Elimination Diet: Week 1 in Review

SS Elimination diet week 1

It’s been a week. I’m still doing the Elimination diet. This week has had its ups and downs. I still haven’t felt awesome, but I am guessing my body is detoxing a bit or my body just hates me…or both. Hopefully this week my symptoms will lessen or go away. I have found plenty of food that I can eat, however let’s just say I have a lot of things over rice or quinoa. There is nothing wrong with rice or quinoa, but I have a feeling it will get old. I haven’t done much meal planning, just go with the flow–which I feel I would have a bit more variety if I meal planned better. Maybe timing will work out better this week…

I have ate some delicious food and made some food that has been surprisingly tasty. One huge struggle I have had is seasoning. Most spice blends have some kind of pepper in it, whether it be red bell pepper to a spicy pepper. I am also avoiding black pepper–so that takes out every spice blend. I just season to taste, which I do a lot in my cooking when I have a bit more time–I just like to use spice blends when I am short on time. 

Other challenges I have faced is breakfast. I can’t do eggs. I can’t do cereal or oatmeal…and frankly, that is usually what I have for breakfast. I am having a lot of chia pudding with fruit for breakfast, since it really is just chia seeds and nut milk. My other go-to breakfast item is smoothies…and a lot of them. I am making them with rice protein. I don’t love the rice protein powder I got, but I am just going to go with it and hope I can go back to the whey protein I like when I can reintroduce foods. I do know of some good plant-based protein powders, but they are pricer than the rice protein I have. Since I am spending more on food with this elimination diet, I am trying to cut costs where I can. Oh…other hard part about breakfast, NO COFFEE. Yeah, it is sad. I miss that delicious hot cup in the morning. Although I haven’t fallen asleep at work or anything, so I suppose I am doing just fine.

I have decided I now love almond butter, which was not the case a month ago. I have gone through a whole jar of almond butter in less than a week, between having it with apples or rice/nut crackers. It is definitely my go to snack. I think I have ate more almond butter this week than I have in the past year.

I have even had dessert this week: Avocado Chocolate Mousse. It may sound weird, but it is delicious and way healthier than regular chocolate mousse. I will be sure to post the recipe later this week.

Some food highlights of my week: Basil Kale Pesto with Rice Pasta and Roasted Chicken, Salmon over Quinoa with Brussel Sprouts, and Mexican chicken with Black Beans and Avocado over White Rice. (Side note: the “Mexican” chicken was a challenge with out peppers, but I just spiced it with garlic, onion, cumin and oregano.)

elim diet week 1 food

Everything is made from scratch, as I have to to avoid the foods I can’t eat. I do typically cook most of the food I eat from scratch as I like to know exactly what is in my foods, so it really isn’t a big deal. However, I do like my occasionally protein/granola bar or cereal, but I am probably much better off only eating foods from scratch.

Saddest part of the week: The Packers unfortunate loss. That’s all I’m going to say. I did however make Asian Turkey Lettuce wraps for the game. While I missed the cheese and beer (GF, of course), the wraps were tasty.

packers food

This photo was taken during the first quarter…not the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. See I am happy…not sad.

All in all though, this week went fairly well. Two more weeks until I can start reintroducing foods!

Elimination Diet: Day 1

It’s been awhile for Amy and I, between her travels, both of us being crazy busy at work, and the holidays…let’s just say it has been busy. Look out for lots of stuff to come, especially on this new elimination diet I am on.

In the past few months, my food reactions have gotten worse. I am already on a gluten-free diet, but that is not seeming to be enough at this point–plus I overall eat pretty healthy. I eat whole foods, my veggies, and all that jazz–but I am obviously reacting to something. I have been getting terrible stomach aches, nausea, bloating, my skin hating me and more–fun stuff, huh?! 

I have been contemplating doing an elimination diet or something similar, but I wanted to check in with my doctor. After seeing my doctor, who focuses on holistic medicine, she also agreed this would be a good first step. She gave me a ton of great info to set me on the right path.

While an elimination diet may not be the most fun, if it will help me feel better and heal my gut, I’m in. Plus, I would much rather find out what foods may be an issue for me and not eat them, than have to take medicine to feel alright when I eat. I also work in the natural food industry and over time have learned a lot about whole foods and nutrition, so it seems less scary–which is good.

I will write another post about what an elimination diet all entails, but here it is in a nut shell. No soy, dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, corn, nightshade vegetables, red meat, citrus and any other foods you know or think you may be reacting too. The only food I am really adding on to this is oats, as some people what have a gluten intolerance sometimes have issues with oats. So that is a good amount of foods I can’t eat…and I am most freaking out about the caffeine and dairy…I mean I am from Wisconsin, so cheese 🙁 However, I can eat A LOT of food — from rice and quinoa to chicken, lots of fruits and veggies, most nuts and more. So, I do have options. I think the biggest part to the success of this is planning and having a positive outlook–which really is two key pieces to be successful in anything.

SS Elimination diet-day

Day 1 went well. Here is what I ate today:

  • Breakfast: Plant-based Protein smoothie
  • Snack: Banana and Cold-pressed juice (with no citrus)
  • Lunch: Rice and Vegetable Coconut curry
  • Dinner: Rice, Collards and Salmon 
  • Snack: Almond Butter and an apple
  • Beverages: Water, Herbal Tea, La Croix

Happy Birthday Amy!!

Happy Birthday to the best and most loving sister ever!!

amy bday 2

You have been there for me so much…both through good times and bad.  I couldn’t ask for a better sister and friend.

amy bday1

I love all the crazy and hilarious times we have together. 

amy bday 3

Enjoy your Kiwi Adventure–I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.

amy bday 5

Rishi Chai

I am a huge chai fan. I also have very high standards for chai. Not to be a chai snob, but I rarely order chai at coffee shops, unless I know what their chai base is. No offense to many coffee shops out there, but I find a lot of chai is either not made properly, watered down, or just the spices are off in the blend.

Earlier I highlighted a local Minnesota Chai Company, Gray Duck Chai. Today, we’ll bring it back to Wisconsin with Rishi tea, a Milwaukee based tea company. Rishi really has amazing tea, and I have to say they are my favorite tea brand…and it is not just because they are from Milwaukee, but that doesn’t hurt. They have very high quality teas that are both organic and fair trade, they promote sustainability…and, well their tea is super delicious.

I have many blends I love, such as the Scarlet Herbal blend…but let me tell you, they have some amazing chai. I even had the pleasure of having a Rishi tea expert teach a chai class at the natural food store I work at. Until then I only typically had chai from concentrate blends, which Rishi does have a quality chai concentrate. However, the best chai I ever had was that day made fresh from loose tea. They have five loose chai tea blends, which all are good in their own different ways–however my favorite is the Masala Chai (can’t go wrong with the classic) and the Chocolate Chai. I really love the Chocolate Chai, just what you need to warm you up on a cool autumn day…or winter, but let’s not think about that yet.

It used to seem scary to make chai with loose tea at home, but on the Rishi tea tin, they have super easy instructions. Basically you boil 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, and 2 tbsp loose chai tea. Then simmer it for 5 minutes, add sugar (2-3 tbsp)…and bam, you are done and have a delicious cup of chai.

chai rishi

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters  

OMG. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Need I say more. These are amazing!! For real. I made these for my friend’s baby shower, and they were a huge hit (but really, how could they not be).

Enjoy every single bite of them.

To start out you will start with the Classic Chocolate Cupcake recipe.  Follow the recipe exactly as it lists, until you start to fill the cupcake liners. When you fill the cupcake liners, only fill them halfway. Then place the frozen chocolate chip cookie dough into the chocolate cupcake batter. Depending on the size of the cookie dough you may need to cut the frozen dough balls in half.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters

I used Sweet Martha’s frozen cookie dough. If you have ever been to the Minnesota State Fair, you would know why this is an awesome choice and great addition to the cupcakes. Sweet Martha’s cookies are amazing. There is a reason you can buy them buy the bucket at the MN State Fair. What cream puffs are to the Wisconsin State Fair, that is what these delicious lil cookies are to the MN State Fair.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters

You can really do whatever cookie dough you want. You could even make your own from scratch then freeze them in little balls. Use frozen dough if you want the cookie dough to be more of a “dough” in the cupcake. Don’t freeze the dough, if you would prefer the cookie dough cooked through.

You bake these cupcakes as normal, but make sure to double check them as everyone’s oven is a little different. I tested mine with a tooth pick, but you might have to do this more on the edges due to the cookie dough. Just remember the cookie dough won’t be cooked all the way through (which is what you want). 

Let the cupcakes cool. Once they cool, you have the option to elevate these cupcakes a wee bit further. Put some fudge in a pastry bag and pipe the fudge right into the middle of the cupcake. I used a quality fudge from the store (the same kind you would put on a sundae).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters

Warning: Don’t get too over excited about the fudge like I did, as you may end up with more fudge on your hand than in the cupcake. However, many people may be into that…so do whatever you want. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie SistersAfter that, it is time to frost. I made a frosting recipe I found on Pioneer Woman. She calls it the “Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had.” I would have to agree, which is why I used this over one of my own frosting recipes I have created. Why reinvent the wheel (or frosting in this case), if this frosting is amazing. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters

 I like to pipe my frosting on cupcakes, as it makes them prettier. But feel free to do whatever your heart desires! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters

To really make these cupcakes fancy, top them with mini chocolate chips and tiny cookies. I cut up some of the Sweet Martha’s cookie dough and baked them to make this cute mini cookies. Keep a very close eye on them in the oven. Lil cookies have very lil cooking time.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  --   Sconnie Sisters

Once you have fancified these delicious beauties, sit back and relax. Grab a cupcake and a glass of milk and enjoy!

 

Classic Chocolate Cupcake

I love making cupcakes. I also love eating them. Unfortunately, I don’t make cupcakes very often anymore because of being gluten-free. And, let’s just say I haven’t been very successful with gluten-free baking. However you can never pass on a great cupcake!

Every baker needs a good chocolate cupcake recipe. My favorite is from the recipe book “Crazy about Cupcakes” by Krystina Castella. I have adapted the recipe a little, but the core of the recipe stems from this book.

chocolate cupcake

If you are looking for a cupcake cookbook with great recipes from scratch–I highly recommend this one (and let’s just say I have a few cupcake cookbooks.)

Stay tuned. More cupcake recipes to come…one coming very soon will even have cookie dough in it!

[yumprint-recipe id=’9′]

TBT: Cliff Climber

TBT brings us back to Door County and the 90s.  Here I am on some cliff of rocks back in 1992 with an old school Timberwolves sweatshirt.* Also, you gotta love the matching scrunchie. 

Emily-Door County 1992_0041

 I always loved our camping trips to Door County every year, as it is such a beautiful place

*This sweatshirt was probably not old school in 1992–but hipsters in Minnesota would probably pay big bucks for that sweatshirt today. Also, while we grew up in Wisconsin, our parents and extended family are from Minnesota, so we had some influence by them on our sporting teams…however I can say Amy and I are hardcore Packers and Brewers fans.

St. Croix State Park

scsp riverA couple weeks back, Matt and I did a little camping near Superior, Wisconsin. On our way back, we decided to get one more hike in before we headed home. We stopped at St. Croix State Park in Hinckley, Minnesota.

St. Croix State Park has a ton of trails and is a huge state park. It has two rivers and is great for any outdoor enthusiast–from hikers to mountain bikers to canoeists, campers and more.

scsp river bluffWe hiked on the River Bluff trial. It was quite pretty, however the bugs were thick–nothing a little bug spray couldn’t combat as long as you kept moving. 

scsp river bendI always find water peaceful. I would have sat and relaxed a bit beside the river, if it weren’t for bugs that would’ve ate me up. 

scsp river edgeAll in all it was a good hike. The only downside was having quite a few ticks covering Matt and myself…unfortunately Mr. Jack had us both beat on the tick count. We had to have removed 20+ ticks from Mr. Jack. He got a special bath when he got home too. Ticks can be scary with the threat of Lyme disease, luckily we all made it through fine–no tick bites.

scsp river bluff trialOther than our experience with ticks, St. Croix State Park was a fun place to visit. We barely hit the surface of what that state park has to offer. We will have to make our way back there soon.

Yay ‘Merica!

Summerfest Big Bang_1July2014_tkant

 

Happy 4th of July y’all! Enjoy celebrating our great country! Yay ‘Merica!!

 

(Photo: Big Bang during Summerfest 2014 — Milwaukee, by Papa Kant) 

TBT: Emily’s Goodbye to Milwaukee

TBT brings us back to a sad time…when I left Milwaukee back in 2011. While I miss Milwaukee, I do really enjoy living in the Twin Cities.

When you are leaving your home, obviously you need a going-away party. I love Mexican food, so it was also necessary to stop at one of the many great Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee. You could say we had a Going Away Fiestsa.

going away fiesta

Here is Amy, Andy, and I outside of the restaurant. I mean when there is a statue like that outside of a restaurant, how do you not take a photo with it?

cake time

Amy got me with a going away cake…it was delicious.

 cake fail

Cake Fail. Or rather, eating cake in a moving car fail.