Grain & Gluten Free Quesadilla

Today I had some time on my hands and wanted to try a recipe that I’d pinned forever ago…IMG_7924Low-Carb Quesadillas!  I am just in love with Up Late Anyway‘s low carb recipes… she takes ingredients that I’d never imagine using together and makes the most delicious Grain Free, Gluten Free, Low Carb Bites of Heaven!

I’ve made several of her recipes before and have even experimented around with a few of my own variations.  I mostly followed the instructions this time, with a minor variation on fillings, but this time I figured out what I’d been doing wrong the last couple of times that I was experimenting … I burned the cheese.  Not enough that you could really tell at first, but I’d crispied the cheese when I was melting it initially…. just not paying attention when I was microwaving it.  The rest of the ingredients just wouldn’t incorporate correctly after that.

The important things to pay attention to:

  1. Don’t fry the cheese!  Microwave for 45 – 60 seconds. Watch it!  After that do an additional 10-15 seconds and then check and stir.
  2. Weigh the cheese.  I bought a kitchen scale specifically for these recipes.  It makes a HUGE difference.
  3. Shred your own cheese.  The pre-shredded stuff has something on it to keep it from sticking together and this recipe is sensitive enough that it’ll mess it up.
  4. Don’t buy the low-fat cheese.  Fat is good.  And the low-fat stuff will mess up the recipe too.

Low Carb Quesadilla

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella (140 grams)
1 egg
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp heavy cream

Quesadilla Filling

1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup seasoned ground turkey (I used Wildtree Taco Seasoning)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt cheese in microwave making sure to not overheat.

Add the cream and coconut flour to the cheese.  Stir until incorporated and then add the egg.  It takes some squishing around, but suddenly a beautiful, soft dough forms.  If you still see veins of mozzarella stick the whole thing back in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. It should all be a smooth even consistency.

Once everything is totally incorporated roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.

Bake for 10 minutes (until it’s brown) and remove from oven.  Next add your toppings to one side of the quesadilla… since you’ll be folding it in half after its done.  Return to oven to bake until the cheese is melty.

Remove from oven and fold in half.  I used a pizza cutter to slice the quesadilla in half.

 

Detox Day 3: Shaken

Day Three of the 10-Day Grain Detox Challenge:

I finally found one of the breakfast shakes in the Wheat Belly 10 Grain Detox book that I sorta, kinda like.  I wouldn’t call it yummy… but it’s not bad.

IMG_7902Brian couldn’t make it through the Mocha Coconut Shake on day one.  In retrospect, it might not have been so god-awful if we hadn’t used the raw potato and pumpkin seeds. (Sounds awesome, huh?)  You have the choice of raw potato or green banana to introduce prebiotics into your poor, grain abused tummy.  (Not the same thing as probiotics… we’re taking those in pills.) Since Brian isn’t a fan of bananas we made his shake with the potato… and it tasted like dirt… There’s just nothing nice to say about it.  It was a Dirt Shake.

I had the Tropical Storm shake on the first day.  I
used the green banana and the overall taste wasIMG_7904 much improved by the pineapple chunks.  On Day 2 & 3 we switched the pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds and that really helped eliminate the grainy texture.

Day Two Brian got up early and grabbed breakfast before I could make him another tasty shake.  It was just eggs, so it was totally on the detox plan, but I was sad not to have a Shake Buddy.

Today is our 8 Year First-Date Anniversary, so I made us shakes in fancy glasses with pretty straws…. and forgot that despite the fact that I was on my third day of shakes (and I use IMG_7920Coconut Oil all the time) that this was only Brian’s first shake….. and that maybe 1/4 cup of coconut oil might cause him a bit of stomach discomfort…. Happy Anniversary!
I’m pretty sure he hates me now.
At any rate…. Day Three… we’ve made it this far… more or less (don’t ask Brian’s opinion on the whole thing right now).

We’ve gotten a strange Mid-February heat wave, so we’re making the most of it by grilling some steaks tonight.  Woo Hoo, Carnivores!

 

 

Back on the Wagon

While I have been Gluten Free since late 2012, I have only been Grain Free on again/off again.  I don’t get the immediate and awful reactions from the other grains like I do when I accidentally eat something with wheat/gluten. So it is easy to slide off the Grain Free wagon and not realize how far I’ve wandered…. until my stomach starts making complaints and my knees start plotting rebellions.  Strangely, its not my stomach or my knees or even the extra pounds that crept back that really made me start looking around for the wagon again…. I haven’t been sleeping well.  I just can’t seem to settle into a deep sleep.  I have trouble falling asleep and I can’t seem to stay asleep.  I really like sleep.  People around me really like for me to sleep… Partly because I stay awake and get into things and partly because I’m not the sweetest person to live with when I don’t sleep.  So for the sake of those around me and my own sanity… and my knees… and my stomach…. I’m going back to Grain & Gluten Free Living.

I’ve known that I need to get back with the program for a while, but I’ve kept putting it off.  Today I noticed that Dr. Davis the author of Wheat Belly  is hosting a Facebook Group 10-Day Grain Detox….. starting tomorrow.  I’m taking it as a sign.  No more putting it off or waiting for one more holiday/party/weekend…. time to start NOW.

I told Brian… he’s delighted.

Okay, I’m lying… he’s not delighted… but he’s supportive… and he remembers how much better he felt when we were Gluten AND Grain Free.

We didn’t do a “detox” the first time around.  We just stopped eating Wheat/Gluten and began eating a lot of whole, natural foods.  It took us a while to find all the naughty, “gluten free” replacements…. we felt better before we let all those fake foods back into our diet.  We’re actually going to do the Detox this time.  I need the support and nagging reminders that come from the support group.

Today I ran to the store and picked up a few extra ingredients for the recommended breakfast shakes.  Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, green bananas and Almond Milk… I already had everything else in the pantry.   Brian isn’t too ecstatic about the breakfast shakes, but hopefully he’ll like them more that he is expecting.  I’m just excited to get back to feeling good.  I’m also so happy to have Brian doing it with me.  Misery loves company… no no no… We’ll both feel better… and everything is easier with a partner.

I decided if we’re both going to be doing shakes then my poor little Oster Blender isn’t IMG_7894
going to survive ten (x2) breakfast shakes…. It’s time to upgrade!  I’ve been wanting to buy one of the Ninja Blenders for a while… this was finally a great excuse.  I stopped in at Target and grabbed the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ Compact System.  I liked that it came with two to-go blender cups and the bigger Blend & Prep Bowl.  (I might be able to replace my old blender and food processor…. maybe not the food processor… it was Grandma’s….).  It was on sale at Target for $159 (-5% with my Red Card) but then Mom and I wandered over to Kohls and I found the same blender on sale for $149… and I had a 30% off code, so $104… and I got $20 Kohls Cash!   (I returned the first one to Target.)

Must have been a sign from the shopping gods… they want me to drink the shakes and get back to my healthy Grain Free Lifestyle.

I’ll be posting photos and updates on Instagram and Facebook over the next 10 days… follow along!

Grab a copy of Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox and join in!

 

 

 

Fattening Up

I have been wheat-free for almost a year and a half now… Bri was wheat-free at home during that time, but has lately eliminated almost all of the wheat from his diet too.

As I have said in earlier posts, quitting wheat caused a dramatic improvement in my overall health and well-being…. but not a huge impact on my waistline.  All those health improvements were more than enough to keep me wheat-free… don’t get me wrong… I am NOT complaining.  I didn’t quit wheat for weight loss…. It would have been a nice side effect though.

So many people on the Wheat Belly Facebook page talk about their dramatic weight loss and post these amazing before and after photos.  While I was/am overjoyed with my own health improvements…. I was a bit jealous…. and I wondered if I had missed some key information.   So I ordered Dr. Davis’ book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health.  No huge diet revelations there, but he did talk a bit more about carbs… and discouraged replacing wheat with “gluten-free” crap.  Hmmm….. yeah…. I’d discovered gluten-free pasta and gluten-free baking mixes and gluten-free bread….. *sigh*  I’d just replaced one carb for another.  Kicking the wheat was letting my immune system heal… but not helping my waistline.

I also started following another blog called Healthy Living How To on Facebook and she often talked about good fats… like coconut oil and avocado…. Breakfast Bakeisn’t that exactly what we’ve been told NOT to eat?  Right?  Isn’t fat bad?   Well…. not so much, actually…. fat may be GOOD.  Check out this book: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

So at this point I thought “what the hell?”  I told Bri that we were going ‘low-carb’ and knocking out the processed foods.  Basically he is a really good sport about most things I want to try (except for raising chickens… I just can’t talk him into chickens… yet).  So he agreed that he would eat whatever I cooked. So I started with breakfast.  He wasn’t ecstatic that I wanted to take away his cereal… I’d already switched him to a gluten-free cereal months ago.  But he agreed and I promised that I just wanted him to try it.  I’m not a huge fan of breakfast (unless I get to sit around and have a lazy weekend morning as well), so this was a bit of a challenge for me too…. I’d have to actually eat breakfast.

We’ve been eating this for breakfast for a few months now.  Both of us have noticed that we’re not starving by lunch anymore. (Bri used to need a snack mid-morning just to make it to lunch.)  We have also added in more coconut oil (wait ’till I tell you about the brownies!) and avocado, cut out most anything that comes in a box…. and we’re losing weight… and not starving.

I know this isn’t hugely scientific… I’m just telling you what we are doing and what seems to be working for us.  Read the books that I’ve mentioned for the actual scientific stuff…. I’ll tell you about the recipes and changes that have been working for us!

                                            Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 c. frozen hash browns
  • 1/5 lb. turkey sausage
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Grease 9 x 9 inch dish and sprinkle the bottom with the hash browns. Brown sausage; drain then layer over hash brown.  Top with cheese. Combine eggs, milk and spices (to taste) and pour mixture over other layers.
  2. Bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Bri divides this into 6 slices…. I eat half a slice.

———–

 

Wheat-Loss

I’ve been Wheat-Free for One year and 5 months….. And I don’t miss it one little bit.

I started on my Wheat-Free journey on December 26th 2012.  Looking back now, I realize that I’d been having Wheat-Issues for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I quit the wheat and began to heal that I realized the full extent of the damage that wheat had caused.  I didn’t quit wheat to lose weight.  I quit because, quite frankly, I was miserable.  I was suffering from terrible stomach problems (you don’t need details… you know what I mean), blood sugar fluctuations (but I didn’t realize that was what it was at the time), allergic type reactions (hives and throat swelling), headaches and nausea.  At one point, my husband was forbidden to cook anything with “smell”…. he ate in the basement a few nights.  By the end of 2012 I was ready to try anything.  (Yes, I’d tried the doctor… she ran a ton of blood work and told me that I was “normal”…. and basically to go away.)

When I was a kid, I’d had terrible food allergies (and the regular airborne stuff too).  I was allergic to Wheat, Milk & Eggs….. my poor, sainted mother.  She took me off the offending foods for a year…. and I got better… and my doctors said, because of my age, I’d grown out of my food allergies and I could go back to eating regular foods again.  So I figured, if it worked then….. maybe I just needed to detox… get all those foods out of my system and “re-boot.”

I decided that a two-week detox would be the way to start… I told myself that I could make it that long and then I could have “real” foods again.  No Wheat, No Milk and No Eggs for two weeks.

Three days into my “detox” I slept through the night.  I hadn’t slept through the night in years…. I mean YEARS… like 15 years.  Normally I lay in bed for an hour or so before drifting off.  I would get up 4 or 5 times to go to the bathroom… and each time it was a struggle to get back to sleep.  I never felt refreshed when I woke and I often struggled through the day.  Mid-afternoon was the worst… about 2:00 I couldn’t hardly keep my eyes open…. coffee and Red Bull were my best friends.  I would try to take naps, but I couldn’t fall asleep.   I had talked to my doctor about my insomnia.  She gave me sleeping pills and anti-depressants.  (Which didn’t do a damn thing but make me feel worse!)

Five days into the detox I noticed that my hands didn’t hurt and my fingers were no longer swollen.  (Dr said it was arthritis and she’d be happy to prescribe something.)

During the first two weeks:

  • My stomach quit “misbehaving”
  • The allergic-type reactions quit
  • My knees & hands quit hurting
  • I lost six pounds
  • The headaches went away
  • I lost 1/2 a shoe size
  • I slept through the night
  • My skin cleared up

Sometime during those two weeks, while looking for Wheat, Milk & Egg free recipes, I came across the Wheat Belly Blog.  Dr William Davis, a cardiologist,  had written a book called Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health.  Dr Davis asserted that wheat was the enemy.  Now, I know what you’re thinking… I thought it too…. Humans have been eating wheat for centuries… if it was as bad as he claimed, shouldn’t we all be dead by now?  Well… what we buy at the grocery store these days… it’s not the same stuff our ancestors ate… hell,  it’s not the same stuff our grandmothers ate!  In the 1960s scientist began tinkering with the genetic makeup of wheat to produce higher yield crops (they were working to fight famine… which is great… too bad the human body doesn’t like the new stuff).  Read the book.  I didn’t read it at first because I thought I got the main idea… “Wheat = Evil.”  Got it.  I was perfectly content with the result I was getting.  Happy tummy, sleeping at night, headache free, joint pain free…. good enough.   I wasn’t getting the massive weight loss like the people on the Wheat Belly Facebook page talked about, so I decided to read the book.  I felt a million times better and had no inclination to go back to wheat… ever… but I wouldn’t mind losing a few more pounds.  So I read the book…. I didn’t discover any amazing weight-loss secrets… I did learn a whole lot more about wheat’s effect on the brain though.  Did you know that wheat has the same effect on the brain that opiates have?  Like cocaine!?  No wonder it is SO hard to quit!  Really though… read the book.  (If you know me, I’ll share my copy… it has post-it notes now!)

I’m not really here to review the Wheat Belly book or rehash what Dr Davis says…. I want to share my experience with and without wheat.  I didn’t quit wheat to lose weight (that’s just a nice bonus… and truthfully, other lifestyle modifications were necessary too).  I quit wheat to get my life back…. to get healthy… to feel good.

So you’re saying, “But I don’t feel bad.”  That’s what my husband and my mom said too…. but after I made them read the book and ranted a bit… and because they love me and figured “what the hell?” they tried living wheat free.  Guess what?  Mom sleeps through the night now, she’s lost weight, her allergies are much better, her joints don’t hurt, she has less headaches.  My hubby didn’t have any of those complaints to begin with…. he just lost 20lbs. Both mom, hubby and I have all noticed that we are less hungry and we don’t have the afternoon blood-sugar crash anymore.

I’m not telling you that this is a super easy lifestyle… (it is getting better with more restaurants and food manufacturers labeling their Gluten-Free items). Fast Food is almost impossible to eat…. but its not like that was good for you anyway… this is about getting heathy. Cooking at home is really the best option… not that processed stuff in the boxes…. you want to be healthy… lose the chemicals and carbs too.

I don’t get a kick-back.  I’m not a paid blogger (sadly).  I don’t profit financially from sharing my experience with you in any way.  So why am I writing this? Because I feel better.  And I know you can feel better too.  Just try it for two weeks…. seriously try it.  No halvesies… all the way… you have to get the wheat out of your system.  Once you start reading labels and  looking around you will be stunned by how many products that you consume everyday have wheat in them.

Try it.  Two Weeks – No Wheat.

-S