Food & Recipes

DietMy aunt recently posted a link on Facebook to a blog posting she had found entitled “Fibromyalgia to Pain Free!”

I’ve heard it said many times that people have found success in changing their diets, which has ultimately led to changing their lives, after suffering with debilitating Fibro & other such ailments.

Food definitely plays as a huge factor in contributing to pretty well all health problems &, if you have the self control needed to completely change your diet & make it a permanent lifestyle, then that’s great!

For me however, I’m a “Foodie”. I love food. It’s an addiction & a vice. It’s my comfort, my reward, my punishment & more all rolled in to one.

I went through major surgery (the gastric bypass) to try & change my life with food & it worked… for 3 years… then old triggers set in, & although I can still only consume small portions, I started to snack on things that aren’t healthy choices & slowly gained back a chunk of my weight.

anti-inflammatory-foodsIf I could just stop & be healthy, I would! but it’s the root of my issues (or rather feels like the glue that holds me together regardless of whether things are going good or rough in life). I don’t seem to have the mental strength to just give it all up.

I was able to quit smoking (5 years smoke free this August!) but the body NEEDS to eat to survive & I find dealing with food problems far worse than giving up smoking. I’ve sought counseling to help with this a few times since my surgery because I know that the issue goes beyond the food. It’s those issues that lead me to it & which cause me to feel powerless against being able to gain the necessary control over it so that I can continuously make the right choices regarding it so that I can gain back my health, re lose the weight & perhaps even experience life, once again, pain free.

Unfortunately, thus far it’s been without much success. In a lot of ways I suppose I’ve come to a place in my life currently where it all just seems so overwhelming & too daunting a task to take on. But, I do hold out hope that perhaps, in time, I will find the inner strength needed to do this.

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THE SHAMROCK SHAKE

Shamrock Shake

I just love the McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes that are only available in March.

Unfortunately, they are so FULL of sugar that after only a few sips of one it literally makes me sick. However, a week or two ago I stumbled upon a recipe from The World According to Eggface for making a much healthier, weight loss surgery friendly, version. So, while I was out doing some grocery shopping yesterday, I picked up the necessary ingredients & made my own slightly modified version of hers….

I’m typically not a fan of any protein drinks or powders but this turned out pure AWESOME &, if you like Shamrock Shakes but not all the sugar & calories that are in the McDonald’s version, then this, my friend, is for you!

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Ingredients You’ll Need:

* 1 Cup. Very Vanilla Silk Brand Soy Milk (definitely my favorite brand & version on the market)
* 1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Pure Protein’s Vanilla Cream Powder)
* 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Vanilla Torani or Davinci Syrup
* A few drops of Peppermint Extract
* A few drops of Green Food Coloring
* 8 Ice Cubes (if you want it to be nice & thick like the actual Shamrock Shakes are)
* Optional: A small dollop of Fat Free or Sugar Free Whipped Cream on top.

What To Do:

* Blend on high till desired consistency is reached, then pour into a tall glass & enjoy!

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Oh, FYI… Here’s the nutrition info for just the small 12oz McDonald”s version:

(click the image to enlarge for easier reading)McDonalds Shamrock Shake Nutrition Info

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LOW CAL FUDGCICLES

I stumbled across a pic of this recipe on Pinterest the other day & just knew I had to try it. Growing up, Fudgcicles were my favorite type of ice cream treat on a stick. Any time the ice cream truck rolled into our neighborhood a Fudgcicle was what I picked.

This particular recipe is a whole lot less in calories however, & even a little good for you too! They definitely have that “fudgy” goodness about them but if you can’t stand bananas then you might want to skip this. The banana in them does seem to be the most prominent of flavors but I think the blend of everything makes them just perfect.

I only have a 4 pop Popsicle mold so I halved the recipe & added a heaping tablespoon of Nutella rather than Peanut Butter. Delicious!

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
(Makes 6-8 depending on the size of your molds)

* 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
* 1/2 cup canned Coconut Milk (Pour left overs into a container & refrigerate for your next batch if you plan to make more within a few days)
* 2 small, very-ripe Bananas
* 1/16 tsp Salt
* 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
* optional: Peanut Butter or Nutella

WHAT TO DO:

* Combine all items in a blender (I used a small food processor).
* Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.

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TURKEY STUFFED PEPPERS

 

I absolutely love Pinterest. Especially for finding tasty looking pictures of recipes that I might like to try & it was there that I first stumbled across a delicious image of these Turkey Stuffed Peppers, which then led me to SkinnyTaste.com for the recipe.

Roy really enjoyed this recipe. Normally all I get out of him is “tasty” when I ask how stuff is that I’ve made for him but this particular recipe he raved about.

I made some minor modifications, mostly due to the fact that I didn’t have any tin foil or garlic powder on hand, so I’ll post the way I made it, which still turned out awesome, & you can decide for yourself which method you’d like to try.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

* 1 lb lean ground turkey meat
* 2 tbsp garlic, minced
* 1/4 onion, minced
* 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 tsp onion salt
* 1 tsp cumin powder
* Salt & pepper to taste
* 3 large red bell peppers
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1/4 cup tomato sauce
* 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
* 1 tbsp Olive oil
* 1/4 cup shredded cheese

What To Do:

* Heat oven to 400°.
* Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Place in a baking dish.
* Bake 20 minutes & while waiting do the rest….
* Heat olive oil in a medium pan.
* Add onion, garlic and cilantro to the pan. Saute about 2 minutes and add ground turkey.
* Season with salt, onion salt, pepper, and cumin.
* Brown meat for several minutes until completely cooked.
* Add tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, mix well and simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
* Combine cooked rice and meat together.
* Spoon meat mixture into each pepper half and fill it with as much as you can.
* Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
* Pour the remainder of the chicken broth on the bottom of the pan & bake for about 25 minutes.
* Enjoy!

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KID FRIENDLY SWEET & SALTY TREATS

I was first introduced to this idea by a friend of mine who blogged about it here. Her idea in doing it was an excellent way of combining yummy fun with learning for her boys. I later began finding similar images of this treat all over Pinterest so decided to collect the necessary ingredients & let the girls give it a go.

They loved it! No, we didn’t make much of a learning experience out of it, but they did learn about sharing a little bit since they each had to assemble their pieces on a separate end of the same cookie sheet. One would think this would be a simple enough concept but when it comes to our girls they find a way to bicker about the smallest of things. I’m sure it has a lot to do with them both being so close in age developmentally but sometimes it’s just mind boggling.

Anyways, after sorting out what it meant to keep their pieces on their own side & eventually meet in the middle they did wonderful. They were so excited to get to assemble everything on their own & even more excited about getting to eat their treats after. We even packaged a bunch up for them to share with their classes at school which resulted in rave reviews. So I think these have quickly become a definite favorite. It’s something the kids can do themselves that’s simple, constructive, rewarding & of course yummy!

Ingredients You’ll Need:
* Bag of square waffle style pretzels
* Bag of Hershy’s Kisses & or Hugs
* Bag of M&M’s (we used the mini ones this time around but I think from now on we’ll stick to the regular sized ones since the mini ones were a bit of a pain to stick on top without getting melted chocolate all over little fingers at the same time)

What To Do:
* Pre heat oven to 275
* Show your kiddo what to do (On a cookie sheet place Pretzel on the bottom, Kiss/Hug on top, repeat) & let them have at it
* Pop sheet in the oven for 2-3 minutes
* Depending on the age of your child & their understanding of NOT touching hot things have either them or yourself lightly push an M&M onto the center of each treat
* Refrigerate sheet for about 15 minutes so chocolate can re harden. Personally I then package them all into a container & leave it in the fridge so the chocolate doesn’t get soft but this is entirely up to you.

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