Saturday, December 7, 2013

If you noticed some changes…

It's because I just went through and purged a bunch of old posts including all the old weekly deal posts. And in the process found a couple of old drafts that I decided to publish.  This is still really just a ghost site but I do try to check in on it every few months.  I'm still battling Chronic Lyme disease and the last 2 months have been extremely rough for me, I'm thankful to currently be on the mend and starting to regain some strength.    God bless. Pin It

Time for a workout!

I'm so excited that my home gym is set up now!  I'm so happy and feel so blessed, my husband has worked so hard for me to be able to have that space to work out.  With how busy and hectic my shedule is and having a little guy home in the mornings, realistically the only way I am ever going to get a workout in is at home.  This week I did some front, back squats, deadlifts ( one of my favorites), rowed, did some sit-ups and some stretching/mobility.  I was really wiped out at the begginging of the week with a flare up of my Lyme Disease and Bartonella, so I wasn't real active till later in the week.  Last week I did 2 workouts also, and one thing I'm finding as I ease back into it is the coach in me starts coming out.  It makes me want to write a post of pre and post workout nutrition, recovery, hydration etc., all of them are so important.  We put so much time, money and energy into eating right, why not take it a step further and be sure when we exercise we are taking the best care of ourselves also.  Be sure to remember to eat a small amount of protein post workout (within 15-20 minutes is best), it will aide in your recovery and help replenish your body.  It's so simple but quite often is forgotten or not made a priority, maybe sometime I'll do a post on the benefits.  I am also finding that although I'm fatigued and have been having pain and numbness in my hands this week, that working out helps, at least mentally.  And I believe that in strenthening my body it will be stronger more able to win the fight against Lyme disease and Bartonella.    My goal is to be able to go backpacking in the Trinity Alps again this summer with my husband. And to look great for my oldest son's wedding in June!
My new home gym, complete with rubber mats, thanks to my husband!

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My husband and I had a wonderful time doing just that in Maui for 12 days!  I'm so thankful I've been blessed with such a caring, loving husband, one who knows me well after almost 23 years of marriage and can tell just by looking at my face what's going on.
Raising a large family while going through treatment for lyme disease has not been easy on myself or my husband.  He works 2 jobs, one as a Fire Captain which involves shift work and can be exhausting in itself and then on his off days he works as a contractor (doing physically hard work).  So while he was thinking of me when he scheduled the reality he needed it too.  It's so important in our busy, hectic lives, to take time for each other, to slow down and enjoy the company of one another.  And while we make great efforts to do that by having date nights, it's really needed more often.  We have adult children and little children living in our home, which makes it much more challenging at this stage in our lives.  When they were all little kids we would just simply put them all to bed early (8:00) and then have our time to catch up on the days events, talk, etc., to slow down and be together.  But what we are finding now that our oldest is 21 and our youngest is 3, is that bedtimes are spread out.  The younger 4 go to bed by 8:00 on school nights, and then we spend the next hour between 8:00-9:00 trying to catch up with our middle child (our 15 year old daughter), then once she is off to bed between 9:00-9:30 we like to spend time with our oldest 2 sons (19 and 21).  It's really the only time we see them most days and it's so important to us to talk to each of them and to be there for them, our children are so important to us and we are very involved in there lives.  I want them to know we are there for them,  but I'm sure you can imagine how that can also be hard for us to have time to talk and why we try to get away alone for a few days a couple of times a year.  I encourage every couple to make time for themselves, because it doesn't help your kids if you and your husband aren't in unity.   We are so blessed with great friends who are willing to take our kids at any time and who know the importance of   getting away and resting.  And what better place to rest than "paradise"?
When we go to Maui, it's a time of rest for us, a time to slow the pace down, and not be in a hurry.  We really don't DO much, we get around slowly in the morning, and nearly every day is spent at the beach and/or pool.  We get some snorkeling and hiking in there too, but our goal is to slow down and enjoy each other.  This was our first trip to Maui without all of our kids, and while we really enjoyed ourselves and it was very restful, it made us think of them often! It ended up being just the medicine I and my husband needed (which he foresaw), lot's of vitamin D, rest and fresh air!  The first week I slept a lot, I took naps on the beach and afternoons in the condo, but Maui proved to be good for my health and by the second week I was only needing about a 1/2 hour nap!  I am so thankful to my wonderful husband for knowing I needed a break from our hectic lives and a chance to catch up on some rest.  We also enjoyed having time to do things we don't normally have time to do like read.  We read some good books while sitting on the beach listening to the waves, I grew up right on the ocean and the sound of the waves is so calming and means home to me).  While there my husband finished Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and started the book Whatever Happened to Penny Candy ( a book our kids read for school), I read The Hammer of God and we both listened to dozens of sermon podcasts by a variety of theologians and pastors.
Now that we are home and back in the thick of it, I've made myself a promise not to get so worn out and to stop pushing through so much.  To slow down and take time to rest (which I'm failing miserably at so far), and to slow down and enjoy my youngest more.  He is such an easy little guy, and I was so exhausted much of the time that I must confess, I had fallen into him watching television nearly every morning the kids were at school (4 days a week).  I was able to get a lot done that way, but it's not what I want for him.  So this week since I've been back I've turned off the TV and involved him in what I'm doing.  The other day it was time to start another batch of Kombucha so I let him "wash" the jars while I worked on other parts of the process.  He LOVED it and felt helpful, children really want to be a part of what we are doing and I'm thankful the Lord convicted me of my selfishness (sin) so I could be forgiven and start a new with him, we are really enjoying our mornings together now.
As if our lives weren't busy enough, or complicated enough, I am having to totally change my diet!  The day before we left I got the results back from Immuno Lab for food sensitivity testing that my ND had ordered.  Many of the foods I was consuming daily I do not tolerate, I was having sharp stomach pains which I kept attributing to the 6 months of heavy antibiotics I had completed for chronic Lyme Disease, but they weren't!  Turns out I am most allergic to almonds!  Which is something I was eating probably daily, because we already knew I reacted to coconut, once I cut that out (on our trip) I stopped having the sharp stomach pains, yay!  On our trip I just tried to cut out the almonds and cashews and kept other foods at moderate amounts, except eggs ( I ate those daily).  Now that we are back home I'm working on cutting out all of the foods we discovered I don't tolerate.  I think for me the hardest is no mexican food and no Kombucha, this girl LOVES her mexican food and her Kombucha!!  That and having to make separate meals for myself, I cook extra stuff for myself to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinners.  At my Doctors suggestion I'm using Duck eggs for myself and chicken eggs for the rest of the family, the duck eggs are harder to come by and more expensive so it's not feasible at this point to feed us all this way.  I really thought avoiding most of the food items would be pretty easy, but I'm finding it a bit harder than I anticipated.  I rarely drink coffee so I  didn't think It would be a problem, but now that I know I can't have it guess what I want?  Yep, coffee!
I'll try not to bore you all with to many details, I  really want to do some posts on the subject and have been trying to organize my thoughts and figure out where to start.  I'm thinking that I might start with what the differences are between food allergies and food sensitivities or intolerances and then move on from there.  For now I'm embracing this new challenge and thankfully I have many people who need me and no time to waste wallowing in self pity or thinking about it.    One example: last night was a crazy night, so the kids had taco salad and I had my chicken breast with  Herbs de Provence, sea salt and pepper on it with carrot sticks and honeydew melon, I had a fleeting moment of pity (like I said this girl LOVES mexican), but it was a good reminder of what we frequently tell our kids" We eat to live we don't live to eat" and that food is fuel.  As I get the hang of things and the list of what I can't have becomes ingrained in my memory instead of having to check it everytime it will get easier I'm sure.  What I'm most thankful for above everything is that I have a savior who loves me and promises to never leave nor forsake me, a God who I can cry out to and even vent my anger/frustration with what life has served up, my hope, faith and trust are in the Lord "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

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This Chili is For those of you who like it SPICY!!!  It will make a huge pot of very meaty chili, it feeds our whole family with a little leftover, so you may want to scale it down for your family.


10 dried Ancho Chiles-chopped, stemmed and seeded (small-medium peppers, if you use bigger ones just use less)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Chopped Ancho Chiles soaking 
In small bowl, soak Chiles in water and vinegar for 30 minutes.  After soaking puree the mixture in your blender or food processor until very smooth.  Which takes about 5 minutes; set aside.  I have tried both and my preference is the food processor.

3 pounds hot Italian sausage, casings removed
3 pounds ground beef

Place sausage and ground beef in a large, deep skillet.  Cook over medium high heat until evenly browned.  Then remove the meat from the pan and set aside in a large stock pot, reserving about 1/4 cup of the meat drippings in the skillet.

1 large white onion, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
Onions, chopped, in the pan and ready to Saute.

4 cups chopped celery
4 cups chopped carrots
10 cloves of garlic, sliced

In your large skillet  heat the drippings over med-high heat and Saute your onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until the onions are soft.  

Veggies being sauted.

1 tsp sea salt (or less, to taste)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
4 (14.5 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Tapatio)
1 heaping Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 cup honey or agave (or less, to taste)

Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in tomato paste, and allow to caramelize. Then pour in the wine to deglaze your skillet.
Add your sauted vegetables to the meat in the stockpot, adding the canned tomatoes, hot pepper sauce, chili paste (from your blender or food processor), honey, and seasonings. 

 Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.  
Stir chili about every hour being sure to scrape the bottom.

Chili in the pot and ready to simmer.

 Serve with your favorite garnishes, red onions, tomatoes, avocados, or whatever you can think of.  Add a side salad or some fruit and your good to go!

This is a very versatile recipe, I added some extra fresh tomatoes today because they needed used.  Use your imagination and enjoy!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

A Chapter is...

 about to come to end.  I want to preface this announcement by saying I've really enjoyed the encouragement and support you have offered during my blogging chapter, and I want to apologize to those of you who may have just recently stumbled onto or discovered Budget Paleo...Made Easy.    This is a decision my husband and I have weighing carefully for a quite a while now and some things that came up this past week just made it very clear to us that it is time for me to stop blogging (new reasons).  I was really looking forward to sharing and blogging about my latest elimination diet, but I know this is the Lords will and I'm looking forward to new things in our future.  I will leave the blog here as a "ghost" blog, so recipes, posts, etc. will still be accessible, but I won't be answering comments or making new posts.  I will also be closing down the Facebook page in the next week or so, I'll try to use it as a way to get the word out that Budget Paleo...Made Easy is coming to an end. I love Pinterest and will still be on there as myself rather than Budget Paleo...Made Easy, feel free to continue to follow me as I pin away.   Again thank you all so much for all the support, encouragement and kind words, it's been fun!  I'll leave you all with a link to my post from a few months ago when I took a sabbatical from blogging and started weighing this decision more heavily, it has a long list of resources, if you would like me to add your blog to the list please message or email me and I'd be happy to do so.  Good Bye and God Bless!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentines Day Recipe Ideas

Valentines Day is sneaking up on me, I had intended to do this post earlier but just didn't get to it until now.  Here are some fun ideas, some I've found on Pinterest, some are favorites or ours, and some just looked fun.  We will be making Chocolate Sun-Butter Cups in a heart shaped mold, along with some other truffle filled dark chocolate candies, we might also do some Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and for sure some Bacon Wrapped Dates, we all LOVE those.  Happy Valentines Day!

Here are some great breakfast ideas:

Fun Ideas:

I thought this was a fun alternative to candy, little boys can make and give these little cars, the top link has the free printable:
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Grain Free Garlic and Herb Snack Crackers

I though these would be a fun snack for the kids on Valentines Day.  I used my recipe for Almond Meal Crackers, but after I rolled them out I used heart cookie cutters and then lifted them with a thin spatula onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  The kids loved them, these take just a little more time to make than cutting them with a pizza cutter or pastry cutter, but it's well worth it.  

Paleo And GF Crackers #2 
( all almond flour)

2 slightly heaping cups of almond flour ( I make my own Unblanched Almond Flour)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 TBSP good quality olive oil ( or butter)
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more)
Garlic powder to taste ( about 1/4-1/2 tsp)
Dried Basil to taste ( about 1/2-1 tsp)
Oregano (about 1/4 tsp)
Rosemary ( optional)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well until combined. Then knead the dough into a ball, place on a large sheet of parchment paper and flatten with your hands. Then cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out with a rolling pin until its thin ( about 1/8"). Then remove the top layer of paper and using a pizza cutter, cut dough into crackers or using a cookie cutter cut into shapes. If you are using a cookie cutter you will need to use a thin spatulat to lift them off the paper and move them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  You may then re-roll the scraps and repeat the process.  If you are not using the cookie cutter method then just slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven of 325 degrees for about 20-30 minutes removing the ones on the edges as the get done more quickly and allowing the middle to finish baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, enjoy or store in an airtight container! 

Dough ready to be rolled out.
Flattening the dough with my hands.
 Cutting out the shapes.


Yummy Garlic and Herb Crackers ready to eat.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Paleo and GF Crackers

This is a very simple recipe, one that would be fun for children to help with or make depending on their age. They can help mix the dough, roll it out and even cut them into crackers. They may however need some help putting them in and taking them out of the hot oven, again depending on their age. My apologies for the cell phone photos, my internet is down for a few days while we wait for a new line to be installed, so I am having to post this from my phone, I hope to get higher quality, instructional photos up in the future.
I hadn't made crackers for a while, but two of my girls were sick with the stomach flu and were asking for crackers so I thought I would whip out a batch really quickly for them. In the past I've always made them with spices and they have tasted like Italian or pizza crust flavor. But today since the girls were sick I made them plain, and used the opportunity to experimented using Sunflower Seed flour for part of the flour. We really liked the nice nutty flavor that the Sunflower Seed Flour imparts. The idea for making Sunflower seed flour is does not come from me, it comes from a wonderful post written by the Paleo Parents  last week using a Blendtec. I however, have been using the technique found on my post and video for making almond flour at home, and am happy to share that it can be made inexpensively with a Coffee grinder. Sunflower Seeds are much cheaper ( like $3-$4 less per pound than almonds) and using a coffee grinder you will end up with a wonderful, fine flour, perfect for baking (unless of course you already own a Blentec or Vitamix).  Another huge advantage to grinding your own nut/seed flours is that you can soak them in advance, dehydrate them and then grind them into flour removing many of the anti-nutrients and making them more easily digestible (here is a little information on soaking : The Healthy Home Economist or How to soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds by: Mommypotamus if you are interested).
Feel free to experiment with these cracker recipes using different seasonings or maybe adding a couple tablespoons of sesame or poppy seeds.
I will give both recipes I've used for making Paleo and GF Crackers so that you may try them both if you like:

Paleo and GF Crackers 
( With Sunflower Seed Flour and almond flour)

1 cup almond flour ( I made my own so if you are using store bought you may want to decrease this slightly)
1 cup of homemade sunflower seed flour, finely ground
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp sea salt ( scant)
1 1/2 TBSP  melted butter or olive oil ( your choice and does change the flavor slightly)
Seasonings or seeds of your choice

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl, mixing well to be sure it's well combined. Then knead the dough into a round ball, place on large piece of parchment paper, flatten with your hands slightly. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll out dough with a rolling pin, until its nice and evenly thin ( approximately 1/8"). Peel off top layer of parchment paper and using a pizza cutter, cut your dough into squares or whatever shape you would like. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done, ovens vary so much it's a good idea to watch them closely the first time you make them. I also removed the ones on the edges and put the rest back in to finish baking as the edges will cook faster. Remove from the oven and let cool, I used the tip of a sharp knife to break or separate them where they stuck together. And that's it, then you get to enjoy them or store them in a airtight container ( ours rarely last that long). We got about 3 1/2 dozen crackers out of this.

Paleo And GF Crackers #2 
( all almond flour)
*updated 2/11/13

2 slightly heaping cups of almond flour ( I make my own unblanched almond flour)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 TBSP good quality olive oil ( or butter)
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more)
Garlic powder to taste ( about 1/4-1/2 tsp)
Dried Basil to taste ( about 1/2-1 tsp)
Oregano (about 1/4 tsp)
Rosemary ( optional)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well until combined. Then knead the dough into a ball, place on a large sheet of parchment paper and flatten with your hands. Then cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out with a rolling pin until its thin ( about 1/8"). Then remove the top layer of paper and using a pizza cutter, cut dough into crackers. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven of 325 degrees for about 20-30 minutes removing the ones on the edges as the get done more quickly and allowing the middle to finish baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, enjoy or store in an airtight container!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Banana Crepes/pancakes and Our month of clean eating..

After an extremely busy month of December ( which included moving), and visiting family at Christmas we were feeling a real need to clean up our Paleo diet.  We decided that my husband and I would do a Whole 30  followed by a 21 Day Sugar Detox and that our children 15 years old and under would do 30 days of Paleo eating.  What we hadn't anticipated is that our two oldest sons, both adults living in our home (19 and 21) would decide that they too wanted to do a 30 day Paleo challenge.  We were thrilled!  It has made it much easier for the rest of us to stay on track because they aren't tempting the younger kids with treats, etc.  And I know they will feel so much better, especially our oldest who has known problems with wheat and dairy but won't stop eating them completely (he will reduce his intake when he feels badly, and has a fiancee who keeps baking him wonderful treats).  She is suddenly asking for Paleo dessert recipes, realizing that is going to be the only way she can bake for him this month though.  With the two oldest they are really doing more of what we call a Robb Wolf 30 day challenge, just clean Paleo eating, with some dried fruit and occasional Paleo treats.  And honestly I have no idea what they are really eating while not at home, it's really up to them and how far they want to take it.  One thing they were running into their first week was being hungry all the time so I encouraged them to increase their fat intake and up their veggies (they tend to eat tons of meat, but slack on the veggies).  It will be interesting to see how they feel, what they think about the experience and how they body composition changes over the 30 days.  
As for our 5 younger ones (all under 15 years of age), we are just having them stick to Paleo and not "eat off the farm" for 30 days.  They still get my Paleo Pancakes for breakfast, but only get one treat a week, on Friday or Saturday night they get to pick out a Paleo treat.  Last weekend they chose to have our favorite Brownies from Elena's Pantry.  The only hard part about that for me was not eating them ( I do confess to eating a crumb!), thankfully all 7 of them plus Jamie's fiancee polished them off  the next day at lunch so I wasn't tempted to eat them!  We feel that as children they don't need to feel like they are on a diet, and their little bodies need way more fuel/carbs than us big people, which is why we aren't being so strict with their 30 day challenge.  As long as it falls into Paleo, we're okay with it and I've found that involving them in the prep and cooking process also helps get them more excited about it.  I think this is a wonderful time of year to boost their little immune systems and heal their little guts, with all the serious flu going around this year.  I'm also big on fermented foods/drinks and so are they, thankfully, several of them love Bubbies fermented sauerkraut and my oldest daughter has mastered making water kefir (which tastes like soda).  My younger ones all love Kombucha too, but lately we've been going through it so fast I'm having to ration it.  Maybe it's time to add in another 2 1/2 gallon jar in place of the 1 gallon I've been using.  I actually make a total of about 6 gallons every 10-14 days depending on the weather and the warmth of our house.  
For myself, I've noticed my gut is much happier (as someone who had severe IBS before going Paleo the tighter my diet is the better), inflammation from Lyme's seems to be in better control too, and I wish I could say I had more energy, but with the physical things I'm battling and medication I'm on I think they are preventing that.  I have noticed that my body composition seems to be changing already (just 1 week in). I've done 3-4 Whole 30's so it's much easier this time around, I know what to do and that makes a big difference and makes for much "smoother sailing".  I also started some light exercise yesterday, it's been a long time since I've been able to work out, with the lyme treatment and all, so I'm taking it very slowly and trying not to overdo it and put to much strain on my body.   I'm looking forward to regaining some strength, the reality of how weak I'd gotten hit me hard on our trip to visit my brother.  We went sledding with the kids, which was a blast, but I found I didn't have the strength to get up when I wiped out in the deep fluffy snow at the bottom.  Something I've never had a problem doing before, I now had to roll to my knees to get up, it was then and there I decided I needed to do whatever I can do to regain some strength.   
My husband, who works 2 jobs, his first as a Captain for the fire department has found it much easier this time around because one of the other men on his crew is also doing a Whole 30 so he is not the "odd" one out and they can encourage each other to stick with it.  The one thing I worry about with him is sleep, you can have the best diet in the world but not see results if you're lacking sleep and under to much stress.  Stress is a funny thing to, it doesn't have to be the kind of stress most of think of, it can also be physical stress we put on our bodies by doing something that is supposed to be healthy for us like working out, or in my husbands case doing a physically hard job with a lack of good sleep (his second job is construction).  
Okay, enough about all that...time for a quick recipe.  This isn't a  new idea by any means, I've seen this floating around the internet for a while, and we've been enjoying them ( although usually with a different ratio, I prefer more eggs or I find them to sweet).  While they are often called 2 ingredient banana pancakes, I prefer to think of them more as crepes.  I think they would be amazing spread with homemade almond butter or Chocolate Pecan Almond butter.  I do find that when I eat these I often need another protein  like bacon, canadian bacon or ham on the side.  Unfortunately if you are doing a Whole 30 you will need to wait until your 30 days are up to try these.  But if you're on a 21 day sugar detox and you use greener bananas they are okay as far as I understand (I'm not as familiar with the 21 Day Sugar Detox).  My kids have been enjoying these this past week...

Simple Banana Crepes/Pancakes

2 medium size bananas
6 eggs
splash of real vanilla (gluten free)
and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon (to taste, I like a lot!)

Combine all of the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and a little frothy.  Heat a griddle (I heat mine to about 300 degrees), grease well with coconut oil, ghee or butter.  Pour small amounts of batter on and cook like you would pancakes.  Remove and eat plain or topped with your desired toppings, these do not need any maple syrup as the bananas sweeten them naturally.  They also make a great snack, my kids LOVE to nibble on these!

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