Super Simple Raw Berry Pie (vegan, DF, GF, PF)

ImageMy friend Sandra turned me on to this recipe a couple of months ago and it has soared to the top of my “super easy-to-make, but fancy looking dessert” list. Friends who stress that they can’t make a fancy dessert, pay close attention. I swear this recipe takes less than 15 minutes, doesn’t even require baking! and everyone will rave about how delicious it is.

Super Simple Raw Berry Pie (vegan, DF, GF, PF)

Crust:

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 8-10 dates (you can also throw in some figs for added deliciousness)
  • a pinch of sea salt

Throw all ingredients into a Cuisinart or blender. Run for a few minutes until everything is pretty pulverized up. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a pie pan and press against the pan into a “crust”.

Filling:

  • 3-4 cups of fresh mixed berries (I do 1 carton of each of the following: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey or sweetener (you also use dates if you want to avoid processed sugar) – if your berries are super sweet, you may not even need sweetener.
  • Optional – fresh basil or mint (just a small handful)

Take half the berries and throw them into the blender with the mint/basil and honey. Puree for just a couple of minutes. Pour the berry mixture on top of the “crust”. Pour the whole berries on top of the pureed berries. And that’s pretty much it!

It is best to chill the “pie” until it is served. Simply pull the chilled pie out of the fridge and serve to your impressed guests. I like mine with a dollop of almond milk praline crunch ice cream.

Please note that the “pie crust” is more like a loose, delicious crumble – it will fall apart as you scoop it out of the pie dish. Another way to serve this would be to reverse the order of ingredients in your pie dish – berries on the bottom, puree and then crust on top – this will create more of a berry crumble presentation.

The best part about this recipe (other than it being ridiculously easy to make) is that it is really very healthy. It’s basically nuts and berries – so yes people, it is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy!

Ultralite – week 5: The End!

instagram me
instagram me

I made it y’all!

Five weeks on the Ultralite program and I had my final meeting earlier today. It has been anย  incredibly rewarding weight-loss program. I’ve lost weight. I’ve lost inches. I’ve learned about portion control and how to ratio my protein and carbs to maintain good energy through the day.

When I started the program, I had completed four weeks of crossfit (including eating more paleo-style). During the crossfit month, I lost 7lbs, plus a total of 7 inches from various body parts. At the end of the Ultralite month (while still doing crossfit), I lost a total of 11lbs. And in terms of inches, I lost 3.5 inches from my chest, 2.5 inches off my waist, 2 inches off my bootie and 2 inches of my thigh (yep, that’s 10 more inches off my body!). Best of all, I am below my pre-pregnancy weight; I have great energy; and I fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Yay! The only thing I’m missing is pictures. boo ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Next Steps

For the next month, I will slowly incorporate back higher carb veggies and fruits. In general, I’ll aim for a cup of veggies and about 120 grams of protein at each meal. Generally, I’ll avoid grains, dairy and legumes. I am allowed one serving a day if I want it, but my body just seems to feel so much better without the stuff. It’s nice to have tools that I can use in the future if my energy starts to flag or if my weight starts to creep up.

And now, I’m looking forward to a more varied diet and more varied workouts at the crossfit gym!

p.s. The worst part of doing the diet was not the portioning or the eating tons of green vegetables or depriving myself of sweets and starches. The worst part was the surprising lack of support at my office! My coworkers were constantly trying to get me to go get treats with them. They gave me a hard time about how strict the diet was and they kept insisting that it was just water weight and that it would all come back as soon as the diet ended. It was kind of shocking because on the one hand they would cheer me on about going on the diet, but on the other hand they would try their hardest to drag me to froyo and to get me to cheat. Luckily, I was really committed to following the diet and was prepared for the challenge. In reward, I have gotten a lot of compliments around the office on how much weight I’ve lost and how good I look. In fact one woman signed up with Dr. Tara Skye-Goldin to do the program herself!

Things I will attempt to make GF and DF…

Maybe it’s because I’m on a food restricted diet right now,ย  but I keep seeing things that I really want to try to make gluten free and dairy free once my five four weeks are up. So, I’m going to start a list. Are you drooling too??

Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart

That is a garlic/beet tart! (above)

BREAKFAST CUPCAKES (original non GF/DF recipe below)

1 20 ounce package pre-shredded hash brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into small bits (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled*
chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl. Spoon potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup until about 1/3 full. Gently press the potato mixture down in the middle and up the sides of each cup. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. If the nests have puffed up too much in the center, scoop out a little with a teaspoon. Spoon a few tablespoons of scramble eggs into each nest and top with chives.

Yep, Pigs in a Blanket…

But I’m gonna try tapioca starch (imagine a hot dog wrapped in Brazilian cheese breadย  – come on, that has real potential!). By the way, did you know that April 24 is National Pigs in a Blanket day?

I wonder what else I will come up with in the next month or so! Is it lunch time yet??

Gluten Free Dairy Free Strawberry Almond Tarts

Strawberry almond tarts

Ooh – in this one the conversion work has already been done! and she has many other delightful looking GF/DF recipes….

What would you name your diet book?

Lee’s been playing around with some diet book titles – who knows maybe we’ll get stupid rich! Let me know what you think and feel free to add your own titles!

  1. Eat your way to thin
  2. Sing your ass off
  3. The no-day diet (the name might be a bit misleading. The diet is that you can’t eat anything on days that end in day – it’s only for extreme dieters)
Already exists...boo!
Already exists…boo!

I actually think that option 1 already exists…Damn! And she’s been on Dr. Oz. We really need to come up with our own here folks!!!

Idea #2 actually probably works better as an idea for a weight-loss reality show aka Dance your ass off – the best weight-loss reality show EVER!

Hmm, so as books go, we’ve only got option 3 as a starting point….might need to keep spit balling ๐Ÿ˜‰

But if we could come up with something as awesome as this:

best weight-loss reality show ever. seriously!
best weight-loss reality show ever. seriously!

I have no doubt that we would be on Dr Oz AND getting the highest ratings on tv that season! And seriously. I really want that show back on the air. It was simply the best. And in case you missed it, here’s a great clip from the last season. And another best moment!

Week 1: on the Ultralite program

Breakfast of champions - eggs, ham and kale
Breakfast of champions – eggs, ham and kale

As noted in my last post, I’ve begun a weight loss challenge for the month of May. I’m working with a trained practitioner and focusing on a very clean, allergen free diet while experimenting with carb/protein ratios to maximize fat burning. Translation: I have to eat veggies and meat and I have to weigh everything to better understand portion sizes. Boo! It’s a lot of work, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

As noted in my last post, I’ve begun a weight loss challenge for the month of May. I’m working with a trained practitioner and focusing on a very clean, allergen free diet while experimenting with carb/protein ratios to maximize fat burning. Translation: I eat veggies and meat and I have to weigh everything to better understand portion sizes. Boo! It’s a lot of work, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be, though Lee is pretty much on his own for meals since I’m carefully counting out all my grams of food each meal.

What are my stats so far? I just met with Dr. Skye-Goldin this morning for my one week check-in. Here’s what has changed in one week:

  • neck: -0 inches lost
  • chest: -1 inch
  • arms: -0 inches lost
  • waist: -1.5 inches
  • hips: -1.5 inches
  • thigh: -1 inch
  • weight: 3 lbs lost

How’s being on a portion controlled, foods restricted diet?? Because I was already eating pretty cleanly during my crossfit paleo month, the transition has been pretty painless. I eat three meals and then drink 4 small protein/vitamin drinks throughout the day. So far my meals have consisted of various combinations of the following:

  • grilled chicken breast
  • beef
  • beef, chicken or pork burgers (lean)
  • lean ham
  • tuna fish
  • eggs
  • chard
  • spinach
  • arugula
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • sugar snap peas
  • pickles and cucumbers
  • onions and garlic

Puh-retty darn healthy if you ask me! While I do contemplate all the things I shall eat in 5 weeks when this is over, I don’t have any overwhelming cravings.Plus, I’m still doing crossfit 3-4 times a week and I have good energy.

Did I go through a cranky detox period? I did have a brief three day spiral into congested angry-at-the-world-ness (sorry Lee!) but it turned out that it wasn’t a detox period at all. It was completely tied to taking the whey protein powder instead of the non-dairy stuff. It tasted so much better but man did it make me super moody and mad at the world. As soon as I stopped taking it, everything in me evened out again. How weird?! Note to self: Your body REALLY doesn’t do well with dairy!

General note: you can eat seafood on this diet, I just hate seafood. And here are the deets on the Ultralite program for those who are interested or just plain skeptical ๐Ÿ˜›

Martha’s vineyard, I’m gonna be so ready for you in July!!

One month of Crossfit under my belt!

nav_logoSome of you may or may not know that I signed up at CrossfitSanitas for the month of April to jumpstart my somewhat plateaued baby weight-loss. I’ve officially completed a month of doing crossfit 3 times a week. and I have more energy; plus I’ve lost weight and inches! Yay!

I started with their 8 class foundations/basecamp course where we learned technique on the more commonly used crossfit moves – push ups, squats, clean and jerks, etc. And, it turns out that Crossfit really works for me. The workout is always under an hour – love the efficiency! It’s high intensity and works your whole body plus there is a real focus on mobility which is especially useful for us desk laborers.

Typically, you have a 15 minute warm-up which gets your heart rate plus warms up the various joints you will be using for the WOD (workout of the day). Next, they spend some time having us break the moves for the WOD to get technique perfect and to figure out how much weight to use. Finally, we do a high intensity workout that can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.

Day One!
Day One!

The moves are based on Olympic lifting and gymnastics. It’s a coach-led class and all the moves are scalable so you can work at your own pace and level. I suckered my dad into joining with me and he’s seen improved core strength, balance, mobility, energy and endurance from what I can tell. Here’s a sampling of some of the moves we’ve doneย  modified pull-ups, push ups, hand-stand push-ups (modified!); squats, clean and jerks, push and jerks, running, rowing, and the list goes on.

I also decided to follow a mostly paleo diet for the month of April which for me meant mostly avoiding dairy, gluten, grains and sugars. Not everyone responds well to a paleo diet, but I felt so much better on it! So, lots of eggs, meats, veggies, fruits and nuts. I did have the occasional cambric with soy milk and honey, and on one particular date night we shared a molten flourless chocolate cake with marscapone gelato – which was amazing!!

So here are my weight-loss stats at the end of month 1:

  • Neck: -0 inches
  • Chest: – 1.5 inches
  • Arm: – .5 inches
  • Waist: – 1.5 inches
  • Hips: – 1 inch
  • Thigh: -0 inches
  • Weight: – 7 lbs

My challenge for May is to continue Crossfit but to also do a fat-burning/detox/elimination diet with a local naturopath for 5 weeks! It’s very similar to paleo but I get to learn all about portion control and ratios of carbs to protein for optimal fat loss. I’m a little nervous, okay very nervous, so I hope I can get through it! Supposedly I’m not supposed to feel hungry or have a loss of energy. The challenge will be to take the time to measure and prepare foods which sound exhausting to this working, exercising mommy, but I’ll give it my best shot.

p.s. I love my crossfit gym! the coaches are so supportive and helpful. Boulderites please check it out!

Dealing with congestion when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding

nasopureHaving a bad cold when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding really sucks because you’re not really supposed to take cold medicine or decongestant. You especially shouldn’t take decongestant if you are breastfeeding because it will likely lower your supply. Well, this week I finally got nailed by one of Bailey’s take home viruses from daycare and my head is full of snot! It aches with sinus congestion and I’m still breastfeeding so what do I do?? And then I suddenly remembered my Nasopure. This thing is a miracle worker, and it’s great for everybody. My brother in law Brian uses something similar every day to combat allergies. When I was in my third trimester of pregnancy I used it almost daily because I was so congested. It made me feel so much better even if it didn’t stop my pregnancy induced snoring (likely that went away pretty much as soon as the baby came out!)

If you’ve never tried a Nasopure, NeilMed sinus rinse or a Netipot, it will look really weird and probably seem kind of gross, but, it is a non-medicated way to help relieve congestion due to allergies, colds and other sinus problems. I really think you should give it a try or at least watch a youtube video on how it works ๐Ÿ™‚ After one rinse this morning, a giant gob of mucus came out of my nose and I felt instantly better. The pressure across my face was gone and I could breathe through my nose again. You can bet I’ll be using this once or twice a day until this cold has run its course.

p.s. the last two mornings, we’ve asked Bailey to pick out his socks when we get him dressed and he responds by crawling over to his sock basket and picking out a pair.

p.p.s Lee wanted to make sure I mentioned in this post that Bailey is a genius. He’s a genius! That is all.