, yo (in my head she is also a mad gangsta). I try to make her feel bad by telling her that every time she eats bread, Ryan Gosling cries. His tears taste like bread. Sweet, sweet, tasty bread. It doesn’t work. Cause then I’m thinking of Ryan while she’s eating bread and it makes me twice as sad cause I don’t have either of those things in my life. Meh.

Here’s what I have instead of bread. Let’s face it – it’ll never be bread. Nothing will. But until the day that Ryan Gosling walks through my door, I will eat these paleo English muffins instead.

(Disclaimer: these are actually quite tasty. Don’t let my crazy bread ranting put you off them. Ryan will thank you for it).

Paleo English Muffins (adapted from Carrots N Cake)

1/4 Cup almond meal
1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 egg
pinch of baking powder

Place all ingredients in a small, microwave proof bowl and whisk well with a fork until all combined. Microwave on high for 90 seconds (note: microwave strength may vary, play around with it until you get it right). Remove from bowl and allow to cool to the touch before cutting in half.

These toast up under the really well, but are also great fresh from the microwave!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Guide to Meal Plans

I hate wasting food. It's my biggest pet hate. It's such a waste. I'd much rather make lots of little visits to the supermarket to make sure I use everything in the fridge, than do one big shop and have to throw out spoiled food. 

Let's talk about meal plans. Sounds boring right? I know. And it is boring to some. But it's actually one of my fav things to do. I get excited when I discover new recipes to try out and include in my plan. Meal plans help me stay on track with my eating, plus I can make an ingredients/shopping list which means I only buy what I need and nothing goes to waste. AND you save money. It's a win win. Duh. Hurray!! 

I do my fruit and veggie shopping on Wednesday at the local produce markets near my work, so my meal plan starts mid week. I'm obvs also reeeeeeeally boring when it comes to 
breakfast. I'm not a morning person. I'd rather sleep than eat.

I don't always stick to my plan, sometimes I feel like chicken when my plan tells me I'm supposed to have lamb, but I will always have a bunch of ingredients for meals in the fridge ready to go. So I can chop and change depending on what I want. I also do my best to include any meals where I will be eating out so I don't over shop. 

Here's a snap shot into a week in my belly. Enjoy! 

 Egg and Bacon muffin
Leftover chicken
Pesto Burgers
  Egg and Bacon muffin
Leftover pesto burgers
Eating out 
 Granola, almond milk and fruit
Frozen soup
 Bacon, Eggs and avocado
 Wing it
Eating out
 Eating out
 Wing it
  Granola, almond milk and fruit
Left over frittata
Baked chicken & sweet potato
   Egg and Bacon muffin
Leftover chicken salad
Lamb & stuffed zucchini
   Egg and Bacon muffin
Pumpkin & carrot soup
Pesto Burgers?

Shopping List
Basil, raw cashews, iceberg lettuce, mixed lettuce, baby spinach, tomatoes, avocado, sweet potato, lemons/limes, cauliflower, capsicum, zucchini, Olive oil, bacon, steak, salami, cheese, pizza bases, mince x 2, chicken, lamb, eggs, almonds. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Paleo banana and coconut cookies

Bye Summer! I'm sick of this crappy weather already and it's only been 18 hours! Here's hoping we might have a few more balmy Autumn days ahead of us. If not, just make a batch of these and eat them all. Guilt free. They'll totally take you mind off the crappy Sydney weather. Eat with a big glass o' ice cold chocolate almond milk. Errrrmahgawd. 

2 brown medium sized bananas
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 coconut flour
2 eggs
Tsp cinnamon
Tsp nutmeg
Tsp ground ginger
Tsp baking powder
Unsweetened shredded coconut

Pre heat oven to 200 degrees fan forced. Place all your ingredients, excluding the shredded coconut in a food processor and blend. Or if you're not lazy like me, place in a bowl and mix the old fashioned way until well combined.

Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls, roll in the shredded coconut, then place on trays lined with baking paper and flatten.

Baking for 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Makes approx 18-20 cookies.