Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 5 of our "real food" pledge

I cannot believe I am already writing about day 5.  These 5 days flew by.  Drew and I have eliminated refined sugar for nearly a week! (Let me qualify that though. We did have a tiny splurge on Tuesday night to celebrate my last radiation treatment--a sweet friend and sister in Christ (as well as fellow breast cancer survivor) sent me some delicious, warm brownies to the doctor's office for my final treatment as a congratulations.  How could we pass up a warm, delicious chocolate brownie on such a big day? We enjoyed one each and then put the rest in our freezer to enjoy later).

Drew and I have both found that we stay full all day by eating these healthful, real foods.  Our theory is that the processed, sugary foods we consumed in the past encouraged us to consume even more.  They left us feeling unsatisfied--still hungry.  Processed food and sugar was like an addictive drug--one that we do not miss at all!

But because we had given up our daily dark chocolate intake, I had been on a mission to find some healthful way we could eat our special treat.  I was able to find an awesome chocolate brownie recipe to satisfy our chocolate craving.  The recipe had absolutely no sugar.  Instead, I used honey (with a splash of real maple syrup).

These dark chocolate whole-wheat brownies were delicious.  But, then again, Drew and I love dark chocolate and didn't mind the cake-like texture.  Here is the recipe in case you are interested (note, I used 1 egg.  Although it tasted great, next time I will experiment with 2 eggs:
Dark Chocolate Whole-Wheat Brownies
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour (I tested this recipe with King Arthur’s organic white whole-wheat flour, which is 100% whole-grain)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa, you will have much better results if you use “dark” cocoa (Hershey’s makes some)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup (or honey – my family is divided because I loved the maple version and they loved the honey version)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9X9 inch square glass baking dish with oil or butter.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl including the flour, cocoa and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a small pot on the stove melt the coconut oil together with the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. Once the coconut oil is melted whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the egg and keep whisking until it’s mixed together thoroughly. If using nuts fold them into the batter with a spatula.
  5. Pour the batter into the glass baking dish and bake for 16 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Eat or store in an air-tight container at room temperature – enjoy!

On Friday night, I wanted an easy meal.  So, I opted for another kid-friendly, easy meal:  whole-wheat macaroni and cheese. I added some peas to ours, because we usually add a veggie with macaroni and cheese to make it a little more healthful.  I used mozzarella and parmesan cheeses in the dish.  

Honestly, I wasn't the biggest fan of this meal.  I think the mozzarella was just a bit too bland.  Next time, I would opt for a sharp cheddar or fontina in addition to the parmesan.  It tasted a lot like Annie's organic macaroni and cheese, which I feel tastes a bit bland.  Regardless though, the meal definitely was kid-friendly, as our kids loved it!

One other note:  I am finding this way of eating would be a great method for someone to lose weight.  You can eat what you want (within the guidelines), feel full all day long, not feel deprived and actually lose weight! Drew and I did not want to lose any weight entering into this challenge.  Actually, neither of us can afford to lose a pound.  Randomly, because Luke and Abbey were playing on our scale in the bathroom, I weighed myself on Saturday morning.  I could not believe I had lost weight!  I actually went from 100 lbs at the beginning of the week to 97 lbs by Saturday morning, which scared me a bit.  Drew also lost 3 lbs.  We verified the accuracy of the scale by weighing Luke and Abbey.  So, my mission for the weekend would be to try to eat as much as possible to see if I could gain the weight back!  But, in the back of my mind, I know that when I was at my healthiest, eating well and working out every day (about 12 years ago, when I had a lot more muscle mass than I do now), I weighed 97 lbs.  So, part of me wonders if my body is just at its ideal weight.  I plan on going back to the gym soon to put some of the muscle mass that I lost over the past 9 months.    Anyway, I know that losing weight rapidly without trying is usually not a good symptom.  So, I am praying that it is all due to the way we are eating, and nothing else.  

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