Don’t you miss cupcakes?

How could I miss them if I never left them behind? 😉cupcake

(My very own dark chocolate cherry cupcake, paleo stylie)

One thing people do not realize is that cupcakes do not have to be made from gluten-filled boxes from the grocery store. Nor does the frosting have to be out of a can, either. What all is in those cans, anyways?

I truly believe life should be celebrated here and there with occasional cupcakes, brownies, pies, and other delicious nom noms. But what I refuse to do anymore is feel like crapola after I eat something treat-like. Why can’t we have high-quality treats that taste amazing and are nutritious?

I eat cupcakes that I make from scratch, and they are delicious. Usually the cake itself is coconut flour. The frosting is a cashew-butter base, and then I add the flavor of my choice. I made my mom some dark chocolate cherry cupcakes for mother’s day. It brought her to tears (aw) and she ate every last bite. My brother and his girlfriend tried them as well and were nutty about them.

My brother’s birthday is coming up and I plan on making him dark chocolate espresso bean cupcakes, paleo stylie. I shall post my concoction on my next post. Until then, eat well my friends.

 

Dark choco cherry cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs local maple syrup (or best available)
  • 4 eggs. Get ’em from a local farmer if you can!

Icing:

  • 1 cup raw cashew butter
  • Marichino cherry juice (from the bottle of cherries). Add to taste.
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk

Toppings:

  • Dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • Cherries!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Place all dry ingredients into bowel or food processor. Add eggs, syrup, and vanilla. Blend until mixed. No chunks! Place into cups. Bake at 350 for 15-18 min. Use toothpick to check if done.

While those puppies are cookin, place cashew butter and coconut milk into bowel. I prefer them to be chilled, so chill before or after if you can. Mix until creamy, then add cherry juice and mix thoroughly.

Cut cupcakes in half to make them look like a sandwich. Add frosting to middle and on top. Place cherry in middle with 2 pieces of chocolate on sides. Dust on top with cacao powder. And voila!

 

It starts…

Well, what the heck!? I am biting the bullet and starting a blog. Yep, taking the plunge to make public my everyday happenings involving the journey into true health, well-being, and happiness. There is so much to talk about, really. I live an interesting life, full of cooking, traveling, learning, nursing, hanging out with people, and of course my 3 wonderful cats: Pounce, Oliver Winston, and Nicolette. Most importantly I share my life with my amazing husband, Allen. He is the best. Truly.

You will find that I will probably talk about food… a lot. I mean, I eat all day, everyday. Always have. However, what I have put into my body hasn’t always been savvy when it comes to proper health and overall well-being, so I am going to start this blog with talking about my search for health.

This is me currently… 26 years young and the healthiest I have ever been! Moi

I currently follow a paleo diet. Only meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds (98% of the time) for this girl. I would have never imagined such a lifestyle, but here is how it came about….

I grew up in the Midwest on the typical American Diet. School lunches, chocolate milk, white flour, and sugar…basically processed everything. Thank heavens my mom breastfed me… at least the first 2 years of my life were healthy! From ages 3-23 my diet was abysmal. When I was going through puberty I was a little husky, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was by no means “fat.” However, I was no picture of health. I always had to stop and catch my breath in gym class when we ran. I remember even going on hikes with my parents and feeling tired when I was 9 and 10 years old. Kids are supposed to have boundless energy, right?! Well not this girl. I watched plenty of MTV to keep me on my butt. I played sports year round, but I never was active outside of my sports time. AND HOLY CRAP COULD I EAT… I would put down an entire burrito in less than 10 minutes. I always had a clean plate. In fact, my nickname in high school was “garbage disposal” because I would finish all of my friends’ unwanted food.  In high school I always felt tired and never felt like I got enough sleep. I always thought that I could feel better, but was active in sports and happy with my body and body image (despite gaining 20 lbs during my junior and senior year) so I did not take action.

College came around, and with that came the dining halls. Dining halls=processed food heaven. I never really drank in college, but I did eat and eat and eat.  I was just as guilty then as I was in high school of eating copious amounts of processed foods. There was plenty of pizza, sandwiches, and chicken nuggets. I was sleeping 12 hours a night with anywhere from a 1-2 hour nap after classes. I thought it was great to take those naps. I did not know how other people got by with only 7-8 hours of sleep. That to me was an enigma. “Good for them,” I thought. By the middle of sophomore year of college, many of my clothes did not fit anymore. I thought to myself, “Hmmm that’s weird.” Can we say denial?

The walls came crumbling down around me one day when I was back home from college before my mother’s wedding. I stepped on the scale only to reveal the heaviest I had ever been. I thought, “That can’t be right.” I took off all my clothes, my ponytail, and jewelry only to reveal about the same results. NOOOOOOO!!!! How did this happen? How did I get here? Although I always had healthy body image, it didn’t change the fact that I finally realized that I was not being good my shell, and it was time for a change. It really peeved me that I had gotten to this point. Again, I was not fat by any means. However, I was on my way to getting there, and I knew that something had to give.

In 2007 I started where many people do. Weight Watchers. I thought, “Well my problem is I eat too much.” Partially true. I was eating copious amounts. So I did the online program and lost 15 lbs. Not bad. It was a start. Instead of 10 chicken nuggets, now I ate 3. A step in the right direction. In addition to smaller portions, my activity level was up as I started working for the airlines as a baggage handler. By the time my own wedding came around that summer, I was 15 lbs lighter and more toned than before since my habits changed. I was satisfied, but was looking for more…

About the beginning of 2008 I woke-up one day and decided to be vegetarian (Literally). All the years of accumulated information about factory farming just came to a head in my mind.  I called my husband and told him. He was kind of surprised, but was supportive. I mean, it was “healthier” as well. No doubt I made some positive changes when I went vegetarian. I ate more fruits and veggies, but my diet was still loaded with grains. Eventually in 2009 I got really into “whole grains.” I read about how “healthy” they were, and I immediately switched from white wheat to whole. One thing I must tell you is that my entire life I have had IBS. However, when I made the changed mentioned above, it took my IBS to a whole new level (I won’t go into too many details, so don’t worry). I just attributed it to “you’re eating healthy so you’re going to fart more.” Ha.

During my four-year vegetarianism I had a six-month gig as a vegan,  went back to regular vegetarian, and then in 2011 went to pescatarian. I did not feel the “optimal health” that I had been searching for. I was always bloated, farting, and cramps in every lifestyle I experimented with. I found a correlation with cow dairy and my IBS, so toward 2011 I started eating less dairy. It helped, but nothing worth oohing and awwing about.

Then in March of 2012 Allen and I did a two-week fresh juice fast. Why not? See if it helps… One thing that was a miracle was that I had no IBS symptoms during these two weeks. Praise the Almighty! But how could this be? What was the deal?

I went back to my pescatarian ways, and my IBS came back with extra wrath. I was miserable… so bloated and miserable. WHAT THE HECK.

I was desperate. I started going online to IBS forums, seeing if anyone had some insight. I saw many people had luck with a paleo diet… this was going against everything I had been holding on to as the “ideal” healthy lifestyle of being vegetarian. But I was desperate, and I decided to give it go.

One day in June 2012 I went to Chipotle. I got a chicken, rice-less and bean-less burrito bowl. I stared at it for some time. And then I ate it. And I lived. And then after two-days I had no IBS symptoms. None. And since then, I have been a happy camper.

The main culprit in my GI inflammation was wheat. I will be writing many more posts about what I have learned, gained, and lost in my most recent food journey. But this is my background story. And, now it starts…