Recipe Review: Healthy Salted Caramel Latte

Every Morning I get up and make a fresh pot of coffee in my wonderful french press.  My day just isnt the same without this small routine. Truth be told I’m probably addicted to everything about drinking coffee.  The warmth of a fresh cup, the roasted smell of the beans, sitting and taking a minute to relax before the say gets started. I could keep going but I’ll spare you.

When Katie, at Wellness Mama, shared this healthy version of my favorite latte, I had to try it. One word, AMAZING.  Its not overly sweet or heavy.  It combines the perfect amount of bitter, sweet and frothiness.  You don’t need special equipment or extra time.  My favorite part about this latte is the energy boost from the added good fats.  I feel like I’ve had several energy drinks and for this mama of two littles it’s much needed. Go try it!

Migraines Part 1: The Migraine Diet

A Life with Migraines

One of my first memories is having dye put in my veins for an MRI because I had headaches all. the. time.  I continued having headaches and migraines throughout my childhood and young adult life. As I entered my mid to late 20′s they got worse.  After having my 2nd and youngest baby, the frequency and severity became unbearable.  I was having migraines like clockwork and daily headaches.  I couldn’t function when a migraine hit,  I would literally just have to sleep, sometimes for a couple of days.

Paleo and Migraines

During this time my family and I started a strict paleo diet.  I researched the paleo lifestyle for a while.  I read testimony after testimony of people who had frequent migraines then went paleo and quit having them altogether.  I was eager to begin my headache-free life. Unfortunately for me it was the exact opposite.  I had the worst migraines of my life after going strict paleo.  Something had to change.

Medicated Migraines

May of 2012 my neurologist put me on Maxalt. I had taken a drug like it before that didn’t work so I was very hesitant, not to mention that I hate the way meds make me feel.  I used Maxalt as a way to stop the migraine pain after it started and it worked…I would have to sleep for a little while but at least I was functioning.  Maxalt worked at stopping the migraine once it started but the medicine didn’t prevent or change the frequency of the migraines.

Food is the best Medicine

October 2012 changed my life. I had a 3 week-long span of daily headaches with migraines every 5 days. I was so discouraged and desperate.  I felt low and just sad.  What happened next changed my life.  I went to my neurologist, Dr. P, and said I’m willing to do anything I couldn’t function.  Dr. P left the room and when he came back he said “I don’t normally give this to my clients because its overwhelming but I think you can actually do it.”  With that he handed me a stack of papers.  Enter the Migraine and Headache Diet!

The Migraine and Headache Diet

The migraine diet is laid out into foods that are permissible and foods to avoid. He told me to take the foods in the avoid column and keep them out for a month and then add them in one by one to see if any of them were triggers. Bananas, avocados, olives, eggs, yogurt and so many more.  What the heck?!  I was eating these foods ALL the time.  A good number of the avoid foods were my favorite “paleo” foods and were a daily part of my diet. But again I was desperate.  I took all of the foods in the avoid column out immediately. Dr. P also put me on 400 mg of magnesium a day.

One week later I stopped having daily headaches. 

I have been on the diet over a year and the migraines are getting better.  I still get migraines once a month, but the pain and frequency are changing. Instead of 5 migraines a month with awful daily headaches, I have 1 or 2 at the most and the pain is much less.

Below is a list of foods (potential migraine triggers) that I avoid:

  • more than 2 cups of caffeine per day
  • energy drinks
  • any and all fake sweeteners
  • all processed meat
  • all nut butters
  • soy sauce
  • yeast extracts
  • cultured dairy products (buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt)
  • aged cheeses
  • fresh made bread
  • yeast breads
  • eggs ( I can have 2 a week)
  • chocolate
  • all beans
  • onions
  • olives
  • pickles
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • figs
  • raisins
  • papaya
  • red plums
  • sauerkraut
  • sunflower and sesame seeds
  • canned and processed foods
  • pizza
  • msg
  • anything that has natural flavorings, msg, or yeast extract in ingredient list
  • Chinese food
  • any fermented or pickled foods
  • seasoned salts
  • most store-bought salad dressings
  • aged meat
  • game meat
  • organ meat
  • fish except salmon and tuna
  • food with nitrites and nitrates
  • alcohol
  • red food coloring

This is a long list and I understand why people would find it overwhelming. For me its been life changing.  When people comment on what I can’t eat and how sad it is, I think of how good I feel compared to how I used to feel. If you have ever suffered from migraines you know how hopeless it can be and most people don’t understand, they’re like, “Take a goody powder.”

Ridiculous.

I do have other migraine triggers like strong smells (perfumes, candles, air fresheners..I mean just open a window, no one needs 35 plug-ins! it’s poison…I could go on and on here but I will stop) and weather- yes weather! It’s a real trigger.

There is no one cure for migraines.  Every migraine is different just like every person is different. This is just what’s helping me.  It was hard at first to wrap my mind around the fact that these healthy foods cause me to have migraines. Then my awesome husband said “Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.”  That has helped me so much!

 

Gluten Free Goodness Muffins

This recipe is easy and delicious! If you are just going gluten free these are a must try.

Here are a few variations you could do:

Replace dates with cranberries and add a 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes. Add in a 1/2 cup of fresh berries, they taste amazing against the chocolate. Put in a couple tbs of pureed pumpkin or sweet potato. Blend in the carrots instead of folding them in at the end. Get creative…The goodness is endless! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Goodness Muffins

Paleo Muffins

By candice Published: April 18, 2013

  • Yield: 12 to 15 muffins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Ready In: 45 mins

Make these!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine almond flour, soda, salt and cinnamon
  3. In a blender combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, and oil
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined
  5. fold in carrots and nuts
  6. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes

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    Homeschool Pros

    I graduated college with a bachelors in Early Childhood Development.  I was a preschool teacher until 3 months before my son, Ezekiel, was born.  My motto- inspire children to love learning.  I went into child development because I always wanted to stay at home and homeschool our children.  I wanted our values and our beliefs weaved into their learning.  I wanted the flexibility.  I wanted to teach my children to be curious about the world.  I didn’t want them to sit behind a desk all day (what adult loves that?!)  I wanted to be the main influence, especially in those formative precious years.

    Every time all those things came to mind, one thought became louder than any other. Could I….I mean could I really do it?  I didn’t know.  I was unsure.  I was fearful that I wouldn’t be enough, that I wasn’t smart enough.  To be honest I wondered if it would drive me crazy.

    We enrolled Ezekiel into preschool fall of 2012. The experience was great.  I mean it was the kind of school you dream of putting your child in and he thrived.  I wasn’t sure how long he would be in school and the question of homeschooling never left our family.  Well, life has a way of putting you back to the place you should have been all along. And it’s AWESOME!

    I can’t believe that I was so fearful.  I can’t believe I actually questioned my ability to teach…I mean I was a teacher.  I questioned away a dream I had.  How many times in life do we do that?

    So, here are my pros of homeschooling-

    1. I get to invest in and spend time with my kids.
    2. Our schedule and lifestyle are flexible.
    3. I can teach at a pace where learning actually happens.
    4. We can learn about whatever we want.
    5. I can specifically cater to their needs.
    6. It’s fun!

    Here are a few pics from the last couple of weeks…..

    homeschool22013-03-29 15.49.342013-04-16 12.44.152013-04-16 12.22.51
    homeschool3

    Lemon Pie (Old Fashioned)

    I rarely follow recipes.  I’m the throw a little of this, add a little of that type of cook. It works for me. However, I love this little cookbook from the 50′s and I want to try and cook the food as the recipes are written (SO hard). This lemon Pie is delicate and soft. It combines the perfect amount of sweet and tart. Enjoy!

    2013-04-15 08.50.18 2013-04-15 08.50.42

    Lemon Pie (Old Fashioned) Recipe

    lemon pie

    By candice Published: April 16, 2013

    • Yield: 1 pie (6 Servings)
    • Prep: 15 mins
    • Cook: 45 mins
    • Ready In: 60 mins

    I rarely follow recipes.  I'm the throw a little of this, add a little of that type of cook. It works for me. However, I love this …

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Beat together sugar, egg yolks and butter. Add juice and rind of lemon and flour. Mix well. Blend in milk. Beat eggs whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter. Pour into unbaked pastry. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

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      Homemade broth vs store bought

      Homemade beef broth pictured left – Swanson beef broth right.

      I enjoy a good hearty broth. It helps me feel better when I’m sick and adds a ton of flavor and nutrients in cooking.   I used to buy various broths on my weekly grocery trip. Buying a good brand with no MSG or yeast extracts can cost up to $3. I recently read an article from Marksdailyapple that got me thinking about the health benefits of homemade broth as well as the super low cost. So, I sought out a local farmer who sold marrow bones from his grass fed cows.  I bought 20lbs of bones for around $11 (I was spending this about every two weeks buying cartons). Buying from the local farmers is much cheaper and it makes me feel better knowing the source.  As you can see in the picture above the color is completely different and the store bought doesn’t come close to the amazing flavor of the homemade batch.  Its super easy to make…. So lets get to it!

      Ingredients:

      Large pot with lid or crock pot

      Bones (Beef, Chicken, Turkey, etc)

      Veggies (Carrots, Celery, Onions, Peppers, whatever you like)

      Apple cider vinegar- this helps pull nutrients out of the bones

      Salt and pepper to taste

      Strainer

      Method:

      If you are using beef bones make sure to roast them in the oven first. It isnt necessary but the flavor of the broth will be richer.

      Put everything in pot or crock pot, cover with water and let the cooking begin!

      If using a pot on the stove, bring the broth to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. If using a crockpot, turn on high for several hours then to low. Simmer until done. I simmer beef broth for about 48 hrs and chicken broth for around 24 hrs.

      When broth is done strain the liquid.  This will ensure that any bone bits and unwanted vegetable pieces dont get in.

      Its that easy!!! Enjoy!

       

       

      Apple Cider

      It’s that time of year, my favorite time of year….the Holidays!!!!! After stuffing our faces with turkey and pie, we put up our Christmas decorations. To celebrate we made some cider. This was super easy and honestly better than what I usually buy. Enjoy!

      Ingredients
      1. 64 oz of apple juice
      2. 5 tangerines
      3. Cinnamon
      4. Allspice

      Method
      -Pour apple juice into pan
      -Squeeze tangerines into juice
      -Add as much or as little cinnamon and allspice as desired
      -Cook mixture until it reduces by half

      This entry was posted in Recipes.

      Almond Butter Pancakes with Dark Chocolate

      Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I mean who doesn’t like breakfast?!  We used to have biscuits, french toast, oatmeal or some other grain for breakfast.  When we decided to eat a more primal diet I was thinking about all the delicious breakfast food I wouldn’t be able to eat.  It never occurred to me that breakfast is much more than grains and I am so glad I’ve been delivered from that school of thought.  I discovered a version of this recipe in Robb Wolf’s  The Paleo Solution.  I tweaked it a bit to make it my own. I promise you won’t miss the traditional version of a pancake and if you do your taste buds are missing out.

      Almond Butter Pancakes with Dark Chocolate

      DSC_9371

      By candice Published: December 28, 2011

      • Prep: 10 mins
      • Cook: 15 mins
      • Ready In: 25 mins

      The Best Pancakes

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. Heat skillet on medium high heat
      2. Mix together all ingredients except chocolate chips to form a batter
      3. Once batter is formed, fold in chocolate chips
      4. Put coconut oil in skillet
      5. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into skillet
      6. Cook a couple of minutes on each side being careful not to burn the cakes
      7. Top with real maple syrup, melted butter, or warm fruit compote
      8. Eat!

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      This entry was posted in Recipes.

      Cajun Blackened Tilapia

       

      I am not a big fish eater, I never have been.  That all changed when I was introduced to Veron’s Cajun Seasoning. It is hands down my favorite cajun seasoning. It is a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.  It comes in five flavors- original, hot, mesquite, lemon, and garlic. Veron’s Original is my favorite.

      Ingredients:

      1 stick of butter

      4 medium tilapia fillets

      1 can of Veron’s Orignal seasoning

      Method:

      Heat skillet to high heat

      Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet per fillet

      Rub a generous amount of seasoning on both sides of fillet

      Cook fish about 3 minutes on each side until flakey

      
      

       

      Cajun Blackened Tilapia

      tilapia

      By candice Published: December 8, 2011

      • Yield: 4 Servings
      • Prep: 10 mins
      • Cook: 25 mins
      • Ready In: 35 mins

        I am not a big fish eater, I never have been.  That all changed when I was introduced to Veron's Cajun Seasoning. It is …

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet per fillet Rub a generous amount of seasoning on both sides of fillet Heat skillet to high heat Cook fish about 3 minutes on each side until flakey

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      This entry was posted in Recipes.

      And…I’m Back

       

      It has been about 1 year since my last post.  What kept me away? Pregnancy and the extreme sickness that came with it (http://www.helpher.org/). Now that I am free from being sick 24/7 and actually able to eat again, I want to share a new journey we are on.

      We’re going primal!

      What does that mean exactly?

      We are cutting the junk out of our eating- sleeping more, or trying to anyway, and adding a whole lot of play.

      Why are we going primal?

      I am tired of being sick, bloated, obese, and having no energy. I want to be strong and healthy. I am not sure I have ever been completely healthy and I’m ready to give it a try.

      SO courtesy of marksdailyapple.com here is The Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid to give you an idea of how we are eating…

      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-succeed-with-the-primal-blueprint/

      Each week I will be posting a new recipe.

      To learn more about this awesome way of living you can check out these sites:

      www.marksdailyapple.com

      www.everydaypaleo.com

      www.robbwolf.com

       

       

       

      This entry was posted in Recipes.