Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!

•September 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Happy 5th Casey! We love you!

 

Casey.OutsideCloseupjpg
Hope you enjoyed your cream and sharing birthdays with your “Grandma”

Tags: , ,

Tuesday’s Fatty Food Recap!

•September 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday was the first day in over a month that I was able to add in healthy, delicious fat to my menu!

Omelette

Breakfast was an omelette filled with bacon, homemade sausage (so there wasn’t any sugar or starch in it) and green pepper. Of course it had to be topped with sugar free salsa for a bit of spice! YUM!

Pancake J'sbreakfast_LC

Hubby wanted a bigger breakfast and wasn’t in the mood for an omelette! So I whipped up some wheat free pancakes for him that were made with coconut flour! Lower carb yet high in fiber! I’m pretty sure he ate more than one!

Steak_Ranch_Salad

Had some leftover steak in the freezer. I thawed that, added it to a salad of romaine, tomato, green pepper and a homemade ranch dressing that was of course free of sugar and starch! It was delish but I could only stuff in about two thirds of it!

Burger_Basket

Dinner was a ground chuck burger that hubby cooked up on the grill. He makes them so juicy but no pink! That pink would gag me and I’d never be able to eat it! Split that puppy in half, sprinkle on some spicy pepper jack cheese, jalapeno mustard, dill pickles, a slice each of tomato and lettuce…..then wrap it up and serve in the basket! Originally I had planned to have caramelized brussel sprouts in that basket but I was too full and stuffed with the burger!

I must say the food was delicious. It was so very filling compared to what I had been eating but doc orders are just that, so I had to follow through. I am not sure which was better that day, the food or finally getting to shave with shaving cream, lather my body up with whipped cocoa body wash and then lotion up with coconut oil to rid my body of the dryness I’d been enduring through this!

Homemade Sunbutter, yum!

•September 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Apple&Sunflower
As I prepare to add healthy fats back into my diet, I am prepping food for it. Tuesday can’t come soon enough! It also helps hubby since he gets to eat the things I am making now!

I can’t have nuts of any kind due to severe anaphylactic allergies (that I carry an epipen for). It has gotten so bad that I have reacted to patient’s families having peanut butter in the room and I even have to avoid the area at the grocery store that has nuts in the plastic storage type bags, because if my immune system is run down at that time, even the smell of those can cause me to hive!

In came sunbutter. I love it! To me it taste and acts like peanut butter, although I haven’t had the real thing in so many years that it may not work that way for someone who regularly eats peanut butter! I have made sunbutter cookies and buckeye’s for holidays and family didn’t seem to notice as they gobbled them all up! When I first came across sunbutter I bought the crunchy. Unfortunately it has evaporated cane juice in it. They came out with an organic version that is smooth and has no sugar, but at about $9 a jar it became too pricey for the crazy amounts of baking I do at the holidays! I decided to try to make my own and I feel it’s a success! Hubby does too.

First you need raw hulled sunflower seeds. I buy mine online here and they look like this. You can order them here.

SunflowerSeeds

Spread those out between two baking sheets like this:

RawSunflowerSeeds
Add coconut oil (or oil of your choice) to these and lightly salt them with unrefined sea salt unless you prefer unsalted, or are told to limit your salt. Now pop those bad boys into a preheated oven at 200 degrees (mine runs 25 degrees hot so you may need to set yours to 225) and set your timer for 10 minutes. Continue checking and stirring them around, re-spreading them out about every 10 minutes. I change shelves at this point as well since my oven heats uneven. It takes about 30-35 minutes for mine. Toward the end I check them every 5 minutes so I do not end up scorching any of them!

RoastedSunflowerSeeds
Now its time to dump those roasted, delicious smelling sunflower seeds into your food processor. If a few just happen to make their way off the side of that cookie sheet and onto the counter you must eat and enjoy those, it is part of the process! If you don’t have a food processor then you really need to pick one up! The roasted seeds will process a bit quicker and smoother if you do this part right out of the oven!

RoastedSeedsinProcessor
I then spread a half of a packet of stevia and at least a tablespoon of healthy and yummy coconut oil on top of the roasted seeds and then just start processing away. It can be sort of tedious at first as they crumble up and are a bit dry. You will have to keep stopping the processing and spooning that off of the edges and bottom and start processing again. If you want to add more coconut oil then feel free to at any point. It does process a bit easier and unrefined coconut oil is healthy for you!

Sunbutter_StillCrumbly
Once it is semi smooth then just whir away for 5-10 minutes, depending on how smooth you would like it. The longer you process the smoother it becomes, otherwise it can be a bit grainy. You may need to add more or less oil or more or less stevia depending on your needs. If you like it a bit saltier just add a little sea salt, taste and adjust until its yummy to your taste buds!

Sunbutter_StartedProcessingSunbutterProcessingSmooth
Now just spoon it into the jar of your choice. I usually roast up three bags of sunflower seeds. One batch is stored in a larger jar for snacking but sometimes they will go into the freezer if neither of us are into snacking! You can always pop it out of the freezer easily enough at another time to snack on once its back to room temperature or hey you may need to make more sunbutter! Two of the roasted bags are made into batches of sunbutter. I make up one batch of sunbutter while the next seeds are roasting. One jar of sunbutter is stored in the freezer and the other in the refrigerator.

Sunbutter_FinishedSFSeeds&SunbutterJar

I have to forewarn you though that this stuff is addicting! I know, I know, it is healthy but still portion control is a must since it is pretty calorific! We enjoy it on homemade low carb bread, english muffins, spooned into chobani or fage greek yogurt, mixed into sugar free low carb icecream, made into sugar free sunbutter cups, on crisp, granny smith apples and well, I have to be honest here……..right off the spoon!

SpoonSunbuttr

I Can’t Wait!!

•September 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I am so loving this weather outside. I wish that it could stay sunny and beautiful, cool and breezy all year long! The crispness in the air makes me want to get outside and move! Brisk walks, intervals at the park…….but alas my body won’t have any part of that this year. It disappoints me more than you could ever know. Being off of work and being so limited by one’s own health is not something that I should be dealing with at this age, let alone for the past six or so. I’m told I am getting better and some days, actually sometimes only hours, it feels that way but then bam, down again or at least struggling to stay up!

So excited! Today I received an early birthday present!
Cuisinart_IcecreamMaker
A new icecream maker! Isn’t it beautiful? I had a 2qt cuisinart before and it lasted for many years and it was used like crazy before it finally gave up! This new one has 1 and 1/2 qt containers but it has two of them side by side! I can whip up two flavors at the same time!! What’s better then that? Now I’m just looking at different low carb recipes and trying to decide which two flavors to make for my birthday!! I suppose I ought to be nice and make one flavor for hubby since he bought me the awesome present! He likes simple flavors without anything added to them. I love pretty much any flavor but usually I want something crunchy or chewy in it! Many years ago that was anything nuts but since I developed a severe anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and all tree nuts, no such luck! It really bites too since I keep seeing all of these amazing flavors of treats that I will never be able to try! Anyway, I have adapted and now make my own sunbutter and have on occasion whipped that up and made my own version of moose tracks icecream! I’d love that for my birthday but honestly, I just don’t have the energy since you have to roast the raw sunflower seeds, then process until smooth with just the right amount of stevia, organic virgin coconut oil and sea salt! Then you have to mix that up for filling, make the chocolate mix and piece it all together to make sunbutter cups to chunk up for adding to the icecream!

 

The containers are already in the freezer and if I feel up to it I will whip some up tomorrow for hubby to try. I sure hope these icecreams turn out and that he doesn’t eat it all! I can’t have any until next week when I get to add fats into my diet! In the past when I tried low carb icecream (meaning sugar free) with heavy cream or coconut milk they would also freeze rock solid…….not a problem as we would just set it out for awhile but then it seemed to melt pretty fast. I’ve read over a lot of recipe ideas, tips and tricks on low carb friends and I am ready to give it a try, hopefully getting a truly delicious, sugar free, low carb, scoopable icecream!

I think I have also decided on the cake I will make for my birthday! This cake looks absolutely divine and of course it is low carb and sugar free since that will now be my (our) lifestyle! You can click on the picture to see Maria’s webpage with lots of yummy recipes with pictures for a healthier lifestyle! I mean who would not want to dig into a cake with the name of Boston Cream Pie? I sure hope that mine looks this appetizing and taste delish! I have a back up plan in case it doesn’t turn out but I can’t imagine that it won’t be to die for!

Boston_Cream_Pie_Cake
Making everything from scratch is tedious when I’m not feeling well but ultimately, I know it will be worth the effort because it will result in better health over the long term! When I do feel well I love to experiment, cook and bake as it is very therapeutic and a great stress reliever for me (not to mention fun to eat and share)! I will post pics as I make things, as well as a review of taste, texture, etc.

Now for the hard part…….dairy or dairy free (coconut milk)? Chocolate or vanilla for hubby? Strawberry, mocha with swirls of chocolate, mint chocolate chip or vanilla with swirls of chocolate for me? Decisions, decisions!

First Cat in 6 Years!

•September 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Casey was the first new addition to our little family after having about 6 years of no animals due to health issues. We finally decided that we were lonely, missed the animal love and we wanted to try and see if we could tolerate another cat. I researched all of the ways to make having a cat in the house less allergenic and made a list of what to do. We decided that since we had always had persians before (even had a cattery named Persmania many years ago) and we loved the squishy face but not the mats that came with their long hair that we would get an exotic shorthair. I had always wanted and blue and white bi-color persian and so the search began to find a blue and white bi-color exotic shorthair!

After searching the internet to try to find a semi-local breeder we came upon Lollycats. As it turned out our timing was just about perfect. She had two show quality blue and white exotic kittens, one female and one male…….we decided we really wanted a girl since we had problems with males spraying in the past. We get our first adorable picture of her and we fall in love. I mean look at that face, how can’t you adore her already? We could hardly stand the wait until she was old enough to come home!

Casey23_112505 Casey10_112505

We bought her toys, a bed, water and food bowls, a carrier and food as we prepared to bring her home right before Christmas! She came home with her favorite toy and still has it to this day (see the little toy by her foot?)

Caseysbowls Caseyhome
Now to determine a name! I really wanted to name her even before we got her. I started researching names and their meanings. I am not even sure how I came upon the information but I found that the Greek name for Casey means a familiar form of Acacia. Well of course I needed to know what Acacia was! When I went to see what the Greek term Acacia means it said thorny, mythology: the acacia tree symbolizes immortality and resurrection. In my mind when I think of resurrection I think of Christ dying on the cross, resurrecting. To me the second chance he gives us is like us being reborn. So I chose this beautiful little girl’s name to be Casey as related to being reborn or getting a second chance. I know that may not click with anyone else but that is how I chose her name because she was a second chance for us being able to have a cat again!

She was playful but more than anything she was daddy’s little girl! She loved spending time with John while he worked at his desk on his office day, this became her space until she outgrew it! Even then she’d try to squeeze in!

Casey12_18_05_pic4 Casey12_18_05_daddygirl2 Casey@desk 1_3_06

Casey has grown into a beautiful cat. Can you believe the size difference?

CaseypinkbedLITTLE CaseyPinkBedBIG
She never really learned how to play well with other cats but when we did add more (you’ll hear about them another time because this little princess deserves a post all of her own!) but she became very cuddly, sleeping beside one of us most nights or sometimes right in the middle of us! She tries to play but tends to be rough and the others don’t understand. I really think she’d prefer to still be an only cat!

CaseyNeo08212007 caseysuitcase casey&hummer

She has many hobbies! She likes traveling in the RV we had, she really knows how to relax after a good bike session and she loves to look down on all the other cats when she’s at the tippy top of the condo!

CaseyTravels_June2006 004 CaseyBiked caseyhigh
Casey shares my Mom’s birthday and will be 5 years old on September 18th! I really need to maker her a birthday treat because she loves her sugar!

CaseySugarCookie CaseyTwinkie
She is also a little OCD. She has to scratch on the side of the litter box until you’d swear her little paw would bleed…..so to get her to stop you tell her that’s enough and she runs out of the litter box only to then come right back and do about 10 more scratches on the inside of that litter box. I think the next few times I will have to count how many so I can see what her OCD number is!

I swear she has multiple personalities! Sometimes she wants to run outside and join the others but she waits patiently on top of the hutch peering outside through what looks like little prison bars!

caseyprisonbreak

When John came home from the hospital she slept by his side all the time to make him feel better.

John_Casey7_031006
John built an amazing catbitat when we adopted a family of cats (I’ll tell you more about them later) and so our indoor cats have been able to enjoy the outdoors but still be safe from any harm! She was so adorable the first time we put her out there. She enjoyed the breezes. She climbed up high on the shelves. She listened to the birds and tired to hunt them. Part of the outdoor enclosure or catbitat had white rock as part of the area to be walked on. It was hilarious when she walked on it for the first time……one paw down, next paw down and then suddenly all of her legs went out from beneath her as she sprawled on her belly from the shock of the feeling of the rocks to her paws! Of course true to her character as we laugh at her, she jumps up, runs off of the rock, sits on the pavement and licks herself nonchalantly!

Casey.OutsideCloseupjpg caseyoutside
Happy early birthday Casey! I hope that we have you around here for many, many more years!

Seasons of Change

•September 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Change to me is easily compared to a roller coaster ride. With each steep incline, curve or vertical twist you can only hope that the next loop is exciting, adrenaline rushing, fulfilling, and enjoyable. It would be nice if there was a little button to push on that safety bar where you could pick a place to get off for awhile, stay, relax, and enjoy that pleasurable part of the ride…..before that large drop takes your breath away!

Our lives have changed significantly over the years. Some of those changes I haven’t minded, while others, I’d rather not even think about them let alone have lived through them. People say that change is good but I can’t say that I fully agree with that. At the time of some changes it feels as though you just can’t go on, can not even push through it. You can’t see the other side at that point or the big picture. Later after the adjustment is made and you realize that life indeed does go on you may see that ultimately that change was a good thing, even if you weren’t the one to make it to happen.

Yet other times there is just change. Change that can’t be realized for any good at the present time or the future. When enough time has passed that you can look back and still wish that change had not occurred. It does not matter if it was change that resulted by a choice you made or was at the hands of another.

Like the seasons of change in the picture of the trees in my theme of the webpage, this blog will be a reflection of change in me. There are many layers to who I am, just like the many intricacies of the change in seasons. Some of these layers I embrace and accept and I want them to flourish. Others layers are not as becoming and it is those layers that will become less of me over time.

As my favorite season of fall approaches I plan to watch the leaves brilliantly change colors ever so slowly and then fall away from the trees as they wither and die. During this amazing season of color and change, I will slowly peel away layers of myself that need to change and brush them aside. As the underground rustlings stir during the supposedly dormant season of winter there will also be an internal rustling going on for me. You may or may not notice as some changes are more within myself but others may be more apparent. When springtime finally starts budding, flowering and blooming, I hope to blossom into an improved version of myself.

Fall is my season of change that is fast approaching and I am embracing it on every level!