What I Did this Summer (err…year)

I suppose as the summer winds down it’s time for me to post, so much has happened since the last time I posted and I’d like to share it with all my followers. My goal when I started this blog was to teach people that food is your fuel, your medicine, and the ONLY way to stay healthy.  Based on the feedback I’ve gotten, I’ve accomplished that, but I wanted to do more.

So a year ago on July 1, 2016 I embarked upon getting certified as a health and wellness coach by the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (which is a partner to the Institute for Functional Medicine). I would love to have my own practice, but I’m not an advanced practice nurse, so that’s out of the question. This was the next best thing. So for the last 12 months I have been in school. Which has caused my blog to go quiet.

We had lessons on everything; positive psychology, different food plans, nutrition, motivation, documentation, malpractice, business, toxicity, and the psychology of eating. I will be sharing more of what I’ve learned over the next several years.

I would just like to thank all of you who do follow me for sticking with me even though I haven’t posted a lot this year. I will graduate formally in Dallas on Sunday, September 10. I’m going, because this might be my last graduation ever!!

School was in many ways harder than I realized, but I learned a facet of helping other people that I hadn’t been able to focus on before, the psychology part. We had a practicum and I had two clients over six months that I then presented at my final practicum exam.

This year has been a year of highs and lows.  I also lost my mother in April to a rare form of dementia.  I had moved her near me three years ago, but the end of her life was complicated and emotional, as our relationship had been.  So, grief for her and grief for what I never had.  Complicated.  On a very happy note, my youngest son will get married in three weeks, so you won’t hear from me right away for a while, but I will post in September!  For now, I just wanted to say hello and I haven’t forgotten you!

Here’s my new logo, and I will be taking both Skype clients and in-person clients starting later in the fall. Wishing everyone the best.

I’m very grateful for this opportunity to take the next step.

Eileen, R.N., FMCHWC

 

 

Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie

I am fortunate to have a spouse who has been willing to “eat clean” the way I need to.  This has been a godsend, as I don’t have to come up with two dinners each night!  Last week, we were in a rut of what to do with our grass fed hamburger, and he came up with this, combining an old favorite with new “go to” replacements for our carbs.  Specifically, cauliflower mash for potatoes, and green beans for peas.  It was a hit!  We made a double recipe and then didn’t have to cook for a few nights.  WIN-WIN!

Steve’s Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie  (printable copy here)

1 Lbs grass fed ground beef or ground lamb
1 Tbl Oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 chopped green onion
1 medium chopped yellow onion
1 Tbl arrowroot (you can use cornstarch, but it adds carbs)
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Thyme
1 tsp Pepper (black, or aleppo, both work well)
1 cup Water
1 T organic tomato paste
2 T organic fresh parsley
1 cup steamed green beans

for topping:

1 head cauliflower
1 T ghee or grass fed butter
2 teaspoons salt OR teaspoon of chicken stock mix (the concentrated kind, I use “Better than Bouillon” Organic Chicken Base)
grated fresh black pepper (optional)

Optional:

8 Tbl shredded cheddar cheese
4 Tbl shredded parmesan
Sprinkle the top with paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim the cauliflower stems off the flowerettes, and cook till very soft. Mash with the butter and add bouillon, and set aside for topping.
  3. In a hot skillet, brown the meat in the oil with the garlic, onions and green onion. When browned and the onion is tender, add salt, pepper and arrowroot.
  4. Cook 3-4 minutes, then add tomato paste and water and cook until thick and creamy.
  5. Add green beans and parsley. Taste and season at this point.  If you like it spicier, add more pepper.
  6. Place in an uncovered casserole dish, and top evenly with the mashed cauliflower and add both grated cheeses. Bake 20 min until golden brown. Serves 4.

Nutrition Info (using all ingredients, including cheese)

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Chicken Kebabs

2017-01-23-18-56-01Chicken Keema Kebabs

Healthy doesn’t have to be bland.  These Pakistani inspired Chicken Kebabs are an example of healthy and delicious.  “Keema” is somewhat of a catch-all in South Asian cooking for most ground meat mixtures. Spices and meats can vary wildly from one keema to the next, and then they can be prepared in many different ways, including stewing, pan frying, or skewering and grilling.  We grill this recipe, but you could also use the broiler or a stove top cast iron grill.  Create your own version by experimenting with spices!
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes (with 20 more optional for frig/freezer time)
  • Cook Time: 12 Minutes
  • Total Time: approximately 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 kebabs (feeds 2-4 based on side dishes)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 pound ground chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated onion
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced (2 large or 2-4 small cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons finely diced Thai green chilies or jalapeno if you can’t find Thai
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Equipment

  • 4 flat edged skewers, (or 4 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 min)
  • food processor with metal blade

Procedurechicken-kebab

  1. Place cumin and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.  Do not use your coffee grinder for this! (or your coffee will take on a distinctly odd flavor!)  I have a small grinder I use for spices only.  If you don’t have a grinder, use a mortar and pestle and grind them.  The amount is small and it will be easy.
  2. If you can’t find ground chicken, put very cold, partly frozen chicken cubes into your processor, and pulse very quickly until ground, being careful not to overdo it or you’ll have chicken paste.  Because they can get dry, I use chicken thighs.
  3. In a large bowl mix together ground cumin and coriander seeds, chicken, onion, cilantro, garlic, chilies, turmeric, salt, and garam masala until chicken is evenly seasoned.
  4. Form ¼ of meat mixture into a skewer-length cylinder on a baking pan or tray. Press skewer into chicken and form meat around stick. Repeat with remaining meat. Place skewered chicken in freezer for 20 minutes while preparing grill.
  5. Light the grill.  If using a gas grill, preheat on high, then turn to High/Medium/High for the cooking.  Brush oil on the grate before adding the skewers. Remove skewers from freezer and carefully transfer to hot grill. Cook until skewers brown all over and are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.
  6. Don’t worry if you loose the skewer or it falls off.  They still taste great!

You can serve them with a cucumber sauce (I use unsweetened dairy free coconut yogurt, dill and chopped cucumber).  They are also great on salads.

Here’s the tricks to grind chicken yourself.  Easy, and you can purchase the best natural chicken and not rely on mass produced ground chicken.

 

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Low Carb Stuffing

Cauliflower is becoming a miracle vegetable in our house.  We’ve made pizza dough, mashed potatoes, cheese bread and now stuffing out of it!  This recipe is from Delish, a website devoted to recipes.  I have the link at the end, but their site doesn’t include the nutrition info I’ve posted below.  We LOVE this recipe!

stuffingimg_2306

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. butter (preferably pasture butter — butter from grass fed cows)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. Freshly Chopped Parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. ground sage
  • ½ c. vegetable or chicken broth (we use chicken)

stuffing-nutritionDirections

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined, then pour over vegetable broth and cover with a lid. Cover until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes.
  4. Serve.

This is amazingly tasty, and we had it with turkey and cranberries. It is a really good side dish for poultry, pork or even fish.  Give it a try!

Nutrition Info (provided by T2T, not on the original website) shows that at 15 net carbs, this is a huge win compared to regular stuffing! (Regular stuffing is approximately 25 net carbs because of the lack of fiber).

 

 

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T2T Low Carb Crabcakes

IMG_0580I adapted this recipe from one online that used flour.  I’ve substituted the flour with a combo of brown rice flour and almond flour.  You can also use a wheat free flour mix that is premade.  I thought they turned out better than ones made with flour!

The most important thing is that you have good crabmeat. If you like spicy, you’ll have to add some cayenne or sriracha.  These are tasty with a lot of flavor, but not spicy.

My adult kids voted this for our Thanksgiving night dinner.  They were fabulous!  At 8 gm net carbs and 19 of protein, these are a nutrition packed, guilt free entree.

See bottom of page for a PRINTABLE recipe.

Ingredients:

1 large egg
2½ T olive oil based mayo or your favorite mayo
1½ teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stalk celery finely diced
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained well if you use canned
¼ cup blanched almond flour*
¼ cup brown rice flour*

*OR an option to the almond/brown rice is using ½ cup gluten free flour mix like Wheat Free Market has

2 T coconut oil for cooking, may have to add more if you have two batches.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and using your fingers, blend well.  Shape into patties. Makes 6-8 small to medium crab cakes.

Heat a non-stick skillet (I use Cuisinart Green Gourmet) on medium, add coconut oil, and carefully place cakes in once oil is hot.  Cook 5 min/side or until lightly browned.  You want them to cook slowly because you want the egg to cook and the crabmeat to warm thoroughly.

Make a remoulade sauce or tartar sauce to go with.  We had these with green beans and zucchini slices sauteed with shallots and parsley and a “remoulade” of sriracha mixed with mayo and relish.  Add sriracha to your batter or on top of the cooked crab cake if you want a kick.

We usually try and have a dinner with an entree, a salad and a “hot” vegetable.  That is usually enough food and fills us up without bread or starches like rice or potatoes.  (If you are having rice, you can DRAMATICALLY lower the glycemic load of it by cooling it first, which converts the starch to resistant — undigestable — starch. Just keep it below 130º, which is the point that the starch converts to “bad starch”, meaning digestible.)

IMG_0581crabcakes-nutritionIMG_0580

 

 

 

printable recipe click here for PDF

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Illness and Childhood Trauma

Make sure you tell your physician if you’ve had childhood trauma. Ongoing adversity in childhood leads to a chronic state of “fight, flight or freeze.” Researchers at Yale recently demonstrated that when inflammatory stress hormones flood a child’s body and brain, they alter the genes that oversee our stress reactivity, re-setting the stress response to “high” for life. This increases the risk of inflammation, which manifests later in cancer, heart disease, and other autoimmune diseases, and often death decades earlier than our non-traumatized counterparts.

donna-book-coverDonna Jackson Nakazawa has studied autoimmune illness and chronic illness extensively, partly because of her own history.  She also wrote the book “The Auto-Immune Epidemic” which helped me understand my mercury toxicity much better. This new study on traumatic childhood experiences is groundbreaking and every doctor should add the questions about childhood trauma to their initial intake/history. This blog post I’m linking to below shows the power of functional medicine and intelligent questioning.  Instead of writing more of a post, I am choosing to share it in it’s entirety.  Please take a few minutes to read it.  Especially if you or someone you love has had childhood trauma such as abuse, alcoholism, death, divorce, etc. It may factor into your (or their) adult health much more than you realize.

Heidi Aylward spent much of 2015 going to doctor’s appointments for back and joint pain, dizziness, swelling of the legs and feet, high blood pressure, elevated platelets, heart palpitations and extreme fatigue. 2016 isn’t looking much better. She’s worn a heart monitor, had a bone marrow biopsy and continues to have blood work. She holds down a job as a full-time project manager, tends to her daughters, home and pets.

But she feels like her body is falling apart.

“I’m not going to make it to 60,” she said, “Why do I even contribute to my retirement savings account?”

Heidi is 39.                              [read more…]

 

You can overcome your past.  It starts with understanding what effect it has had on your health:  physical and mental.

Direct link:  https://acestoohigh.com/2016/07/07/the-single-best-medical-appointment-of-my-life-was-when-a-nurse-practitioner-asked-about-my-adverse-childhood-experiences-aces/

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