Bread Starter: Day One

SO we decided to give up our freezer bread of 15 ingredients (all healthy but it’s not within our “rules”) and exchanged it for 5 ingredient home made bread.  We found this starter:  This is 2 TBS of whole spelt flour and 2 TBS of fresh squeezed OJ.  That’s it!  This is DAY ONE:

bread starter

It will take us 14 days of “feeding” this starter before we can use it to make bread.  Throughout the 14 days I will add directions daily as we go along with pictures.  So after mixing this VERY well we now leave it sit all night on the counter and wait.  Tomorrow evening we will feed it again. 

Dinner Time

If you are like me (or like I was before we started this) you have probably considered eating better, but couldn’t get excited about thoughts of meals consisting of tiny plates of salads, tofu burgers, cardboard-like breads, and stewed spinach… followed by being hungry starting 15 minutes after every meal and dreaming of food until your next one.

Those healthy eating stereotypes just aren’t the reality of whole foods eating.  If the foods weren’t good I couldn’t (wouldn’t) eat this way.  I never cared for wheat bread, but the stuff I was eating was a poor example of what whole wheat bread can taste like. (About 25 more ingredients were on the label than you even need to make good bread at home.) 

My dinners over the past week have included various stir-fries, BBQ baby-back ribs with fried potatoes (with garlic and onions), and chicken fried with olive oil and garlic just to name a few.  Tonight my dinner was one a half 1/4-pounder cheeseburgers on whole-wheat bun with mayo, tomato, onions, ketchup, and mustard and a side of roasted Brussels-sprouts with garlic, salt and pepper.  (I’ve always liked Brussels sprouts even though they never tasted this good.)

The BBQ ribs were an Anton Brown recipe which we adapted a bit.  The main difference is that we replaced the sugar in the rub by drizzling some honey over them instead. (DELICIOUS!  We need to tweak a little bit more yet but once we’ve perfected it, we’ll post the recipe.)

While our serving sizes have indeed gone down (one and a half burgers for me instead of two in tonight’s case) they aren’t spartan.   The lack of white sugar, increase in fiber and increase in fat help fill you up faster and help you stay full.  

Yes I said increase in fat. We are eating more fat, not less in our meals… they are just healthier fats in general.  That means butter, oil when cooking, heavy cream (in moderation), whole milk and regular (not non-fat) cheeses.  The oil is mostly olive oil.  The other items generally are from grass-fed cows when we can find that option.

Throughout the day, I’m rarely ever hungry and I’m certainly not “starving” by meal time.  Today started with an egg sandwich, (two fried eggs on wheat toast with butter and shredded cheese.)  I was barely even hungry by lunch time.

I have to say I really don’t think I have ever eaten such delicious and satisfying food as consistently as we have over the past few months.  It took a little time to get the hang of whole foods eating/cooking.  In fact we’re still learning.  But it sure doesn’t feel like we are “dieting.”  

Take a chance with whole foods.  You might be surprised.

Tangy fluffy white mayo

Oh wow, this is WONDERFUL stuff!  It is SO much better then the mayo/miracle whip you get in the jars.  See the notes also for how to use  just a few tips to get perfect mayo!

Tangy Fluffy White Mayo
Yields 1
Delicious white fluffy Mayo just like you buy at the store with just a hint of tang to it. This makes me feel joyful all over! It's that good! SEE NOTES AT BOTTOM
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 farm fresh egg
  2. 4 tsp fresh lime juice (make sure to put in a full 4 tsp)
  3. 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  4. 1-1/4 cup LIGHT olive oil (Do NOT use extra virgin...best to use the light)
  5. 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Instructions
  1. Throw all into your stick blender cup
  2. Stick blend for 30 seconds and DONE! It's that easy!
OK so we had TWO batches not work for us and the reasons were these
  1. 1: We used too much lime juice...stick with what the recipe states!
  2. 2: We were not thinking and used a COLD egg from the fridge and didn't let it warm to room temp...this is VERY important and your mayo will stay thin if you use a cold egg. We use the ones directly from the hen house before they ever make it to the fridge :D
  3. Also, you want to keep the stick blender at the bottom for a few seconds before bringing it up to the top to mix everything together. Let it have time to emulsify at the bottom first...a few seconds will work fine!
If your using a regular blender or food processor
  1. Place egg, lime juice, egg, salt, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil into your bowl or blender
  2. NOW listen up! Add the remaining oil VERY VERY VERY slowly (as thin of stream as you can get that allows a steady stream). This should take you about 3 full minutes to add the full cup.
  3. Whatever you do, don't think it's ok to cheat and pour more quickly...it will screw up your mayo!
  4. If you using a blender, you will hear the pitch change as the liquid starts to form an emulsion. Eventually the substance will start to look like white fluffy mayo, only more beautiful! :D when you start to see this, DON'T think it's ok to just dump the rest of the oil...it's not! Continue to add, slowly, until all is gone. You won't be sorry you did this!
  5. Once this is all incorporated your done! Should be nice and white and fluffy. Move it to a 2 cup glass container with a seal and it keeps in the fridge for a week.
Notes
  1. One VERY important thing: Make SURE to have all your ingredients at room temp! This is very important to do.
  2. Also, we have only used our stick blender, so I can't tell you how well the others work for sure. If YOU try it, please leave a comment and let me know!
Our Journey Into Whole Foods* http://www.wholefoodsjourney.com/

Pumpkin Spelt Muffins

Changed this recipe up a bit from the original but we really love the changes! 

Pumpkin Spelt Muffins
Serves 28
These are very kid friendly 100% REAL pumpkin muffins.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups whole spelt flour (we used the King Arthur brand)
  2. 2 Tb pumpkin pie spice blend (we use our own pre-made blend)
  3. 2 tsp baking soda (we used Frontier brand)
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder (we used Frontier brand)
  5. 1 tsp salt (we use Himalayan pink)
  6. 4 farm fresh eggs
  7. 3/4 to 1 cup Raw honey (you can use more if you like sweeter)
  8. 1 stick plus 2 TBS melted butter (we use butter from grass fed cows)
  9. 2 cups Pumpkin Puree (we used Pacific brand)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line your muffin trays
  3. Using a whisk or fork mix together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture and drop in the eggs, honey, and melted butter. Mix together until well combined. Fold in the pumpkin puree. Try not to over mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin pan so it’s evenly distributed. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes clean, about 15-18 minutes. Store at room temperature or freeze.
Notes
  1. I noted what "we" use, being on a whole foods diet, but you can use any brand you like and it should turn out just great! We have never tried using any other ingredients so I can't say for sure if there would be much of a difference.
  2. Also: The pacific brand of pumpkin puree comes in a 2 cup boxed container so that works out great! Otherwise you have watch container size and may have some left over.
  3. If you cut this recipe in 1/2 it makes about 14 muffins.
Adapted from 100 Days of real food Pumpkin Muffins
Our Journey Into Whole Foods* http://www.wholefoodsjourney.com/

Evaporated Cane Juice

It’s Everywhere 

Pacific Beef Broth Organic

Pacific Beef Broth [organic]

Spend much time looking at ingredient lists on organic, natural or health foods and you’re sure to see either Evaporated Cane Juice or Evaporated Cane Sugar… and see it fairly often at that.  Better than seeing sugar as an ingredient, right?  Don’t be so sure.

Even if you realize it is a product made from sugarcane (same source as most white sugar) it seems like it should be better for you than the white stuff.  If you are on a whole foods diet it sounds promising.  It sounds like the only way to get a less processed product would be to eat a chunk of sugarcane.  Right?

The Truth

Unfortunately, no.  Nearly all of the evaporated cane sugar out there is virtually identical to white sugar. (Remember that “Nearly”… we’ll get back to that later on.)  It is processed the same way short of one step.  In fact, it would be nearly white if some molasses wasn’t added back to it at the end. 

What do you get if you squeeze the juice from sugarcane, process it with high heat to form crystals, spin it in a centrifuge or high-pressure filter to separate the crystals, and split off everything but sucrose. You end up with a product that is virtually identical to the good ol’ white sugar we’re trying to avoid.  Sadly, the safe sounding “natural organic evaporated cane juice” on the label is almost guaranteed to be this version of processed sugarcane. 

The Good News

Take a piece of sugar cane and chew on it and you’ll get a ton of nutrients and anti-oxidants.  (I actually did that many years ago during a trip to FL… not exactly useful in a cup of coffee though.)  Squeeze out the juice and you get pretty much all of the those nutrients (minus a LOT of fiber.)  You even have something that doesn’t spike your blood sugar the same way regular sugar does!

Rapadura Rapunzel sugar photoHeat it with a low heat, stir with paddle, dehydrate down and form a brick, and you have something called rapadura which still has pretty much the same nutritional qualities as the original juice.  These days, the rapadura is ground into course granules and available online as rapadura and under the brand name Rapunzel. 

 

The Take-Away

When  you see dehydrated cane juice/sugar in the ingredients list or in products like Sugar in the Raw, think twice before assuming they are “good” alternatives to white sugar.  They may be better, but only slightly… very slightly.  

If you want a “natural” sweetener other than maple syrup or honey, rapadura may be an option (decide for yourself.) But don’t assume that any mass-produced product has anything other than the highly processed version. 

 

For a more detailed look at evaporated cane juice/sugar, check out this great article on the subject.

Our Government to the Rescue

Apparently the FDA doesn’t like companies calling this stuff “Evaporated Cane Juice”.  In a 2009 Draft, they propose calling for discontinuing use of the term on labeling.  

They’re worried the public might be misled that it is healthier than sugar, right? Nope.  They don’t like it because it “falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice.”  

Yep.  We might think the stuff is juice. Sheesh.

Third Weigh in!

I have to say, I AM surprised that I made it to weigh in number three, let alone LOST for the third month in a row :D  I’m feeling pretty good and it’s getting easier every week that goes by.  Yes, I still crave certain foods…like Pizza and Pepsi (those are the worst) but I want this WAY more then I want those. 

My results at the doctors office were not huge but they still made my proud.  Minus 6 more lbs!  So far that makes it 37 lbs in total lost :D 

My goal next month is 7 lbs.  That’s just under 2 lbs a week.  Now that I have added exercise that should be doable.  I’m not going to be eating MUCH less then I have been though.  I want to keep it high as I can and still get this sort of weight loss…that way I have something to work with as I hit plateaus.  I have been keeping at right around 2000 calories a day yet.  Hope everyone else is having a great week as well!! 

More questions answered

I’ve gotten a few more questions that I wanted to answer real quick, then it’s off to bed for me since weigh in is TOMORROW~  I’m rooting for at least 5 lbs lost.  Of course I would love to see more but hey, I’m taking this time around VERY slow because I always end up gaining it all back when I lose fast. 

So the questions are:

  • What can I use in place of cornstarch?  I use Arrowroot and it works much like corn starch! 
  • Why do you use only organic?  Well, to answer that one, I would say the main reason is because we want to stay as far away from pesticides as we can.  And another reason is that we just feel better all around.  We did it very slowly over the last year. 
  • If you have no other option, and have to eat out (when on the go) where would you eat?   That is hard one to answer…for one, no matter where we go we always pack our food and take it with us.  We have not run into an incident that we had to eat out yet but IF for some reason we did have to, I think I would google to see if there are any health food stores in the area, and go to one of the deli’s they have available.  Most times they do have whole food prepared for you there.  If you have a whole food market near by they have an awesome selection of foods that are healthy for you.

So far that’s all the ones I had, so I figured i would answer them right away for you and keep ahead on it :D  Hope this helps!  Will answer more as they come in.  Night everyone

Cauliflower (Clean Eating) Chicken Alfredo

So I got this recipe from a friend but changed it up a bit to our liking and it was awesome!  My 9 yr old son’s first word (if it is a word) was MMMM  then he said “This is good”.  SO with that, It was added to my recipes and will be made again.

Cauliflower (Clean Eating) Chicken Alfredo
Serves 6
This is a whole food/clean eating meal and it even goes over well with the kiddos! Very creamy and lite!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 heaping cups fresh cauliflower florets
  2. 3 cups of low sodium chicken or veggie broth (preferably organic or homemade)
  3. 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  4. 12 oz whole wheat fettuccine pasta
  5. 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (preferably grate your own)
  6. 9 oz of chicken breast, cubed
  7. 1/2 cup chopped fresh onion
  8. 1 TBS olive oil
  9. Salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by adding 3 cups of broth to a skillet or pot
  2. Add your cauliflower florets to that and let it soak. Turn to med high to get a nice slow boil and let this boil until soft...about 15 min.
  3. Get a pot ready for boiling your noodles. We took 4 oz out of the 1 lb package and saved it for future use because it would have been too much for the sauce used. Boil pasta per package instructions.
  4. While pasta boils, add olive oil to fry pan and add your onion and garlic. Let this sweat for a few minutes on med heat.
  5. Move the onion and garlic to the side of the pan, turn heat up to med high and Add the cut up chicken and fry until browned.
  6. Mix onions, garlic and chicken together once the chicken is lightly browned and let it fry for about another 2 minutes then set aside in a bowl.
  7. Your cauliflower should be done at this time so take your cauliflower and broth and dump it into a blender and blend until smooth (we used a Vitamix but a regular blender should work fine).
  8. Add the cheese and blend again until no lumps appear. Your mixture will be runny and this is OK. It thickens as it sits.
  9. Once your noodles are done add the sauce and chicken mix to the noodles and stir. Its best to let it sit for about 15 min to thicken up.
Notes
  1. NOTE: You WILL have left overs if you only have a family of three or four. The leftovers taste even better in our opinion. To warm it up, we add just a little mild organic cheddar cheese on top and a little salt and pepper. Warm on 70% power for a min or two, stir and warm for one more min. This makes GREAT left overs!
  2. You may also want to try tuna in this dish if you don't like chicken. The left overs tasted a lot like the cheesy tuna boxed meal (but better).
Our Journey Into Whole Foods* http://www.wholefoodsjourney.com/

Let food be thy medicine!

Letfoodbethymedicine

I was just on facebook and seen so many who are sick or have been sick many times over and I just realized….we have NOT been sick at ALL.  Not a cold, not a stomach flu, not anything that has had us down in the dumps for days on end.   This has been since we started our whole food journey.  Cory had some flare ups with allergies right after he got back from camping with friends (he also didn’t eat the best over there) and I don’t remember him sneezing much since a few days after he started eating right again.  I have to ask him about that, but were curious if this way of eating also helps with allergies?  I will update on that later again.  He is usually SO bad he can’t stop sneezing.  

The only time we did feel YUK is when we ate out on our free meal once every other week.  I skipped this last free eating meal.  It just amazes me every single day, and I think our bodies really like our new found foods we are feeding it now. 

Nic used to get migraines at least three times a week…now,  I think he has gotten one since we started and again it was a bad weekend food wise for him right before that.  When they say “let food be thy medicine”  I believe it fully now! 

Update from Cory:  For the last 10 years, around this time, allergies have hit me pretty badly.  When the allergy forecast gets into the levels it is today, I would go through a box of tissues in a day, two days max… or I would have to take some kind of anti-allergy meds.  

This year, no meds needed yet, and only mild allergy symptoms.  I still have a little ichyness in my eyes from time to time or need to blow my nose a few times during the day, but nothing like prior years.  I have only felt the need to take allergy meds once.  That was after going two days completely off our whole-foods diet.  

If I only have to put up with a couple sniffles a few times a day I will be skipping the meds and their side-affects.  I imagine that the scientifically verified anti-inflammatory properties of some of the foods we are eating are to thank.  I will give credit to whole-foods if I make it until the first frost without any more allergy medicine!

Fitbit, plans, and water

Not sure if I mentioned that I got a fitbit about a week and 1/2 ago.  I can’t tell you how it has made me MOVE more!  I fight every day to reach that 10,000 step mark and honestly have only made it ONCE…which was yesterday.  In my defense I don’t think it’s reading ALL of my elliptical steps all the time.  But it does read some of them.  At times, I move my hands down so they don’t move as much so I don’t think it reads it during that time.   Anyway, I love it and I have been wearing it 24/7 and tracking my sleep as well.  Which has not been very good it turns out.  Hopefully that will improve over time as I get healthy. 

Some plans I have made are to try to get 5 days of the elliptical in every week and add weights.  I did do a strength training workout last night! 

Water!  I cannot stress how important water has been for me in this journey.  There were a few times when I was under my 6 (16.9 oz) bottles I usually get in every single day and I REALLY noticed a difference!  I was hungry all the time, and I just felt different.  Now I make water a priority!  It is the ONLY thing I drink during the day now.  On a rare occasion I will have a small glass of skim milk or on an even rarer occasion I will have a glass of pepsi (never more then twice a month and sometimes not even that). 

Just wanted to share those few things with you all.  Hope your day was a fantastic one and be sure to limit that sugar!