navigating the PCOS lifestyle

Coffee…Coffee..COFFEE…cappuccino…java!

To say that I love coffee is an understatement. I make coffee the night before, drink it all day and indulge in a specialty drink every now and then. Since my lifestyle change, this has been more difficult as the drinks from coffee shops are PACKED full of sugar.

In an indulgent day, the hubby and I went to Starbucks a few weeks ago to get a Frapp…these are ridiculously packed with sugar, but I thought one will not be horrible…right? Then we came to know their new Espresso Frappachino. Can it be true? Something with less sugar and more coffee? Unfortunately, no…this was their “Espresso Frapp”: Espresso Whipped Cream with chocolate syrup on a coffee frap. Disappointing to say the least, so I set out to make this espresso whipped cream! That would make my coffee more “gourmet” at home and I will not have the guilt.

So here it is: Sugar Free Espresso Whipped Cream.
Espresso Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy whipped cream
1 tsp espresso coffee (or very strong brewed coffee), chilled
Equiv. of 2 tsp sugar in a sugar sub. (optional for those with a slightly stronger sweet tooth)

Mix all ingredients in a chilled bowl with electric beaters until hard peaks form. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder. And voila! Add to coffee drinks, desserts, pancakes, waffles, or anything else you want to add whipped cream too. 🙂 Enjoy!

Dirty laundry

Yes, I am blogging about dirty laundry, but stay with me – I hope to make a very valuable point.

I do, presently, about 10 loads of laundry a week. This includes mine, my husbands, my baby’s and his cloth diapers. The cloth diapers have special laundry soap that is non-perfume, non-enzyme…etc to ensure that these diapers last well into the second (or…hold your breath…third or fourth child). So this rant is no regarding the soap I use for those because I love it – p.s. It’s Charlies Soap and is wonderful!

No, what I want to rant about it Dreft. This very expensive, supposedly safe-for-baby detergent leaves an AWFUL smell on my son’s cloths and some of mine when I wash them together. Then it makes his skin smell like that to…That is a no-no for me.

More than just food…

My husband and I were having a conversation before Grayson arrived about how we wanted to raise him. We have both had wonderful experiences with our own parents, and used that as guidelines, of course.

We also talked about how we want him to grown up in a safe environment, healthy – like we had become, free of toxins, and be debt free…This was a big one for us. After reading Dave Ramsey’s book, we likened his 7 Baby Steps to how we had gotten rid of the unhealthy foods in our lives and created a new lifestyle….not diet. It just seemed to make sense that the new lifestyle we had created should include a healthy financial one as well.

We were both taught the value of money, but still somehow got into a little more debt than we wanted. So enter Baby Step #1 – the “Debt Snowball”. In November 2012, we made a commitment to get ourselves out of debt and be able to move to Baby Step #2 – Build an Emergency Savings. With a little one on the way and the uncertainty of a military career, we did not know where we would be in 6 months, a year or two. We needed to get rid of that weight on our shoulders to the tune of (I am embarrassed to say – about $30,000).

I am proud to say that we are very close to getting rid of all debt, except for our mortgage…which will come in time. My student loans and one credit card remain (a total of about $10,000)…it’s going to feel so good to send that final check in on my student loans – a mere 7 1/2 years after graduation…In order to obtain this goal, we have made many sacrifices. The usual not eating out as much, going on less trips, saving gas, etc. What we found we that, as Dave says, we can live like no one else now to live like no one else later.

But I wanted to do it faster – just get rid of it! So, while on maternity leave I looked for a way to supplement our income during and after my leave. I found an amazing company that will allow me to do just that. I work from home, as often or as little as I want: I market for a manufacturer of wellness products and help set up customers accounts. It could not be easier!

I have been so blessed to not only find a way to allow us to be debt-free, but also a company that sells the very products I am looking to use in my home? Who could ask for more?

If you would like to know how working with my team would change your life please contact me. I look forward to talking with you!

Attain GC Control Shake

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One of the things I love most is a shake in the summer time. Usually made with high-sugar contents, like bananas, strawberries, chocolate…yum…But, since clearing my system of the unnecessary, it seems harder and harder to feel good after eating anything like that.

After becoming a member with Melaleuca, I discovered their Attain GC Control shake. It’s made specifically for those with insulin issues to help control cravings and blood sugar spikes. Perfect! After one try, honestly I wasn’t having it. It really needed to be mixed and I think I just didn’t do it enough.

I tried it in my Magic Bullet and BAMMM! – there it was. But there was still something missing. So I thought what would I usually put in a shake and then it hit me. It needed to be thicker, creamy and that would solve my dilemma. So here it is – simple, delicious and healthy.

Attain GC Control Shake mix
8 oz water
2 – 3 tablespoons of Greek Yogurt (Fage Total is by far my favorite)
Crushed or cubed ice

Mix shake as instructed in blender. Add yogurt and ice chips. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add straw and enjoy!

For more information on any of the Melaleuca products mentioned, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Keepin’ up with baby…

Since my last posts, we have welcomed our first child, Grayson. He’s just precious and really….you can quote me now…an easy baby. That being said, I will probably eat my words in a few weeks when I have to go back to work. But, that is life and I am sure it will work out just fine as long as I plan what I can. My whole experience in the two months since Grayson has joined our family has been fates cruel experiment in requiring me to let go of the control.

I’m still working on it.

But one thing I do have control over is my eating habits. I am so excited that I developed the skills before having him because it’s just a part of my life now. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on junky food that I thought was good for me (whole wheat, low fat…blah blah blah), we now spend the majority of our grocery budget on meats, veggies and yummy fats! Yep, I said it…fats. 🙂

Since today is grocery shopping day, I thought I’d share our list. My husband does the grocery shopping, because he loves it as I think it’s just another chore. Here is a sample:
Meat (2 – 3 weeks worth allowing for leftovers and/or frozen meals)
Celery (yummy with Peanut Butter)
Broccoli (baked, broiled or sauteed, always in olive oil or butter with LOTS of garlic)
Lettuce, spinach, etc….Always fresh from the farmers market
Various Squashes (did you know all the different squashes out there?!?)
Canned veggies (for those “don’t want to cook” nights)
Cauliflower (Now, I HATE the taste by itself…but as a mash with again, LOTS of garlic, milk, butter and cheese, yummy!! Cook it like you would mashed potatoes)
Milk (only Vitamin D – it has less natural sugar and I only use it for my almond flour pancakes)
Cheese (any and all…I put it on everything)
Cold Cuts (fresh from the butcher)
Heavy Whipping Cream (I’m a coffee fanatic and put this in my coffee every morning. We also make our own fresh whipped cream for various sweet treats we will bake)
GC Control Shake (Not sure what it stands for, but it’s specific to controlling insulin issues and is safe for everyone. It is FULL of protein and fiber – this counts as my mid-morning snack :))
Eggs (LOTS – in fact, we purchase 5 dozen every two weeks. And we have the healthiest cholesterol rates we have ever had.)
Granola Bars (I love Melaleucas’ because they have a great taste and are full of fiber – a must when you are replacing the bard carbs with more complex. But again, I eat these in moderation)

That’s pretty much it – plus or minus some things here and there…I feel the difference the second I think I can “reintroduce” carbs or wheat…And for us, it’s never worth it.

Life gets in the way….

As we experience in many facets of life, it tends to get in the way of things we want/need to do….specifically eating well. I tend to get really lazy on days I’ve have a hard time at work or just am plain tired. I’m lucky that most of the time my hubby will have dinner made and ready for me when I get home, but he has those days to. It’s really nice to be able to have that “go to” meal prepared and ready for easy access. So, I am a planner and without a plan on what to eat, we just plain don’t eat well. We’ve tried this on several occasions and in different ways, but the only thing that works is to make a plan. This is easy to do – only takes about 30 minutes or so, plus grocery shopping time. I encourage you to make a plan, prepare your pieces, freeze or bag them for easy access.

Ricotta Lemon Coco-cakes

8 oz. of ricotta cheese (whole milk, as the low fat has added sugar)

4 eggs, separated yolk and whites

2 tbsp of coconut flour (any nut “flour” would work, but I find coconut is the best)

Lemon rind

Dash of salt

Mix cheese, egg yolks, lemon rind and coconut flour together until smooth. Set aside. Whip egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Fold whipped egg whites into cheese mixture a half a cup at a time, until consistency is similar to thin pancakes or crepes.

Heat skillet to medium heat and cook 1/4 cup of mixer at a time. The flipping of the pancakes will be tricky for the first few tries. You may need to add a little more coconut flour to thicken it up. Serve with a little butter and the lemon is enough of the sweet needed to avoid syrup.

Wonder Food

Since hubby has been home, bless his heart, he has had a hard time changing to this lifestyle. There are so many foods that he has eaten and been taught to cook for the Navy, that now he can’t use. I can only imagine, it’s driving him crazy!

But recently, in my search for a sweet craving, we discovered different “flours” to use in our baking. So far we have made ginger snap cookies and a chocolate chip cookie to die for! These are recipes I am still perfecting, and will come soon! These “Flours” are anything but – they are ground meal of _______ (fill in with a type of nut). Almond meal/flour is by far my favorite! These have the distinct almond taste, but with the addition of a litle sweetener, eggs and vanilla, you can create some pretty amazing products! The other is flaxseed, which is a wonder grain in my opinion. One of the only grains I eat any more, it packs a TON of dietary fiber in the carbs it does have and according to the package, is a great substitute for eggs. While I love my eggs, and can’t seem to get enough of them these days, I cannot replace flaxseed for a good fried egg in the morning. But what we have discovered is the addition of eggs TO flaxseed yields an amazing product called: a flaxseed wrap. Hubby is enamored with these little things, so much so that I make a whole batch every week for him to take to work. He’s said if he had these at the beginning, it would have been an easier transition.  It satisfies the need/addiction (how ever you want to look at it ;)) of wheat, but gives you so much more than wheat will ever provide.

Find this recipes for your use and pleasure. And for those just starting out on this, I hope it makes your transition just a little easier 😉

 

Flaxseed wrap

3 tablespoons of flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
pinch of sea of celery salt
1 tablespoon of oil (it calls for coconut, but olive works just find),plus some to coat the pie pan
1 tablespoon of water
1 large egg

Mix together dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of oil. Beat egg and 1 table spoon of water in a separate bowl, then add to flaxseed mixture.

Grease a microwave safe pie pan with oil. Pour batter (about the consistency of thick pancakes) evenly over the bottom. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

To remove, life edge with spatula. If it sticks, use a pancake turner to gently loosen from the pan. Flip wrap over and top with desired ingredients.