Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Journey to All Natural Living | Part 9

I originally titled this 52 week to All Natural Living.

A bit unrealistic.

These things take time.

A lot of time!

But slow and steady wins the race and we're winning here. :)

To recap:

Overall Lifestyle Plan 
(*astericks mean already accomplished personally
** mean currently working on)
Phase I:
    Break Sugar Addiction*
    Break Caffeine Addiction* 
    Begin replacing processed foods with whole foods**

Phase II:
     Change Diet by:
            Learning different rices and grains and how to use/cook with new recipes **
            Develop raw and whole food snacks **
            Learn cooking vegetarian *

Phase III:
      Move to cloth products (paper towels, tissues, napkins)
      Get rid of plastic containers and move to all glass

Phase IV: 
       Move to all natural cleaning products. Make the majority of them.
Phase V:
       Expand gardening, preserving and root cellar knowledge**

Phase VI: 
      Go to all natural, home-made beauty and toiletries

Phase VII: 
     Provide our own eggs, meat, and milk with our livestock

Phase VIII:
     Make own condiments and cheeses

Phase IX:
     Learn herbs and wild plants and medicinal and dietary uses
     Learn essential oils and medicinal uses

Phase X:
     Self-sustaining with greenhouse and aquaponic/greenhouse set up
     Self-sustaining with wind and solar energy

Dietary Plan from Phase I and II of Lifestyle Plan

Stage 1:
      Whole grain cereal and/or nut butter on whole grain/gluten free toast for breakfast (we have bad breakfast habits)
     + fresh juiced veggies and fruit

      Cut one sugar and processed food snack per day and replace with whole food and/or raw. *
      Cut one cup of caffeinated coffee *

Stage 2:
      Add a morning smoothie to the morning snack routine, complete with fresh juice from breakfast, flax/hemp/chia seeds, probiotics, kefir, spinach, maca powder.**
       Eventually add in Bragg's ACV and wheatgrass, as tolerated.

Delete another sugar/processed snack and replace with whole food/raw snack.*
Cut another cup of caffeine out. *

Currently at:
Stage 3:
     Have all afternoon snacks be raw and/or whole foods*

Stage 4: 
     Have all morning snacks be raw and/or whole foods

I am so thrilled to be beyond sugar addiction. So far beyond, that an ice-cream sundae at a social event the other night wasn't at all enticing. The desire to bake cookies every few days and scarf them is gone, and even caramel lattes that I have always loved to consume, are too much these days, sweet-wise.

Most baking has been done with coconut sugar and while it has less sweetness than white or brown, it's still fairly sweet. And there is no high glycemic index to it, so there is no high, then crash, from a sugar rush, when consuming baked goods made with it.

Unfortunately, my daughter still has a struggle with sugar, desiring it and having avenues in which she receives it. While we are not fans of her having it, we don't prohibit her from being allowed to eat it when at social events or at her grandparents. The difference in her behavior is extreme however, when she does have sugar consumption and is never less than shocking. After the ice-cream rush the other night (she was with someone other than me, so received a much larger helping than we would have accepted for her), the emotions and behavior were shocking within the hour. And shocking is not an exaggeration. Screaming banshee comes to mind.

So, while we do not prohibit her from not joining the others when at events in which processed, sugary goodies are offered, we do try to monitor how much because of her extreme reactions when it is consumed. And because we desire to help her break, what we consider an addiction to it. Something we have to admit, we allowed as her parents in her early years of life.

Bubbles, on the other hand, does not have sugar issues. Being gluten and dairy free has prohibited him from eating a lot of junk food when it's offered, and though he has a sweet tooth for the coconut sugar baked goods we have in our home weekly, he doesn't crash out, given it's low glycemic index. He is also known to not finish a sweet thing if we allow him to deviate from his regular diet and try it and he gravitates as much to fruit and vegetables and salsa and hummus as he does baked goods.

I pray with time we can eventually get Miraclegirl to this place. We have some years to re-teach in her case, whereas we started Bubbles out right, from the get-go.

That is where we currently are, though the smoothies and juicing still aren't a daily event, simply because we are not in season for veggies and fruits just yet. But it's coming and coming quickly, at which time, we will be able to incorporate those two things not only daily, but multiple times a day. We ourselves, have spinach growing and it will be ready for smoothies in approx. two week's time. Such a relief, given I spend $5 in the store for a pack that turns mushy and gross within four days.

The most recent recipes developed for Stage 3 are both low-glycemic, gluten free recipes.

 Almond Flour Choc-Chip 
Cookie Bars

1 stick of butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup of applesauce
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup of GF baking mix blend
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pecans and chocolate chips

Mix and spread into 8x10. Bake at 350ยบ for 12 minutes. (that is toaster oven time. Not sure of a regular oven.)

Sweet and Salty Almonds

~ Soak 2 cups of raw almonds overnight. 
~ Rinse and drain
~ Mix with 1/4 cup coconut sugar
~ 1/4 cup coconut oil (vege oil would work too)
~ Dash of maple syrup
~ 1/2 tsp of salt (or more if you love salt! But remember, dehydrating these will make the salt really stand out). 
~ Add in sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and GF oats to the mixture for an added crunch with the almonds if desired. This will form small clumps, though they aren't as big as almonds and may make snacking more difficult.

Dehydrate for 48 hours. 
These could probably be done in the oven, but I'm not sure of times or temperature. If you figure it out, leave me a comment. :)
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