The internet has probably invented this already and with a better name to boot. But I don’t care. I threw this together in my kitchen late one desperate night. See I have been cutting out dairy for the past 2 months, in the hopes that it would help with my chronic stuffed nose. It’s been a rough, mouth-breathing fall and I needed dessert!
1 can of full fat coconut milk, mine has 15g per 1/3 cup serving
2 tbsp of peanut butter
1 square (1 oz) of baking chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 scoops (168 mg) of pure Kal stevia
Pour the liquid from your coconut milk into another container for later. This leaves me with about ¾ of a can of solid coconut fat. If yours doesn’t do this… you don’t have a good brand of coconut milk and should find one with more fat. I am using the Jewel (Albertsons) store brand, which is cheap to boot. Lucky me!
Put the coconut fat in a small food processor or in a container for use with an immersion blender. Mix until smooth.
Melt the baking chocolate in the microwave. Mine takes 1 minute on high.
Combine the remaining ingredients and mix.
I usually add back 2 tbsp of the coconut liquid if it is too thick to mix well.
Taste for sweetness and adjust as you see fit. Also if you really don’t like the flavor of coconut oil (I don’t!), more peanut butter will hide it.
Portion into containers and leave in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set. I usually get 4 ½ cup portions.
It comes out with a smooth, creamy soft fudge consistency. I cannot resist this stuff!
I am not convinced that the carb count is correct on this. Maybe it is the high fat but I don’t get a spike as I would expect from ~10g of carbs. Perhaps most of the carbs in coconut milk are in the liquid? I am not sure…
I am moving my blog off of WordPress and Feedburner. Unfortunately I made the mistake of using Feedburner’s URL for my feed instead of figuring out something that wouldn’t go away when I (inevitably) moved to a new service… From now on I’m using my own URL so it shouldn’t ever change again. I hope you make the switch and keep getting updates!
A few weeks ago Tom Naughton from Fat Head posted a recipe for a low-carb gluten-free pizza that is just perfect. I have been making it twice a week ever since and it is real pizza, not some acceptable substitute. Don’t be scared off by the amount of cheese used to make the crust, it comes out sturdy and just like a flour based crust.
I have made a few changes and included some nutritional information which you may find helpful.
4 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of your favorite mixed cheese, like a Mexican, Italian or cheddar blend.
4 oz cream cheese
1.5 cups almond flour
1/2 cup of pizza sauce or spiced tomato sauce
(Optional) Dried ground fennel
(Optional) Dried ground oregano
(Optional) Dried parseley
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. My recipe fills an entire 1/2 sheet pan.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine 3 cups (436g) of mozzarella cheese and 4 oz of cream cheese. Microwave and stir every minute until smooth and mixed.
Add some dashes of garlic salt, parsley, oregano and fennel. If you are short on spices, the only one that really matters (in my opinion) is the garlic salt… mmm salt!
Add 2 whole eggs and 1.5 cups of almond flour. Stir like a mad-woman until it is all mixed.
Dump out onto your lined baking sheet.
Now smoosh out the dough to make a crust. I like to put my hand in a sandwich bag and pour a few drops of olive oil onto it so that nothing sticks.
Lightly cover the crust with garlic salt.
Bake for 10 minutes. If you see major bubbles, feel free to attack them with a fork.
Continue baking about 4-6 minutes, until the crust fully cooked and slightly brown on top.
Add the pizza sauce, remaining cheese (1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup of cheese blend) and any toppings.
Shake out a wee bit more garlic salt on top… :)
Place back in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly brown.
Remove from the oven and let it cool in a safe place (I use my cutting board). After 5 - 10 minutes it is ready to cut without causing a cheese landslide.
This makes 16 square slices, and I am quite stuffed with 4 slices, or ¼ of the pizza. So my serving clocks in at 15.2 g of carbohydrate (or 10.4g net). The nutrition info below is calculated using the recipe above, with just cheese for the topping.
I found myself in an awkward situation recently which resulted in me ordering a comprehensive set of blood tests. If you don’t care about my little drama of ordering the tests, skip ahead 2 paragraphs.
See I had just quit my job and on my last day they let me know that all the money I had contributed to my FSA (Flexible Spending Account) would be forfeited to my soon to be ex-employer. As I wracked my brain to think of a way to use my my FSA in 1 day, I hit upon direct blood tests. You can go online and directly order pretty much any blood test, they will have their in-state doctor review your information and order the test. So I loaded up my cart with “goodies” and tried to checkout. Lucky me, even though my FSA coverage didn’t end until the next day, my employer had cancelled my FSA early… boo I called up the FSA company and they gave me the news that I could pay for the tests myself and then submit a claim to be reimbursed. My bill was for $1,200 so after a bit of nail biting (would they really reimburse me?!) I went ahead and ordered the tests on my own dime. Wonder of wonders, the check just arrived in the mail. I feel like I won the lottery. :)
Okay! Back to the tests. I had ordered some tests that I had heard were critical for diagnosing some of my issues but could never get a doctor to care enough about to order the test for me. Here is what I ended up getting:
I had been diagnosed with Type 2, based on my weight but I had always been concerned that I may be a Type 1.5. So these test would be helpful in finally answering that question.
A1C Tells me how well I have been managing my blood sugar, I know I had not been doing well so it seemed like a good idea to get a baseline of how bad I had let things get.
Insulin Tells me how much insulin I am still making and if I have insulin resistance
GAD-65 Antibodies Tests for Type 1 / Type 1.5, where your body’s immune system is attacking your pancreas
When I learned that gluten is what has been causing me such extreme pain, chronic diarrhea and other bathroom fun, I removed it from my life and am a happier person. However I had heard that if one has Celiac, then it is important to avoid gluten beyond just for the benefits of a happy pooper. If one is regularly getting small doses of it, but not enough to send you do the throne, it can still lead to long term health issues down the road, like cancer. Plus I was tired of people asking if I was just following a “fad diet” or if I had “a real allergy”… grrr
It was a Celiac Disease Comprehensive Antibody Profile, but here are all the items the test for:
Deamidated Gliadin Abs, IgA
Deamidated Gliadin Abs, IgG
t-Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA
t-Transglutaminase (tTG) IgG
Endomysial Antibody IgA
Immunoglobulin A, Qn, Serum
I continue to have issues with weight gain, very cold hands and feet (they turn white), dry skin and hair loss. I also have an enlarged thyroid. My doctors have only ever tested for TSH and total T4, which I have read is not enough to identify all possible thyroid problems, just the most obvious.
TSH Is your pituitary gland screaming at your pancreas for more thyroid hormones?
Total T4 Inactive thyroid hormone
T4 - Free
Free T4 Index
Total T3 Active thyroid hormone
T3 - Free
Reverse T3 Unusable T3
Leptin Identifies leptin resistance, an issue with most overweight people
NMR Lipid Profile Measures the size of the lipoproteins
I just got the results today and am not familiar enough with some of the tests to interpret the results just yet. However a few jumped out at me:
My A1C has gone up from 5.0 to 5.8. Plus my fasting insulin has gone up from 4 to 24. Hello insulin resistance! Proof once again to myself that my diet is not a cure, it is control. Hop back on that wagon silly pants!
I came back positive for a few of the Celiac antibodies. Considering I have been strictly gluten-free for 6 months (stupid Christmas…), I do not plan on the standard course of action of eating gluten for weeks then taking a bowel biopsy for a conclusive diagnosis. This is enough for me to say yes I have Celiac and I should never again let myself have “just a bit” during holidays.
My GAD-65 (pancreas antibodies) came back as ”< 1.0", hurray for a somewhat working pancreas and a solid Type2 diagnosis!
That’s all I know for now and will report back later when I have figured out the other test results. This has served as the well-deserved kick in the pants go back to my original ketogenic diet and stop listening to all those silly doctors, nurses and blogs out there suggesting that anything other than very low-carb is healthier for me.
If you are one of my 10 regular readers, waves, then you may have noticed that I have been absent lately, from my blog, site, twitter, online forums, etc. Long story short, 1 year ago I quit my stressful job to get a grip on my health and figure out my life. HA! On one level that worked, the anxiety/stress induced physical symptoms have all gone, no more “Am I having a heart attack?” moments. On the other hand, not having a job for a year has brought about its own brand of stress… mostly depression.
I hadn’t tested my blood sugar in six months, my one drink a month was turning into one a week, I stopped caring if I ate gluten-free carbs, wasn’t tracking my food logs or weight… I am sure you can fill in how well that was working out for me. Things I had once enjoyed, like my pet-project Bytes for Health, I stopped caring about or didn’t have the energy to bother with. Boo hoo, poor me and all that jazz.
The other week someone from my online diabetes forum reached out to me, sharing her own troubles with depression and sticking to the whole “caring about dying from diabetes” deal that usually motivates me but lately hadn’t. If you are reading this, you know who you are and thank you. While she didn’t give me a very well-deserved kick in the pants, she did inspire me to try to get a handle on things again. And that’s where things have started picking up!
I started by taking 5-HTP, 50 mg between meals. Maybe I’ll write a post about it later, in short it is a serotonin precursor. Since carbs lately were improving my mood substantially, and carbs raise serotonin, it seemed worth a shot. I also reordered my old favorite, GABA, to help with anxiety. “The internet” suggested that taking it before bed could help with my insomnia and …. I think it is actually helping. Last night was the third night in a row where I slept (most) of the night through.
Maybe I am jinxing myself by with my silly title, but I feel like I am making progress. I finally hauled my cookies back to the doctor to get a prescription for test strips and am testing my blood glucose multiple times a day. I registered for a professional conference that should be a great learning experience (who knows maybe I’ll meet a future employer too). I even worked up the courage to make Oopsie Rolls (aka low-carb hamburger buns) for our Memorial Day cookout. Plus I am back to terrorizing the household with my off-key, goofy singing. The jury is still out on whether or not that is improvement. :)
Wish me luck in keeping hold of my rediscovered motivation!