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! ✌

Advertisements
Erin Tries to Decipher Circadian Rhythm

Erin Tries to Decipher Circadian Rhythm

Screenshot_20180808-223343_Bitmoji

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.

Screenshot_20180808-222948_Bitmoji

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.

Screenshot_20180808-225136_Bitmoji

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.

Screenshot_20180808-225653_Bitmoji

Before I forget, let me tell you about these mice

Screenshot_20180808-225943_Bitmoji

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! ✌

Screenshot_20180808-223056_Bitmoji