Monthly Archives: December 2011

Pancakes that like me.

A long time ago, I realised that a Sunday morning pancake breakfast did something bad to my blood sugar. Pancakes with maple syrup and a big glass of orange juice would lead to a terrible meltdown later in the day. As a result, I rarely eat pancakes even though they’re a popular weekend treat in my household.

Last week, getting ready for a Clean & Green January, I bought some coconut flour (and assorted other new foods). I tried this recipe the last two mornings. Afterwards, both today and yesterday, I have felt really satisfied and distinctly not hungry. That is a nice feeling, considering hypoglycemic episodes are really awful and have plagued me for as long as I can remember. And when I eat a high-carb meal (or snack), I’ve noticed that my body does not send my brain the “off” signal. Instead, foods like pizza or cookies say “More, please” or “More, NOW!” So when I eat a meal that leaves me feeling satisfied for the rest of the day, I pay attention.

Now, about coconut flour. I’m not in love with it yet. But it has potential.

I used this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple, which offers a pretty good description of coconut flour. Makes two servings. Mark describes it as “incredibly easy.” Fair enough.

4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat)

Mix these ingredients and let them sit for five minutes. Oil or grease up your pan and heat over medium heat. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe, allowing each side to brown before flipping it.

Without accounting for toppings or cooking fat, FitDay says the whole batch amounts to:

37.2 g fat (20.9 g saturated)
42.2 g carbs (19.4 g fiber)
30.6 g protein

I found the cakes a little dry and remembered too late not to be phobic about fat. I could have spread some grass-fed butter on them to improve the taste a little. I used more than a pinch of cinnamon – more like a teaspoon.

I also experimented on fed some to my 12 yo son and his (vegetarian) friend. The son said, nah. The friend said, yah! (I note the V status of the friend so you can judge his palette.) The real test will be whether my coconut-despising husband will try a bite. I like coconut, and to me, these did not taste like coconut.

The fry pan matters. Yesterday I used the cast iron fry pan and they looked like wheat pancakes. Today I tried the crepe pan with the same recipe. They burned before the top cooked. I even put a lid over the pancake to try to bake the top a little, but that prevented me from seeing what was happening in the pan. Or maybe it was checking Facebook that prevented me from seeing what was happening.

After the big glob technique did not spread in the pan like wheat pancake batter, I tried pouring a thin layer instead of a big glob. Feh. The cake still resisted cooking evenly. Not the look I was going for.

Make it better: Yesterday, I sauteed a diced apple with bacon to go with the pancakes. Yum. Today, I microwaved some fresh blueberries with a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Yum.

Even though these weren’t the most delicious breakfast eats, I was very happy to feel full and satisfied for about six hours afterwards.


Confetti eggs

Getting ready for New Years. Last week I bought a box of 90 eggs. We have half a dozen remaining. I boiled a dozen for easy snacks. And whipped up this party on a plate. Peel the eggs, slice in half with a wet knife. Tip the yolks into a bowl. Add a heaping T of nice prepared mustard and mayo, each. Mash with a fork or a pastry blender. I fried a couple slices of bacon while peeling the eggs and crumbled the bacon after cooling it. I added a little cayenne pepper and some salt to the yolk mix. I was going to add the bacon crumbles into the yolks, but decided to use a pastry funnel to make the eggs look decorative. The bacon would have clogged the tip of the funnel. As it was, I had to work through a couple chunks of yolk before I got a nice ribbon.

The menfolk cheered.

Party on a plate

Holiday shopping

I took some snapshots when I was out shopping today.

This Dulce De Leche has 64 grams of carbohydrates (all sugar) per 100 grams. Saying it’s low fat overlooks how our bodies will react to such a sugary treat. Pass.

And who’s going to eat out of this nearly-empty candy bowl at the video game shop. Really.

I ventured out to the health food store and found some coconut flour, sunflower butter, and almond butter. I also found some gluten-dairy-wheat free sauces I’m going to try. Hopefully "new recipe" means improved!

I also found a giant tub of cocoa nut oil. Here’s a picture of the cashier wrapping my Christmas gifts for me. (a nice thing about Holland).

Last, I was intrigued by the idea of "white gazpacho" soup – almond milk and garlic. Served hot or cold. Serving suggestions include a side of melon with prosciutto. Yum!

Wishing you peace and joy.

game on!

Mid-June will be just the right time for an Olympic distance triathlon. So I’ve pre-registered for a race in Brugge that some club-mates will be doing. That’s a refreshing 935 m swim, a 45km bike ride and a 10k run. Basically, go hard & fast.

Pile on the positive pressure! Time to get back in the pool.

I checked out QM’s list making link (shared in yesterday’s comment). They have an app for my phone [bonus] and I just might give it a try to help me with meal planning and shopping. They also have a method of sharing recipes. I looked at COZI yesterday, but they don’t have an App for phones in Europe yet. Boo. And I already use Google Calendar as my second brain. So I don’t really want to start up a second system. I want a meal planning suite that will let me park my meal plans in a calendar and then help me make a shopping list. I have tried meal plans from Training Peaks. I adore Paleo Chef and triathlete Nell Stephenson, but the UI for Training Peaks is awful (inconsistent ingredient selections and inadequate portion information makes for poor lists).

I’m still thinking about my cookbook plans, and it occurred to me I could use Living Cookbook. Just at the same time, they sent me information about recipe blogs and how their software can be used to do just what I am thinking about. But first, write up some ideas and test them.

Living Cookbook Recipe Management Software

Today I was reflecting on how to cope with a difficulty. I remembered that I’ve gone through difficult times in my life in the past, and they’ve always brought me gifts. Sometimes it takes a while to recognise the gifts, but they’re always there.


Reading all the books we want, dreaming dreams, making lists. All fine. But change happens when we decide and take action and follow through. It’s time to start living what we have learned, and not just in our spare time. These lessons need to be woven into the fabric of our lives.

By 1 jan, I will have a blueprint for success. Menus, recipes, grocery lists. And a calendar for when to shop and when to cook.

No more seat of the pants. Five more kilos, and I’m there. I can get off this treadmill.

tips from my personal stalker

I asked QM for advice. She thought about it and said this,

Hmmm….top 3 tips….. I may have to think on this. But I do say giving up the coffee is a good thing. It will challenge you. If you can do that, you can do anything. (Although doing it in January in the Netherlands may not be the easiest.) It IS a challenge and it will be tough, as it should be.

1 – Accept that it will be difficult; prepare yourself for victory. Visualize your options on day 31.
2 – You’ve probably read this one before, but have lots of fats on hand to combat sweet cravings. Want something sweet? Eat some fat. I really like unsweetened coconut chips tossed with cinnamon and salt.
3. I found it EASIER the first time around if I ate three proper meals with no snacking. Eating begets eating (for me, anyway).

Before the Whole30, I thought I could never drink green tea without stevia. Now I drink it that way every morning. Hemp milk and stevia when I feel like a “treat”.

The taste of stevia reminds me of my diabetic grandfather. I could never figure out what that little bottle with the yellow cap on the kitchen table was for. It tasted awful to me. I’m within 5 kilos of my goal weight. And I want less of me to drag uphill in April. So I am getting ready for January and minimizing the amount of damage I can do the last 10 days of the year. So far so good.

I grilled up a big plate of vegetables tonight in coconut oil. Eggplant, red and yellow peppers, and zucchini. My kids thought I was trying to poison them. I said they were whiny babies, not men. They said real men don’t eat grilled peppers. And then they asked for more steak.

pure. paleo. january.

Okay Paleo peeps. I’m tired of counting calories. I’m leaner than I was the last time I wrote. But alas I got busier too and stopped sending you all my love. Now I’m back. And planning a Pure Paleo January challenge. Really. This time, no dairy, even if it means keeping the espresso pot in the drawer. And no cheats for a whole month. I will try to reach the Whole30 nirvana. And my focus will be on meal planning. I am pouring over Well Fed. Apart from wishing I wrote it, I love it! Beautiful photos of creative recipes that I can make. Plus tips on how to make a work week work around Paleo.

So I’m going to treat myself like I’m a member of a really cool gym and take this advice. One hundred percent compliance. Thirty days. Let the magic begin.

And no counting calories in January. I have about six to eight more weeks of off-season training volume. I have a funky 10.5 km off-road race followed by a half marathon, followed by the Amstel Gold century tour, and then I’ll be training again for 70.3. Lighter, healthier, leaner, faster, stronger.

Quote for today – Greg Lemond. “It never gets easier, you just go faster.”

I’ll be back tomorrow as these January plans start to take shape.