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food

Treating My Skin with Food

In Health

Over the Summer I did my second round of Whole 30 and, if you’ve been around since then, you know that I’m a huge fan of it.  It’s funny that I thought I’d never try it about a year ago and now, I’ve done two rounds and don’t find it so crazy after all.  It does wonders for resetting your body in so many ways but the one I noticed the most was my skin.  It is so clear when I’m doing Whole 30.  I’m not talking breakouts though, but that is something I was clear of too.  I’m talking about my skin condition, tinea versicolor*.  It was GONE.  So I’ve decided that, for the most part, I’m going to start treating my skin better with the food I eat.

*What is tinea versicolor? It’s a common fungal infection that occurs when the body has an over production of the yeast/fungus that our bodies naturally produce.  Flare ups can be small discolorations on the skin, to larger patches that appear scaly.  Mine have even been mistaken for an allergic reaction.  It’s not contagious and you can be perfectly healthy and have this condition.

Treating my skin with food

I had no idea before Whole 30 that my skin condition was being effected by food.  It makes sense now of course, but it just never dawned on me.  I pride myself on knowing a good bit about nutrition and health for someone who doesn’t have any formal education so the fact that I’m just now figuring this out is crazy.  Anyway, after this revelation, I decided that I wanted to make a permanent change to my diet but I wasn’t quite sure what was causing the flare ups to come back.  There’s a period of time after Whole 30 called the reintroduction phase but I didn’t notice flare ups until after that time.  So what was it?  Gluten? Dairy? Sugar? Time to do a little research*.

Turns out that it’s most of those things, not just one.  Yay for me right?  It’s also a number of other factors too, such as humidity, excessive sweating, oral contraceptives (something I’m NOT willing to change at this time of my life), and hormonal changes.  The hormonal changes definitely explains why it’s worse in my postpartum life than when I was younger.  As for what I can control and am willing to change, I had to decide what was worth it for me to keep and what I felt effected my skin the most.

Treating my skin with food

Let’s cut to the chase…

What can’t you eat?  The answer here is best given as a list of what I CAN eat with little to no risk of flare ups.

  • Whole Grains (foods with no yeast)
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Eggs
  • Poultry, Beef, Pork, and Seafood

Yeah…that’s it.  But why?  Because with this condition, my body over produces this natural fungus and it reacts with many common ingredients in food, even naturally occurring ingredients.  That includes fruit!

So, is that all you eat?

No.  I ate a ton of fruit on Whole 30, aka natural sugar, and my skin was still clear so that’s one food I can keep.  Vinegar is also a food to avoid but, again, I had balsamic vinegar dressing while resetting.  But the most problematic foods I have definitely cut out (with a few exceptions).

Treating my skin with food

Sugar, added and otherwise, alcohol, baked goods, and dairy are the main things I try to stay away from.  It’s also advised that I stay away from coffee and opt for teas instead.  Not happening.  It’s all about finding a balance and figuring out what’s worth it for me.  (Food Freedom Forever is a great book to read on that topic!) If I’m going out to dinner, or having dinner with family, I’ll have a glass of wine but I’ve decided to not have it in my house.  Too tempting.  I eat gluten-free items and stay away from cheese/milk products but I’ll eat a little ice cream or fro-yo with the boys on the weekend if we happen to be doing that.

I totally have my weak moments, I get stressed and completely fall of the bandwagon.  What happens then? I get flare ups.  It is what it is.  My condition does not have a permanent solution so I have to do my best to keep it from flaring and keep my anti-fungal cream handy.

If you have a health/skin issue (non life threatening), I highly recommend trying Whole 30 as a way to discover what you’re body is reacting to.

*Articles: whole30.com / livestrong.com  / healthygoods.com / tineaversicure.com / mayoclinic.org
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In Easy Eats, Health

My Favorite Whole 30 Snacks

I’m half way through Whole 30! Woohoo! Crazy to think that just about two weeks ago I was binge eating Halo Top ice cream in preparation for my first day. (This is actually discouraged by the program but I did it anyway)

I’m already feeling some positive effects from the eating plan. I have more energy (most days), I feel better mentally, I like the way my skin looks, and I have just a general feeling of being healthier. One of the weirdest things that has happened is that I find myself not really wanting certain foods like I would before. Example: Muffins with mom at Gav’s school was yesterday and I didn’t have any desire to eat the muffin. Like….what? Who am I? (I did, however pretend to take a bite to make Gav happy. If for some reason you’re reading this in the future Gav…Sorry!)Continue reading

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Easy Eats // Southwestern Chicken Salad

In Easy Eats

My first big craving this pregnancy has been Mexican food.  If you follow me on Pinterest, all of the food I’ve been pinning lately falls into this category.  Anything that remotely has those flavors, I’m all about it!  I have been putting salsa into just about every meal, including breakfast, for the past week and half.  So, in order to not drive my husband crazy with nonstop Mexi-goodness, I’ve been trying ways to incorporate those flavors enough for me but not too much for him.

The first recipe I’ve come up with is the SUPER DELICIOUS (if I do say so myself…and I do) chicken salad.  A bonus?  The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
*Please Note: This recipes makes A LOT so if you need to, just half the ingredients*
Ingredients:
2  12.5 oz cans Canned Chicken (or about 5-6 4.5 oz cans)
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Reduced Fat Sour Cream
1.5 tsp Cumin
1.5 tsp Chile Powder
1 cup Black Beans (drained and rinsed) 
1 Green Bell Pepper (chopped small)
Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste
Toppings Suggestions:
Salsa
Shredded Cheese
Avocado/Guacamole
Cilantro
Shredded Lettuce
Start with your chicken, yogurt, and sour cream and mix until incorporated well.  Then add the spices, mix well.  Lastly, add in the black beans and bell pepper.  
Serve chilled over lettuce or in your favor wrap!
XO, Kelly
PS: Don’t be surprised if my Instagram feed starts to be all pictures of Mexican food…just sayin’!
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Easy Eats // Balsamic Pasta with Chicken and Veggies

In Easy Eats

I love to cook.  But what I love most is cooking EASY stuff.  The easier (faster) the better for me.  So here is one of my healthy go to recipes!

Ingredients: Chicken Breasts (about a pound), 1 cup Balsamic Dressing, 2 Cucumbers, 2 Medium Tomatoes, Pasta, Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)

Cook your pasta and chicken according to directions and dice up the veggies.  If you are using raw chicken, just cook it through anyway you like. 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill before serving.

That all there is to it! This recipe made so much, it lasted about a week!
Bon Appetite!

XO, Kelly

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Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It // Recipe Hits and Misses #1

In Uncategorized
When it comes to Pinterest recipes, I’ve tried my share.  Not all come out as wonderfully as the picture I pinned.  So today I thought I’d share which recipes worked for me, which ones didn’t, and anything I learned from them.
This was a hit because it tasted great but it’s a miss the ricotta ended up clumpy and cold.  I didn’t really like it in the soup.  
Very easy to make and the hubby LOVED it.  Not necessarily the healthiest recipe but I used whole wheat pizza dough, so there’s that.
This one was disappointing.  The dough didn’t cook very well and there ended up being very little filling.  With that being said, the bread was great and we dipped it in pizza sauce.
This was “shut the front door!” good.  Delicious and delivers on it’s promise of “creamy”.

So nice we’ve made it twice! It’s a really simple recipe and easy on the wallet.

I labeled this one a (sort of) miss for the fact that it looked absolutely terrible.  It was soupy in places, my pudding didn’t set, and the chocolate topping seeped through everything and looked nothing like the delicious topping in the picture above.  This could all just be because I used almond milk (it’s what I had) instead of regular milk.  However, it didn’t taste half bad.  I’ll be trying this one again.

What recipes have you tried from Pinterest that worked for you?  What would you like to see me try?

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Good Eats//Mama’s Chicken Salad

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Why do I call this “Mama’s Chicken Salad?  Because it’s quite literally my mama’s chicken salad.
Now, I’m gonna call my mom out and say that she has never been the cook of the house.  Thats always been me.  I enjoy cooking and she hates it.  Needless to say, I was SHOCKED when she came out with this one day and was all like, “Yeah I made it.”  “No, I didn’t use a recipe.”
What?  Who are you and what have to done with my mother.
Anyway, all joking aside, this stuff is so good and so easy to make.  
It’s also perfect for a party, picnic, etc!
Ingredients
1 lb. Chicken, chunked or shredded
1 Apple, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
Handful of dried cranberries and crushed walnuts
*Vegenaise (or other mayo type dressing of your choice)
*Vegenaise is an eggless mayo.  I like the grape seed oil variety.
Mix all of your ingredients together.  You can make it as chunky as you like and you can add or eliminate ingredients to your taste or health needs.  
Other additions that I like: 
red grapes, chopped lettuce, coarse ground pepper, cherry tomatoes

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Frozen Hot Chocolate

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Oxymoron, I know, but delicious!
While at Target one day, I found this delicious peanut butter cup hot chocolate.  But since it’s summer, I have no desire to drink something hot!  (That excludes coffee, of course!)
Here’s my solution.

Make the hot chocolate according to the directions.  I suggest following the stovetop directions so that it makes more.

Pour into your molds and freeze.  

I’m not really sure why I didn’t do this before!

LM  loves them too!

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Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It: Dreamy Drink

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I very rarely try out recipes from Pinterest.  I don’t know why, seeing as I have TWO boards about food.  TWO!  It may be because I just don’t want to buy all of the ingredients.
But when I saw this one, I was sold.  I already had all of the ingredients!

This is simple and delicious.  Simply delicious! Deliciously simple!  
Can you tell I like this?  
I personally like to get honey from as close to our area as possible.  Helps with the allergies.
This one is not very close but it was the closest they had where I was buying groceries.  
Heat the milk to boiling, 2-3 mins depending on your microwave, 
then stir in other the rest of the ingredients
*Word to the wise: watch your milk.  It WILL bubble over.  Very messy!**

It satisfies my after dinner sweet tooth without the guilty feeling. Delish!

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Blueberry Pancakes

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LM loves these pancakes so much I think he would eat them until he puked.  He could eat the entire stack if I let him.
What I like most about them is that they aren’t your traditional blueberry pancakes with scattered blueberries here and there.  Since LM is only 13 months old, I still get nervous about choking.  I puree the blueberries and he still gets the great taste and nutrients without the worry.
BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
Bisquick
1/2 cup blueberries
1. Make a batch of pancakes according to the box directions.
2. Puree your blueberries and add them to the batter.
3. Flip those cakes!
I believe the first time I made these is when LM started saying,” Yummy Yummy” every time he sits in the highchair!
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Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It: PB&J Thumbprint Cookies

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One of my resolutions for the year is to try at least one new recipe a month.  I found this one from A Beautiful Mess and it was delicious!
I pretty much followed the recipe except for the chopped peanuts and the gluten free flour since I didn’t have them already.
Oh man…these are the best!  It’s like a PB&J sandwich without the sticky, stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouthness. The cookies are still pretty dense though so you’ll want something to drink, I suggest milk! 
A couple things I found this first go round:
1. I’ll definitely add the chopped peanuts next time.  I think they would be even better with some added texture.
2. I was afraid that using all-purpose flour wouldn’t be as good since the recipe calls for gluten free.  Works just fine!
3. The girls from ABM found that 10 mins would have worked better for them but I found 12 mins to be better for me.
4. Let them sit.  I, of course, wanted to try them right away and, while delicious, they are even better once they’ve cooled.  I put them in the refrigerator for awhile and that seemed to do the trick faster. 
5. Double the recipe.  This batch made a dozen and I wanted more (and more and more and more)!
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