This weather is THE BEST. I love it. Love it loveit. Eli and I have been on at least three walks a day.
The best thing about the Fall though, of course, are lattes flavored according to the season. And perhaps with chocolate too. I definitely used to be a Starbucks girl when it comes to Lattes, and I actually blame them for craving Pumpkin Spice lattes once the little nip gets into the air. That’s some excellent marketing.
However, even if I were not doing with dairy or sugar currently, I would not be indulging in a Starbucks latte for two reasons:
- $$$$ ?!
- It’s so easy to make at home and so much better for you.
So, I’m posting this recipe as I made it this morning, which is completely Whole30 compliant. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, I’ve put notes in there for ya.
Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte
Note: You can make this with regular coffee too. No problem. Brew it strong!
- 1 serving espresso
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (you can use any milk you like, but the creamier the better!)
- 1 heaping TSP canned pumpkin
- Dash of Pumpkin Spice (if you don’t have it, mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together in a little bowl, then add a dash of THAT)
- 1 TSP coco powder, unsweetened (optional, if you don’t want a chocolate pumpkin spice latte, just omit)
- Sweetener of choice (or no sweetener at all)
Start with your espresso, or coffee. Put it in a blender. ANY blender. I’m serious.
Coconut milk (or whatever milk)
Sweetener if you’re using it
Take a little sip. Is it perfection? If not, add more something, like milk or sweetener or pumpkin or spice. Whir whir again.
In all likelihood, your latte is now cold. You can nuke it or warm it up on the stove top. You can just guess which one I did.
You probably guessed right.
And voila! Delish!
Now, you probably noticed that I threw all the ingredients into the Magic Bullet and called it a latte. If that offends you, I totally understand. 10.5 months ago it would have offended me as well. But I’ve seen some things, man.
I use my Magic Bullet pretty much only for coffee these days. That’s really all it’s good for. If you’re interested in making a more traditional latte, here’s the method I use when I have more than 3 minutes to spare.
Heat up your milk of choice, VERY hot.
Make your espresso or coffee.
Put your milk and seasonings in your blender. If you’re making the above latte, that would be your pumpkin, spice, chocolate, and sweetener. Blend it up A LOT. It’ll get foamy.
Gently pour the mixture into your espresso or coffee. This will be perfect, trust me.
I hope you enjoy!
So, today is Monday and the last day of week 2 of our Whole30 Challenge.
It’s honestly become less and less of a deal. Prepping is definitely a huge help. If you’re currently doing the challenge, here’s what I prep Sunday night to help a bit with meals:
- Steam 2-3 sweet potatoes
- Par-cook purple cabbage
- Chop lettuce for salad
- Chop peppers (for use in salad or veggie stirfries)
- Dice an onion
I’m not a huge fan of cooking any type of protein before hand, unless it’s chili. But with the above prepped, I can easily add veggies to anything or make a quick salad.
Sunday was kind of a lazy hang around sort of day, save for my 2 hour trip to the Farmer’s market + Whole Foods. I found myself snacking on sweet potato chips a lot, which I don’t tend to do during the week. Considering what I usually do on a Sunday, I’ll call that a win.
I have a hunch that if I were sleeping well at night, I’d be waking up feeling pretty darn good these days. Eli has decided to kind of be crazy with his sleeping the last few nights, so I wake up feeling kind of left of center, but it fades after I have my green juice and is distant history after my morning coffee!
I’d love to tell you that weight has magically melted away, but that isn’t the case. I do feel that I’ve lost weight, but nothing drastic. I’m still in my same size pants and stuff, but I can tell my belly is flatter and less bloated, which is always nice.
Some exciting developments:
Babycakes loves going up stairs. As you can imagine, going down stairs is not working out, since he employs the same “going up” technique for going down. Basically, if he’s suddenly quiet, I need to RUN and find him, not walk. It’s been a blast. Especially when he learned how to pull down the gate and use it as a ramp. You can’t buy that kind of fun, people. Especially when you’re trying to watch Prison Break.
We went to the playground and it was the first time he actually played instead of just swinging in the baby swing. VERY fun! My little booger is getting so big. It’s freaking me out that he’ll be 11 months old soon…
I miss these days when he always passed out after his milk. Sigh. People said that they would grow super fast. But I didn’t realize how very fast it would be! Blink and your little creature is suddenly a little person trying to communicate with you.
Or giving you looks.
Speaking of, he also had his first green smoothie. We drank it through a straw, and clearly my man doesn’t yet get the concept yet. He did enjoy himself though. In this picture he’s giving the fist pump to show he’s finished. 🙂
I hope you all had a great weekend!
Today is day 10 of the Whole30 Challenge, and I can’t even believe 10 days have gone by! We’re still going strong, drinking our green juice, and going to bed early. 🙂
I’m starting to feel great though. There’s a lightness in my body and mind that is very peaceful and nice. I can’t tell you when I last had a full blown craving (OK, just kidding, it was like, 6 days ago. HA). But the point is, I can feel the difference and it’s nice.
However, this leads me to think about one of the hot topics in weight-loss today, which is the all mighty calorie.
Have you ever done something like this?
I have. Many times over.
Is it fun? NO.
Does it work? To a certain extent, yes.
Think about it. If you go from eating a high calorie diet that consists of tons of processed food and sugar, and then suddenly cut your calories down by nearly half, logic tells you that your body is going to release some weight.
But take a look at the food listed on the spreadsheet. Cookies. Fat free, sugar free yogurt. Skim milk. Fruit. That’s ALL sugar. At some point, eating like that is going to catch up with you, and it’s not going to be a joyful reunion. Not only that, but eating a diet that is so severely restricted in fat is incredibly bad for your metabolism and your essential bodily functions. It turns out we NEED fat in order to run our bodies correctly. A layer of fat around our cells is what keeps them healthy and alive!
So what’s this whole thing about a calorie is a calorie? Have you heard this? I have heard it a lot. Basically, a calorie from an apple is the same as a calorie from a Snickers bar. Honestly, this logic is coming from the same people who put up the commercial telling you that your body can’t tell the difference between High Fructose Corn Syrup and other types of sugars – you know, the one where they are all eating in a corn field? It defies all logic and reasoning to say that your body isn’t sophisticated enough to realize that an apple is not the same as a Snickers bar.
But they say it, don’t they? And plenty of people eat a snack-sized Snickers bar instead of an apple. I know this, I used to be one of them!
Let’s go back to the whole calorie counting thing though. Is there a more miserable way to live your life? Is there a more surefire way to turn a teenage girl into an anorexic or bulimic with horrible self image?
Here’s my message to you: A calorie is NOT a calorie.
I know this for a fact. I’m currently stuffing so much delicious fat into my face these days, that my Weight Watchers points tracker would probably malfunction. Even on this Whole30 plan, which is seen by everyone I know as severely restrictive, doesn’t leave me feeling hungry or dissatisfied ever. I am NEVER hungry. Why? Because when I am hungry, I eat.
The burn of a rumbling, empty tummy is no longer a “sign that the fat is leaving the body.”
It just means I’m flippin’ hungry.
And this is why I’m a Health Coach. I discovered this amazing reality for myself, and I want to share it with EVERYONE. ANYONE. Anyone who has tracked every morsel that went into their mouth. Went through dress rehearsals in their heads about dinners out with their loved ones (Ok, I can have ONE bread stick or a glass of wine, NOT both!), binged on vacation because they couldn’t take it anymore and then came home and HATED their lack of willpower and self-confidence.
It’s all OK. Deep breaths.
Here’s my two cents for you.
Cent 1: If you can’t figure out how it was made, don’t put it in your mouth.
Cent 2: Eat your fat. Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee, nuts, seeds.
That’s my rant for today. 🙂
First, I’d like to take a moment to swoon over this:
I was holding my breath a lot during the first quarter, but BOY am I glad Peyton is back. Now I can enjoy football again!
In other news, this is now day 7, the end of week 1 of Whole30. I’ve been cooking a lot. More than usual, I suppose, because eating out has the likelihood of being a total fiasco – plus, if I can’t have a glass or two of wine, what’s the point of going out?!
Football Sunday without beer or some interesting cocktail seemed a bit sacrilegious around here, but thankfully, we had extreme chili success. We ate ours with sweet potato chips. It was divine. Go ahead, try it! I’m definitely going to be buying her book, Well Fed. Between the Sunshine Sauce and the Chili, I’m sold!
I also stumbled upon my new favorite way to eat sweet potato, and they are delicious with eggs as they are with a salad.
Sweet & Salty Potato Hash
- 1 Japanese Sweet Potato (you can use any, but I definitely prefer the JSP in this dish, the texture is perfect)
- 2 strips bacon
- 1 tbsp thai basil or basil (dried)
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste
First, peel your potato.
This is what a Japanese Sweet Potato looks like, from the outside.
Carefully cut into slices of uniform thickness, then make piles as so
Then, carefully slice across horizontally, then vertically, so you have little cubes. This is just how I do it, and I feel it minimizes finger loss for me. Sweet potatoes are difficult to cut when they are raw, so please be careful and watch those piggies.
You’ll have a pile of cubes when you’re done.
Cut your bacon. Cutting bacon is possibly the most annoying thing ever, but remember, the small the pieces, the more evenly distributed throughout your potato hash.
Add your bacon to a skillet on medium heat.
As it begins to cook up, add your basil and stir it around a bit.
Add your potatoes and stir it up so the basil + bacon love gets equal attention from all potatoes.
Add your coconut milk
It should get all bubbly, if not, raise the heat a bit.
The coconut milk will absorb into your potatoes, and will create a shiny glaze on them as they cook. No need to constantly stir. What I like to do is let the potatoes stay on one side for a few minutes, then attempt to flip them to the other side. This way they get nice and browned.
That’s what they look like when they are glazy. Trust me, this coconut milk thing is magic.
Cook until your potatoes are nice and browned and crispy on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside. Add some salt if you like.
Can you even ?
It’s definitely yummy like this.
Or any way, really.
I hope you enjoy!
Have a great Monday guys!
I survived and so did everyone around me.
But I’ll tell you, it’s been gross around here. I pretty much could not be bothered to wash my hair, put on makeup, or wear real clothes. I did shower, since I am not completely gross, but I didn’t really want to. It’s amazing to me how something as simple as sugar can mess your body up. I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling on this cleanse if I was previously eating a Standard American Diet, with lots of processed food and white refined carbs. I’d would probably have actually killed someone. Or myself. HA!
This morning I woke up and realized that my lady-friend is now in town (subtle, right) and that I probably couldn’t have chosen a worse time to ditch the sugar and grains. That explains the drama, to a certain extent. So, quick shout out to Hubs for cleaning bottles, cleaning the kitchen, and not begging me to wash my hair or put on real clothes. That was a big help. Oh, and BTW… why aren’t you experiencing any awful detox symptoms? Are you at work eating pizza and drinking beer? ARE YOU?
Anyhow, today is Friday and we’ve got some yummy recipes to try this weekend in addition to SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL returning. Definitely making chili for that.
I’ll be back later with a recipe, because I’ve got some ideas about acorn squash and thai spices. It’s already baked up and waiting for me to dig in.
Have a great one!
So, it’s Day 2 of the Whole30 Challenge over here. A few things come to mind.
- Hubs and I really enjoy our evening glass (…or two…) of wine. It’s kind of our routine. He’ll come home, take Eli upstairs while he gets comfy, I’ll pour us a couple glasses, and we’ll go for a walk around the pond with kiddo and Sammy. We’ll sip our vino, talk about our days, unwind. Clearly,all of this can still be done sans wine. It’s just interesting to me how a beverage triggers such a pleasant “relax” response.
- The sugar thing is more serious than I realized. I knew that the whole sweetened condensed milk in the coffee thing was just a disaster waiting to happen. I clearly remember telling myself: once this can is done, IT IS DONE. And lo and behold, find myself two days later putting three cans of it in the cart. Now I crave that intensely sweet and creamy coffee taste. Around this time of the morning. I’m experimenting with different teas, because I don’t truly care for the intense flavor of coffee sans sweetener and I’m not sure that I need to condition myself to like it either. Better to get into tea, right? I was fighting the whole no Stevia thing, because if I could have my Stevia, none of this would matter. But I understand the logic behind it, no matter how many times I ask WHY. I need to save myself from the sweet monster!
Otherwise, it’s all fine. Yes, I miss my butter. But that’s not a big deal. I had a delicious breakfast:
Steamed japanese sweet potato topped with a fried egg, sweet peppers, and a little Sunshine Sauce. So good!
I spent much of yesterday prepping food, which means that I spend less time throwing meals together.
Since I’m also sending Hubs to work with lunch, it’s essential to have things I can easily throw into a lunchbox for him. It also makes it more likely that I’ll add veggies to eggs in the morning and have more than one veggie in a salad.
I’m not feeling very “into” the animal protein right now, besides the occasional Chorizo and eggs, so I’ve been upping fullness factor in my meals by adding the sweet potatoes and the delicious Sunshine Sauce, which has both coconut milk and sunflower seed butter. I definitely feel satiated food-wise, so that’s a good thing.
In other news…
Eli celebrated his 10th month (Monday) with two busted lips. It was our first experience with some serious blood and pain, and let me tell you, I’m NOT a fan. Luckily, Apples and Bananas also works for busted lips, and I was able to help his swelling by giving him a bottle with a little icewater that he would suck on for a few minutes.
But yesterday he busted his lip AGAIN! He’s got me so on edge. He’s basically sitting, normally, and then will get excited and start to crawl wherever, but too fast, and just face plant. Hard. It’s difficult to stay on top of that, since you’d imagine sitting would be a somewhat safe activity.
We did get some cuddle time though.
My baby boy has not napped on me or fallen asleep on me for so many months now, I can’t even remember. He was an infant the last time he did it. Yesterday, he listened to some Baby Beluga on my lap, then turned to me for an actual snuggle. I just about died. Despite the fact that I use both of his nap times to get ANYTHING done in this place, I let the kitchen, school, dinner, hang tight, because there is just nothing as heart-melting as cuddling with my boo. I wish he would do more often. He napped on me for an hour. Totally worth the crick in my neck 🙂
Anyway, I’m off to do my thing. I hope you all have a great hump day!
So, back in the day when Hubs and I were habitual dieters (aka Start one for New Years and one when the weather started to warm) we were a lot like boxers. You know how they severely dehydrate themselves prior to “Weigh In” day, so that they are as small as possible and can fit in to their weight class? Then, on fighting day, are suddenly 10-15 lbs heavier. We did the SAME thing, except in reverse. We would eat as much crapola as possible, like, go on an all-out junk food binge, prior to our weigh in. You’d think they told us that junk food was going out of business, and booze too! Come weigh in day, we’d be so bloated and gross that we were excited to “behave”! And of course, that first week weight loss was inspirational, as it was all bloat and poor digestion.
Fun times. My metabolism surely thanks me for the Yo-yo dieting. Surely.
Well, today is the first day of our Whole30 Challenge, and somehow, I let myself fall into that old pattern. I feel so gross.
I ate fried food. Fruit tarts. Burgers with white flour buns. A flippin’ chocolate croissant for breakfast!
Wow. So you now know that even Little Miss Healthy Pants can be a total ass.
There are a few reasons why I am doing the Whole30 Challenge, apart from supporting Hubs.
- Unhealthy habits snuck into my routine – Yes, sweetened condensed milk, I’m looking at you. The daily sugar made me crave more sugar. Plain and simple.
- My belly has been feeling bloated. Digestion has definitely slowed.
- I still have 8 lbs I’d like to lose, and feel that a cleanse will help me get through my current plateau.
- Curiosity over whether or not wheat is a food that negatively affects me.
So far, we’re barely halfway into Day 1. It’s not a huge deal, nor is it much different from how I have been eating. The key differences are in cooking processes – no butter. Which is sad for me. Along with the loss of cream. My french scrambled eggs were not the same – but still fine, with olive oil instead.
You’ll also be glad to know that I found a way to deal with the coffee.
It’s just coconut milk processed with a few medjool dates. It’s not super sweet, but the creaminess and slight sweetness gives me what I’m craving in my morning Cuppa – so no one had to die this morning.
All in all, I’m feeling good and excited. It’s been a while since I embarked on something like this, so I’m curious to see if I really react to it as a “challenge” as opposed to just something different.