Almond Bread and Egg Bites…for You to Try!

Almond Bread and Egg Bites…for You to Try!

Intermittent fasting (and being a functional adult) has fallen to the way-side this week. So rather than trying to be informational or inspirational, I’m going to throw down a couple of recipes.

The first recipe is from The Stash Plan by Laura Prepon (Alex from Orange is the New Black and Donna from That 70s Show!) and Elizabeth Troy. I will talk to you more about The Stash Plan when I’m a little more with it, because it is super rad. It would also be really helpful while doing intermittent fasting! The book has easy, healthy recipes that are so good. It also includes a very functional meal plan and some stretches to boot. Plus the book has a really lovely layout and design (graphic design nerd side-note). I would definitely recommend buying it, but for now, here’s a bread recipe:

Almond Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour (I don’t do this and just add extra almond flour)
  • ¼ cup of ground flax seed
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (I use sea salt)
  • 5 large eggs (I have also used mashed, very ripe bananas (2 or 3) when I was out of eggs)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of raw organic honey (I actually usually use a mashed up banana instead of the honey because it’s less weight watchers points. And if you use bananas instead of the honey and eggs, the bread is now vegan…it’s tasty even if that’s not your thing. J )
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Preheat your oven to 325°F, and grease a loaf pan. I like to line it with nonstick foil rather than greasing it. You can also use a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan.

Mash up your banana(s) if you’re going that route, and then add your other wet ingredients in with the banana mush. You can mix your dry ingredients up separately, but I say save a bowl. Just make sure you mix everything up well so you don’t have clumps of flax and baking soda floating about.

Now you pour the batter into your loaf pan or muffin tin. The recipe says to bake for 20 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. This has never been long enough for my bread, though. I’d actually try it the “right” way first…it may work for you! But if it doesn’t, just keep checking it every 10 minutes or so to see if a toothpick comes out clean when you poke it in the middle. I’ve dried my bread out a little, but never burned it. I think the bananas add some bake time, too. Man, was that helpful at all?

As you can see, I’ve experimented with this recipe, so you shouldn’t be scared to either. Add fruit, nuts, cinnamon, etc. Go crazy!

This recipe makes about 12 servings in loaf or muffin-form. If you use honey, the Weight Watcher points are about 7 per serving. If you use banana instead of honey, it’s about 5 points…but put it in your recipe builder using your ingredients to be safe. Be sure to store it in an air-tight container in your fridge.

I like to toast mine in the toaster over and add spray butter. The cookbook uses it for everything you’d use bread for, like making breadcrumbs for meatballs, so again, experiment!

Now my second recipe is just one of my own crazy concoctions that was born of wanting to make something fast, low Weight Watcher points, and using up some of the stuff in my fridge.

Zero Point Egg Bites

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 slices of Sara Lee Premium Meats Oven roasted chicken breast deli meat, 98% fat free (0pts) (You could also use no meat or something different like ½ cup of pulled chicken breast, or Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles (2 points, so refigure your points if you’re checking those)
  • ¼ cup of diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup of diced green pepper (you could add diced onion, but gross.)
  • ¼ cup of Kraft Natural Cheese Fat free shredded cheddar cheese (other cheese would be good too…just check your points if you care. J )
  • hot sauce
  • Salt, Pepper, whatever spices you like… I like to use onion powder, cumin and hot Mexican chili powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. I used paper liners in my muffin tin because it’s old and janky, and I spritzed each liner with Pam.

Slice up the chicken and browned it in a pan sprayed with Pam. Seasoned the chicken with pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Then add the diced peppers and brown those too.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and added the cheese and some splashes of hot sauce. Add the salt, pepper, and onion powder too. Now stir in the browned chicken and peppers to your egg mixture. I scooped the egg mixture into the muffin liners with a ¼ cup measuring cup. This recipe made 9 bites. You could probably use less in each one to fill all 12, or add an egg or two.

I baked at 350°F for a little over 15 minutes, then turned the oven up to broil for about 8 minutes until they were brown on top. I like my eggs really dry, so you definitely wouldn’t need to cook them that long if you didn’t want to. J

These are good with salsa on top. Store them in the fridge in an air-tight container and microwave them for 60 seconds when you’re ready to eat.

If you try these recipes, let me know what you think, and I’d love to hear about what you did to put your own spin on them! ✌

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Erin Tries to Decipher Circadian Rhythm

Erin Tries to Decipher Circadian Rhythm

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Okay, so as I’ve mentioned, what first appealed to me about Intermittent Fasting (IF) was how eating in accordance with the body’s natural cycles, or circadian rhythm (CR), can improve how the body functions, leading to better health. Would I mind if this helped in weight-loss too? Of course not. 😊

I’ve been doing a little interweb research about CR, and I feel like I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. There is so much information, and it’s really interesting (at least I think so). I’m going to try to break it down here and just go into what applies directly to IF…I’m sure I’ll leave a ton out, but I plan on returning to this topic again. The main guy I’m going to reference in this post is Satchidananda Panda. Go check him out. Besides having maybe the coolest name ever, he’s also done a tone of research on CR and IF, written articles (that have been published), done some TED Talks, etc. Good stuff.

What is Circadian Rhythm?

Basically, over the last lots and lots of years, our bodies have gotten used to the sun rising and setting every day. Our bodies’ systems and functions operate on a 24-hour cycle, which are guided by whether the sun is up or down. If the sun is up, our bodies do things to prepare for hunting and gathering—our energy ramps up, our minds clear.

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As the day goes on, our brains and bodies warm up, which makes working and exercising during the day ideal. As the sun starts to set, our bodies start winding down. We get sleepy and during the night our mind and body rest, but certain functions are also triggered, like cell-repair and fat-burning.

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This is, of course, how it’s supposed to work in theory. Some of us work the night shift. Some of us are just night owls. Some of us wait until the last minute to do our homework, and then have to stay up all night to get it in on time….anyways….

What does this have to do with Intermittent Fasting?

Just everything. According to Panda, and other smarties, when we eat and don’t eat is just as important to CR as light and dark…maybe even more. When we eat breakfast in the morning (break our fast), it signals to our body that it’s time to get busy. When we stop eating for a long enough period of time, likewise, it signals to our body that it’s time to start repairing and rejuvenating our cells. If this process is triggered by fasting, but we never stop eating long enough to trigger the process, we miss out on this important process. If you eat a late dinner or snack, your body won’t start the repair process until late into the night (if at all depending on times), but it also has to stop in time to start ramping up for the next day. This repair process is, from my understanding, what helps prevent chronic disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid issues, inflammation, etc…

So ideally, you wake up around the time the sun comes up (who gets to do that?), eat breakfast an hour or two later, and are fully awake mid-morning. This is when you do all your best work at the job. You eat a bit of lunch mid-afternoon, and then exercise late-afternoon to early-evening when your body is all warmed up from the day. Finally you eat a small dinner no later than mid-evening and start turning the lights in your house down and get off that phone and laptop! Your body gets sleepy around the time the sun starts setting, so you head to bed for a great night’s rest while your body heals itself and prepares to start the whole process over the next day. Obviously this isn’t 100% practical for most of us…it’s not for me.

I think the point is to make it work for you and your schedule. To some degree, from what I’ve read, you can alter your CR by altering when you sleep and eat. I have to get up before the sun rises to get to work on time, but I also go to bed earlier than many (except on homework nights. Sigh.). As I’ve mentioned, I am eating between 10am and 6pm, which seems to be working for me pretty well so far. I eat a pretty big breakfast at 10am, a lighter lunch, and then a pretty big dinner. After some of the reading I’ve been doing, though, I think I’m going to start eating a big breakfast, medium lunch, and light dinner. Our bodies burn the most fuel in the morning, so breakfast is less likely to be turned into sugar and fat than dinner.

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Before I forget, let me tell you about these mice

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One of the compelling trials that Panda has done during his research, is an IF trial with mice. In the trial, two sets of mice are given the exact same food in the same quantity. One group of mice is allowed to eat their food any time of day. The second group is only allowed to eat their food in a limited window of time (I want to say a 10 hour window…but don’t quote me on that. I know, it’s super-lazy of me to not just go look, but here we are.). I’m sure you see where this is going. The mice that ate all times of the day had more health problems, and more body fat. The mice that ate within a limited window—even though it was the same amount and type of food—were healthier and had lower amounts of fat on their bodies. Panda and a partner also conducted a less clinical test on humans that involved participants to self-report via an app. The humans showed similar results as the mice. What I gather from these results is that our (and the mice’s) bodies function better on this limited eating schedule…for the reasons listed above.

Let’s wrap this up

Like I said, this is a tiny, and overly simplified, bit of the information available about CR and how it relates to IF…or vice versa? I feel like I’m learning a ton, and plan on doing some more digging, so you can look forward to (or not) more posts along these lines. Some things I’m taking away from this CR info-dive that I need to work on:

  • I’m going to try to eat a lighter dinner
  • I probably need to not sleep with the TV on…
  • I definitely need to quit checking my phone every time I wake up
  • Should I quit giving my dog’s treats before bed?

Let me know if you thought this article was interesting, boring, made you want to do your own research so you could correct me on all the things… 😊  I want to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment! ✌

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Two week reflection

Two week reflection

Hi, y’all. Tomorrow is my two week intermittent fast-iversary. 😊 It has really been a great first two weeks getting into the swing of IF. I’ve felt really good, and in general think this is a reasonable, sustainable health choice.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m already doing Weight Watchers. That’s the method I’m using to work on weight loss. Some employ IF for weight loss by cutting out breakfast or dinner, or even day(s) of eating. While I’m not an expert, that doesn’t strike me as terribly healthy or sustainable…at least for me. So during the 8 hours I’m eating (10am-6pm), I’m eating 3 meals and usually a snack, which account for most of my daily points (Weight Watchers’ method of tracking food).

I will say IF has led me to cut out snacking in the evening, which has saved me lots of “points” that I was using when I wasnt actually hungry. I should also say, IF is not a means of starvation. Sometimes my tummy growls in the hour or so before my fast is over, but I’m not ravenous, or jittery, or sick-feeling. If I was feeling that level of hunger at any point during my fasting time, I WOULD EAT. My purpose in trying IF is to get my body back on track with its own circadian rhythms (someone check my spelling and get back to me on that). I have big plans to do a whole post on that topic, so please hold.

Though I’m not doing IF for weight loss, I did lose 4 lbs last week at my weigh-in. I certainly don’t expect to see that every week, but I do think my body is responding positively to the new change in schedule.

Now I’ll throw in a dose of reality…I’m not super-perfect. The folks who know me are shaking their heads “yes”. This week has been stressful and I’m not handling it like a champ. I have always been one to eat my feelings, and I’m definitely still working on that…maybe I always will. Feelings are part of life and so is food.

The damage: yesterday I went over my WW points, and over my extra weekly allotment of points (a cushion for the week to use how you want), THEN i went home and ordered a pizza and wings! And ate them! After 6pm! Eek! I felt like crap and had all of the heart burn, which is lame.

I got back on the wagon this morning, but got home late, so I ended up eating after 6pm again. Like I keep saying, this is real life. I’ll get back on the wagon again tomorrow morning. 😊

Thanks for reading. I know this was a long post with no pictures, so I’ll leave you with this. I did actually try a new thing today and it was amazing. You should probably try it too. This is Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding Cereal. My heart, in a bowl.

Try it. Tell me what you think. And please let me know if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, good jokes, etc….about anything. Not just cereal. ✌

Erin Tweets a Thing

Erin Tweets a Thing

Well, I was looking for some informative articles about intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm to link to and discuss for tonight’s post, but then this happened:

 

That’s me!!! I’m @eventually_erin on the twitterverse (feel free to follow)! #sorrynotsorry

So I immediately called my mom, squealed a little bit, and decided this is about the level of fame I’m comfy with. 😉

In case you haven’t heard me rave…Dietland and Unapologetic are two new shows on AMC, and they are both very rad and worth watching. Dietland is a show based on the book of the same name, written by Sarai Walker (Read. The. Book.).

Dietland is the story of Plum who is a ghost writer for a fashion magazine and is planning on getting weightloss surgery. There is also a vigilante group of women killing men who have committed sexual violence. It’s an intelligent, dark comedy, and important topics are addressed, including body positivity, women’s rights, sexual violence, revenge violence, and so much more.

Unapologetic, which airs right after Dietland, picks up those topics and keeps the discussion going. Aisha Tyler is the host, and talks with a panel of three guests, who include actors from the show, comedians, activists, etc.

Actually, that reminds me, on last week’s episode, author Roxane Gay was on the panel. I had not heard of her, but after watching her on the show, I reserved every book of hers that I could from the library. I may or may not be fan girling. I just finished listening to the audiobook version of Hunger, which was read by Gay. I don’t really have the words to describe how amazing it was.

She verbalized thoughts and feelings that I’ve had about my own body and every aspect of my life affected by my body (all of them). We have different backgrounds and experiences, but it’s truly as if she were in my head.

I would recommend this book (you’re getting lots of that in this post…maybe make a list?) to anyone who is or was larger bodied, or anyone who knows someone who is larger bodied. It may give insight into why it is not okay to comment on someone else’s body, even if they are losing weight, unless you expressly know that person well enough to know they want your feedback. Same with hugs. She and I have all the same feelings about hugs.

Oh man, so recap:

  • I kinda had my 15 minutes of fame
  • Read Dietland
  • Watch Dietland
  • Watch Unapologetic
  • Read Hunger
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Don’t comment on my body
  • Don’t hug me or Roxane
  • #sorrynotsorry
  • Erin did not actually try a thing ✌
3 Fasts in the Books…Almost

3 Fasts in the Books…Almost

It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting at my kitchen table drinking a glass of water and sweating. And stinking. I just mowed the yard. I may or may not have grass in my teeth. I’m sure my neighbors hate me for doing that at 7 on Sunday morning, but it’s hot, y’all, and only getting hotter.

So I’m an hour and a half away from ending my third fast since beginning intermittent fasting (IF) Thursday evening. To be 100% honest, it really hasn’t been that bad. As I mentioned in my last (and first) post, I am fasting from 6pm to 10am, and 10am to 6pm is my eating window. Friday morning, my tummy growled one time before 10am, but I didn’t feel jittery or sick like my blood sugar was low.

Drinking my cup of joe:

I should probably mention here, that I’m in pretty good health. No issues with blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

So at 10am my app (BodyFast–free version) shot me a little message telling me I could eat now, and I did. I had some almonds and a banana. I ate lunch a little later than usual, since i ate breakfast later than my usual 7am. Luckily, my lunch schedule at work is flexible, so I’ll be able to eat whenever it feels like it’s time.

This is what I brought to work for the day, plus a bowl of cantaloupe:

The chicken is a great recipe for Weight Watchers…or anyone! I’ll work on adding recipes from time to time and linking them. And yes…those are purple potatoes. My favorite!

I worked late Friday and ended up having a large bowl of cantelope for dinner because that’s what I had available at the office (but I had also had some sweet treats at an office baby shower earlier, so I was by no means starving). I got home after 6pm, so my fasting time had started. I was beat from the day so I fixed some hot (unsweet) tea, and went into zombie mode on the couch.

Saturday morning was probably the most difficult so far, but just because I usually do a big breakfast kinda early on Saturdays. It will be an adjustment, but I’ll make it work. I went to my Weight Watchers meeting at 7am and had coffee (black). I lost 1.4lbs this week, which is 64.6lbs down total. That’s pretty typical for me, so I’m interested to see how or if that changes when I weigh in next week after doing a full week of IF. I will, of course, let you know.

I ate pretty normally yesterday and stopped eating at 6pm. It actually made things a little easier. I wasn’t thinking about what to snack on all evening…it just wasn’t an option. I did a few new things, which I will tell you about in upcoming posts, and drank lots of water and some hot tea.

I looked around on Pinterest for more IF info, but was pretty disappointed in the lack of info I found. I’ll keep digging and include anything helpful that I find.

One useful tidbit I did find, suggested keeping busy during fasting times when you’re not asleep. This was more helpful to me in the mornings waiting for breakfast. Yesterday after my meeting, I went to the farmers market, and today I mowed…and wrote this post. I think I need to drink more water during fasting times. Maybe less coffee…but probably just more water. Don’t want to go crazy here.

Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. ✌

Day 1 of this thing: intermittent fasting

Day 1 of this thing: intermittent fasting

Hey there. My name is Erin and I’m trying a new thing…a couple of new things, actually. I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for some time, but wasn’t sure what to write about. Getting started can be overwhelming! So this evening, when I decided to start intermittent fasting, I figured this was as good a topic as any, so I’m also starting this blog. We’ll see how this goes…

I should start by saying I don’t know a ton (almost anything?) about intermittent fasting and you should absolutely not take anything I’m saying as sound advice. I am clueless. So follow my journey, laugh along with me, and feel free to give me your advice, but take everything I say with a grain of salt. 😊

So, here’s what I know so far about intermittent fasting:

  • It can be good for your health
  • It can help you lose weight
  • It can give you more energy
  • You limit eating to a shorter period of time and don’t eat outside that time-frame
  • You can and should drink lots of water during the off-time
  • You can also drink coffee and tea during the off time

I’m going to set my eating time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (8 hours), so my fasting time will be 6 p.m. through 10 a.m. (16 hours). I usually eat breakfast around 7 a.m. so I imagine I’ll be all kinds of hangry in the mornings for awhile. I’m using the app, BodyFast, to track my progress. It has a timer to let you know when you’re fasting and when you’re not.

I’m already doing Weight Watchers, so I will continue following this program, but just limit the times of day that I’m eating. I’ve lost about 60 lbs on Weight Watchers since January 2018. Here’s a before and current pic:

One thing I’ve heard about intermittent fasting is that eating at times that work with your body’s circadian rhythms can improve how your body works. This sounds reasonable to me. While I want to continue losing weight, I’m really focusing on being healthy, which is my primary goal for trying fasting.

So, here are my starting stats:

  • Female
  • Age: 36
  • Height: 5’10
  • Weight 350 lbs

I will take my measurements at some point to add to my stats, but not tonight…I’m already in bed.

I’m looking forward to trying out this fasting thing, and this blogging thing! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks for reading. ✌