Monday, July 30, 2012

Crispy Baked Drumsticks


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It's now a week into my second 21 Day Sugar Detox and I am doing great, no more cravings at all now. The first week is always a bit tough, since there is usually withdrawal symptoms and of course the psychological part that needs to be overcome...replacing the bad habit or craving with something good (in my case herbal tea) or eliminating it all together.

I have decided to join a group of people doing a Whole30 starting Aug.1st. You can read about the program here, the information is free. However, they have a book out called It Starts With Food (I highly recommend you get it!!) that explains in detail the science behind the Whole30 and much more. I am convinced doing the Whole30 will increase my health and healing tremendously. I will be following the Autoimmune Disease recommendations to avoid eggs, nightshades, dairy, nuts, seeds, and NSAIDs.






I will not be weighing myself during the Whole30, but I will when I am done and I will take a picture of how I look after as well. I am going to use these pictures as my before pictures, since I pretty much look the same and weigh the same.







So, please wish me luck! I'll still be doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox, just morphing it into the Whole30 lol.

Now on to a delicious recipe!

Crispy Baked Drumsticks

24 drumsticks
1/3 C. Coconut oil* or butter melted and mixed with EVOO
sea salt
onion powder
rosemary
pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Put drumsticks in a colander and rinse well and drain.

Lay drumsticks down on the parchment with the skin facing up.

Pour oil into a small bowl and using a pastry brush, liberally brush the oil onto the drumsticks (if you are using coconut oil and your chicken are fresh out of the fridge, the coconut oil will harden and create a shell on your chicken, don't worry it's perfectly fine)

Coat the drumsticks liberally with sea salt and onion powder. Then sprinkle on the rosemary and pepper.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 min. The skin will be browned, crispy and yummy...enjoy!

*I use cold pressed, flavorless coconut oil, I am not a fan of the strong coconut flavor in Extra Virgin on my foods.




Monday I will be doing a review of a book that I was privileged to receive an advanced copy of. I am so excited to share it with you all, I have been having a blast making recipes from this book and I have learned so much from it as well! Now stay tuned because I am going to be having a giveaway, some lucky winner will be mailed a free Practical Paleo book!




This book will be released Aug. 7th, 2012 and can be pre-ordered.

Have a wonderful week,

Steph

Monday, July 23, 2012

Starting a 21 Day Sugar Detox today!


Today I'm kicking off another 21 Day Sugar Detox: Monday, July 23rd - Sunday, August 12th

My family has been on two camping trips this summer, junk food and processed, convenience foods tend to make an appearance when that happens. Mostly it's my own fault due to poor planning, but we also tend to purchase food items while we are camping at a particular place for various reasons, the main reason being...comfort. Comfort foods, snacky foods are the biggest enticements for us and we give in of course! :)

Next time I will be purchasing these healthy kits to take with us to minimize the junk...wish I had thought of it BEFORE our trip!

Steve's Original Paleokits

Primal Pacs

Sophia's Survival Jerky Chews

Whether you have over indulged on vacation or not, please feel free to join me in my sugar detox, everyone will benefit!

You can choose:
1. Just get the sugar out in all it's forms, click here for a list of 50 different names for sugar. Read labels carefully, you'll be surprised, it's in many things!
2. Get all forms of sugar out and not eat anything sweet, including fruit and stevia, splenda or other non-caloric sweeteners. Studies show that for certain people, just eating something that tastes sweet even though there is no sugar, their bodies will release insulin causing fat storage.
3. You can follow the 21 Day Sugar Detox program by Balanced Bites. This program costs $21 is full of information and recipes, check it out.

So who is with me? We can encourage and support each other!

Please leave a comment to let me know if you are participating, I'd love to get to know you better.

Steph

P.S. I will be doing a review and having a giveaway on my blog for this book




Be on the lookout next week for details!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Camping Trip to Sequoia National Park

We recently took a trip to Sequoia National Park to camp with my Dad and his wife, Bekkee. We stayed for four days at the Dorst Creek Campground which I highly recommend, the sites were very pretty and spacious. The only drawback was that there were no showers, but you could travel down to the Lodgepole Campground and use their public showers. The Lodgepole Campground also has a store and small restaurant that also has a section with ready made sandwiches, wraps, salads and various desserts to choose from. There was also a Nature Center there that shows an educational video about the bears in the area...it was closed captioned to my delight! I made sure to tell one of the people working there how appreciative I was.

I was very impressed with this National Park, it was very well taken care of, very tourist friendly you might say. They have a free, seasonal shuttle service that will take you to many of the main attractions as well as to the campgrounds. They let us carry on a couple boxes of firewood to take back to our campsite, I thought that was nice.

We visited the Sherman Tree, explored the Crystal Cave and hiked most of the Muir Grove Trail while we were there. We packed quite a bit into our four day stay...well at least it seemed like a lot to me :) I have lost 30lbs since last fall and it made a very big difference in my stamina and ability to be active and enjoy our trip.  I hope that I will have lost at least another 30lbs before our next camping trip next year, Lord willing.

Here are some pictures I took while we were up there, I hope you enjoy them.

The Sherman Tree from behind, it is the largest Sequoia by circumference.

Top of the Sherman Tree.

Hiking along the Congress Trail.

Waterfall and fallen log on the Congress Trail.

Side view of the Sherman Tree...Kade marveling at how tall it is.

All of us in front of the Sherman tree.

Kade with his Grandma Bekkee and Grandpa in front of a cross section of a sequoia tree.

Aiden and Eilan on one of the rocks in the area.

Aiden, Eilan and Kade on the rock...kids just love climbing rocks!

Eric, Aiden, my Dad and Bekkee waiting for the tour to start outside the Crystal Cave.

Love this picture of Eilan outside the Crystal Cave.

We decided to take a tour of the Crystal Cave while we were down there, it does cost money and you can purchase the tickets at the Lodgepole Campground Nature Center. You do need to be somewhat fit to go on this tour, it is about a mile down a very steep trail to get to the cave, then you have to do more walking inside the cave and there is one area that you (or at least me) have to kind of squish yourself through. Then there is the walk back up the steep trail to get back to your car...whew that one was tough for me, but I made it. All in all it was worth it, the cave is beautiful.


I liked the "juicy" look of this one

The water in this stream is so clear you can see straight to the bottom.

If it wasn't so cool in the cave I would have been tempted to jump in!

Very interesting formations.


Here is the tight area you walk through, it was only a short area thankfully.

Gorgeous waterfall that was next to the trail to the Crystal Cave.

Aiden is my Nature boy, he loves getting close and examining everything.

Just beautiful country up there!


The day before we left, my Dad wanted us to hike a trail that was located in our campground called the Muir Grove Trail. By then all the walking and hiking we had done previously was taking it's toll on my poor feet. I actually was surprised they had lasted as long as they did. The Muir Grove Trail is a 4 mile trail round trip, but we only walked 3 (thanks Dad for taking pity on me). It was a beautiful trail and the day was nice and cool, it was perfect!

If there is a rock like this, the kids are gonna climb it :)

My Dad and Bekkee enjoying the view.

Eilan and Eric walking along the trail.

Stopping to take a break and eat a snack before heading back.

Breathtaking! 
I hope you get a chance to explore some of the wonders of creation, that God has so richly blessed us with here on earth and in this part of the world. Sequoia National Park holds so much beauty and mystery, we plan to come up here again in the future to see more and more!

Steph


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Coconut Caramel Rice Pudding Recipe

Sometimes I just get a craving for some rice pudding. I love the flavor, the texture, the creaminess of it all, it is comfort food for me. Maybe it reminds me of my Grandma Estes, she made the best food from scratch period.

This recipe is a healthier version of rice pudding but still creamy and delicious. You get healthier fats from the coconut milk and it won't spike your blood sugar like regular sugar does.

Surprisingly you cannot taste the flavor of coconut if you follow my recipe as is, however if you use less sugar or a different sugar, you may taste it.


Coconut Caramel Rice Pudding

3 Cups (packed) of cooked rice ( I used white basmati rice)
2  14 oz (or close) cans of full fat coconut milk
2/3 Cup of Coconut/Palm sugar*
pinch of salt or to taste
1 tsp of vanilla

In a medium size saucepan, add coconut milk, rice, sugar and salt. Cook on medium heat until rice pudding is almost as thick as you would like, take off the heat and let cool for 5 min. then add vanilla and mix well. Continue to let the pudding cool, it will thicken more as it cools.

When cool enough to eat, serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Other topping ideas are...

Cherry sauce
Sauteed apples
walnuts
almonds
raisins

* You could use regular brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar, I would only use 1/2 Cup since coconut sugar is not as sweet as regular. For just Coconut Milk Rice Pudding, sub 1/2 Cup of regular white sugar in place of the coconut sugar.

Enjoy!





My next post will be about our adventures at the Sequoia National Park. Gorgeous Country!!

Steph