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Square Meals + Turmeric Egg Scramble Recipe

September 21, 2015

TurmericScrambledEggs_HealthyStacey

About 14 years ago, I read a book called “The Abs Diet.” As many diet books did for me when I was only 18, I hung on to every word and followed every rule.

One of the biggest rules of the Abs Diet was:

Eat six times a day.

I was to alternate larger meals with small snacks (i.e. a snack two hours before lunch, another one two hours before dinner, and one more two hours after dinner).

Each meal must contain at least two of the 12 Abs Diet Powerfoods, such as almonds, beans, spinach, instant oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter, raspberries, olive oil and whole grains.

Like any diet, my Abs Diet obsession was short-lived. I found another shiny new diet (I believe the next book I read was “Skinny Bitch”) and moved on.

But for whatever reason, one thing I clung on to was that first rule.

Eat six times a day.

But why?

Well, honestly, I loved the idea of anybody giving me permission to snack more, graze more, and never stop eating.

But doing a little research (both self-experimentation and reading) has caused me to really question this conventionalism.

The reason that everybody from Shape Magazine to the school nutritionist are vying for small meals throughout the day is to combat the cranky, hangry blood sugar swings that so many people experience. They want you to consume food regularly to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

However, our blood sugar levels wouldn’t be so volatile if we just ate real, unprocessed foods. When you eat tons of sugar, your blood sugar levels spike. When your body has to exert a lot of energy to keep the blood sugar levels from skyrocketing, the blood sugar plummets.

When you’re eating foods that aren’t high in sugar, you no longer HAVE TO eat every couple of hours.

Brussels_healthystacey

In fact, square meals are much better for you.

Why? Well, every time you eat, your body has to process your food. When you eat continuously throughout the day (nuts, crackers, chips, etc.), your body can’t work fast enough to get through all of it.

When you eat three meals a day, it has plenty of time to process. Waiting till you are hungry before you eat enables your body to metabolize much better.

Also, because of the snackers that we are, many times our body stops understanding what it feels like to be hungry.

It’s 10 am? I’m feeling peck-ish. It’s 1:00? I need something sweet. It’s 3 pm? I need to get me some popcorn to get me through this meeting. It’s 5 pm? I’m FAMISHED. Let me snack on these chips before dinner.

Your body doesn’t know how to be hungry anymore!

We can actually feel moderately hungry and moderately full all at the same time. 

REMINDER: I AM NOT A DOCTOR, A NUTRITIONIST OR A DIETITICIAN. JUST A GIRL WHO LIKES TO USE FOOD TO KEEP HER FEELING GOOD. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING CHANGING YOUR DIET.

All of this brought me to give it a try. For a few weeks – not really a definitive start and finish – I would make a promise to myself to make my breakfast, lunch and dinner a little bigger and fuller; and my snacks non-existent.

Believe me, it pained the snacker in me to do this. I have a whole drawer of nuts, seeds, coconut chips and jerky and an entire pocket in my purse dedicated to Lara Bars and Ginger Candy that will be very unhappy with me if I find this to be true. But I think it’s worth a try….

SteakSalad_HealthyStacey

My Original Eating Schedule

  • Smoothie at 7:30 AM
  • Hard Boiled Eggs at 10:00 AM
  • Desk snacking until lunch time (i.e. nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, jerk)
  • Salad with protein at 12:00 PM
  • Apple or Whole Milk Yogurt at 2:30/3:00 PM
  • More desk snacking
  • Fridge Grazing at 6:00 PM
  • Dinner at 7:30/8:00 PM

My New Eating Schedule – 1 Week Later:

  • Big Ol' Omelet with half an avocado at 7:30 AM
  • Salad with protein at 12:00 PM
  • SOME desk snacking (I'm not going to be a Nazi about it)
  • Dinner at 7:30 PM (with added protein)

How I Feel:

  • I haven't felt that 10:30/11:00 AM grumbly hunger pangs.
  • I am enjoying my meals much more (food tastes so much better when you're hungry for it).
  • And I am recognizing how much my constant snacking at work was much more mental than it ever was a physical hunger. I snack when I'm nervous. I snack when I'm bored. I snack when I'm stressed. Time to dig deeper, Stacey! Figure out the root of the problem rather than eating it.
  • Last but definitely not least, I've felt a marked difference in my digestion.

Okay, now for the fun part. Recipe time!!

I don’t know about you, but the part of the day I find myself snacking the most is mid-morning. Around 10:30 am, my stomach is grumbling so loud, the Account Team on the third floor can hear it (I’m on the second floor).

Which is why I felt it fitting to give you a really good hearty breakfast to start your day with – and keep you going – until it’s time for a hearty hearty lunch.

Turmeric Egg Scramble Recipe

TurmericScramble_HealthyStacey

I know what you’re thinking. Scrambled eggs? Real original Stacey. But I actually believe scrambled eggs can be very difficult and take quite a bit of technique. So I've gone into great detail below to show you how I make MY scrambled eggs. Oh. And I added my favorite anti-inflammatory ingredient, TURMERIC! What a great way to start the day. Hope you like them as much as I do. Eat well my friends.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 -2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 2 Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • Pinch of S&P
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes (the "cherries" on top, get it?!)

Directions:

  1. Whisk your eggs with the pinch of S&P and turmeric and set bowl aside.
  2. Saute your chopped onions in your fat of choice until they are just a little bit softer (you will be continuing to cook them with the eggs, so don’t overdo it here).
  3. Add in your sliced mushrooms (and more fat if you need it). Let them sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms have browned slightly (again, don’t overdo it here, the hot eggs will cook them even more).
  4. Add another knob of butter or ghee to the pan (don’t be scared of the good fats).
  5. Pour the egg mixture in the pan and move it around a bit at first.
  6. Then, let them sit for about 10 seconds, and then move them around again. (It took me years to perfect this very scientific technique).
  7. Repeat until they begin to set. And then stir continuously until they are cooked as you like them. (My opinion: I always underdo it a little because it inevitably will sit on the hot pan and continue to cook while I get myself together before it ever makes it to the cool plate).
  8. Top with sliced avocado and cherry tomatoes and you've got yourself one awesomely delicious SQUARE MEAL 🙂

Like what you read today? Think somebody else would like to know more about eating square meals or slowing their roll with snacking? See those cute little social shapes underneath this post? They're for sharing! Click one to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or comment right here on the blog. I would love to hear from you.

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Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

Paleo Pumpkin Carrot Turmeric Muffins + What’s A Food Swap? I Want One!

July 7, 2015
HealthyStacey_FoodSwapMuffins

A couple weeks back, I got the privilege of attending a conference called Eat Write Retreat. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time, and was so happy to find that it was everything I thought it would be and more. For three days straight, I was entrenched in good food, great ideas and inspiring, creative, foodie food bloggers. I was in health blog heaven.

EatWriteRetreat_CatalystRanchSevenLionsCarrotDish

ProsciuttoDiParma

SevenLionsApps

There were presentations, food tastings, sponsors, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and one very memorable activity called a Food Swap, run by a fellow Chicago blogger Emily Paster from West of the Loop. What is a Food Swap, you ask?

MuffinAerialShot

A Food Swap is essentially a bake sale in which the only currency is your own food. Each attendee was asked to bring their own homemade products and dress them up in pretty packages. We had 15 minutes or so to peruse everybody else’s goodies. When time was up, we scrambled for our top picks, hoping that the maker would be just as interested in our treat as we were in theirs. No money passes hands. Just food.

FoodSwapGoodies

Let me tell you, I cleaned UP. I had so many goodies – half of which I would never take the time to make myself, but I was so so happy to reap the benefits of others’ hard work. By the end of the swap, I walked home with:

And I paid for all of it with these babies:

Paleo Pumpkin Carrot Turmeric Muffins

PaleoPumpkinTurmericMuffins

Inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers – NomNomPaleo – this spongy, slightly spicy muffin is a paleo-approved combination of warm comforting ingredients. But I decided to make a few tweaks and add one very important ingredient that not only makes it more exotic, but also adds big health benefits. That’s right, my favorite anti-inflammatory friend – turmeric.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large eggs at room temperature – huge fan of Vital Farms
  • 4 medium carrots, grated and squeezed of juice (final volume: 1½ cups shredded carrots)
  • 1 cup almond flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ cup coconut flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin purée – I order this brand by the dozen
  • ½ cup local honey
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower butter – my fav is MaraNatha
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil + more for greasing muffin cups
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Take your eggs out of the fridge (room temperature eggs = better blending)
  3. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and coat them with coconut oil for extra non-sticking assurance
  4. Grate carrots with food processor or by hand
  5. Place carrots in two sheets of cheese cloth, gather up the sides of the cloth, and squeeze the heck out of the carrots until they’re dry as a bone (I know it’s a pain, but skipping this step might make the muffin fall apart)
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, pumpkin spice, turmeric spice, baking soda, cream of tartar, ground cinnamon, and sea salt.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix together your room temperature eggs
  8. Add the pumpkin, honey, sunflower butter, and melted coconut oil
  9. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir
  10. Fold in the dry-as-a-bone carrots
  11. Scoop the batter evenly into your greased muffin tins/cups
  12. Toss pumpkin seeds on a sauté pan or put them in the oven for about 5 minutes to toast them
  13. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and turmeric on top for a vibrant orange and green topping
  14. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through
  15. As soon as you can get a toothpick to come out clean, they are done!
  16. Transfer to a cooling rack and try to hold on as long as you can before you stuff one in your mouth and still burn your tongue (because you definitely did not hold on long enough)

BakingPaleoMuffins_HealthyStacey

Like what you read today? Think somebody else could benefit from a good anti-inflammatory muffin? See those cute little shapes underneat this post? They're for sharing! Click one to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or comment right here on the blog. I would love to hear from you.

TURMERIC is my Favorite

January 21, 2015

Turmeric.
[tur-mer-ik]

noun.

that weird spice that came with your spice rack that you have no idea what to do with.

I got mine as part of a kit from Penzeys Spices, given to me as a gift (thanks Margaret!). I blasted through the garlic, oregano, pepper and cinnamon. But the bright orange cheese (and by that I mean turmeric) stood alone.

And so it remained until a few months ago when I found very good use for it. You see, back during fall allergy season, I was waking up with this swollen feeling in my upper respiratory area every single morning. I felt like I couldn’t swallow. And no amount of water would make it better. I knew I wasn’t sick, because the symptoms would always subside throughout the day.

Through writing this blog, I’ve learned one very important lesson:

Food and drink can heal, or at least minimize, a lot of ailments.

So I skipped the allergy drugs, and decided to do a little bit of research. I eventually found this beauty that I told you about on my spicy smoothie post.

SINUS RELIEF TEA

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • pinch of cayenne
  • pinch of turmeri 

As you may have guessed, IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. The swollen feeling immediately felt soothed, and it was all gone before I left the house for work. The reason I was told this combination worked was in large part to my red-headed-step-child spice: Turmeric.

Why Turmeric is Awesome

The bright yellow orange pigment of turmeric is called curcumin. THIS is what does a lot of the heavy lifting. Studies have shown that curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects can be comparable to hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin (1). But since it’s coming from a plant, it’s not toxic, and you’re not going to experience toxic side effects (i.e. ulcers, intestinal bleeding, etc).  Drug benefits without drug side effects? THAT’S AWESOME.

At it’s very best, this is GREAT news for people suffering from more serious illnesses such as Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis (2)(3). But I also believe it can be a great benefit to a lot of us who – whether we realize it or not – are struggling with inflammation on a regular basis.

Don't get me wrong, we need inflammation. It's our bodies way of protecting and healing itself. But sometimes, our body goes haywire and the inflammation doesn't stop. If you have allergies and sinus issues, arthritis, bloating, gas and constipation, or muscle aches and pains, you're experiencing inflammation. And fortunately, there are easier ways to address these issues without resorting to drugs (Given that your condition is not serious, of course. Please consult with a medical professional if it is as I AM NOT ONE).

When I find something I like (especially if it’s good for me), I tend to get a little obsessive. Basically, HOW CAN I PUT THIS IN EVERYTHING I EAT? Best part is, I love the taste just as much as I love the health benefits. It’s peppery, a little spicy and slightly reminiscent of my favorite flavor in the whole world: ginger. I have found it pairs really well with cayenne if you want an extra kick.

NOTE: Turmeric does come in supplement form and some recommend that this is the best way to experience its health benefits. This is something I plan on looking into. But it’s still effective, so much more fun, and cheaper to incorporate it into your kitchen. Right? So with that, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite turmeric uses so you can give it a try.

Turmeric Uses

Another Note: You can buy real turmeric root at the health food store. It will need to be peeled and chopped before use. It does taste fresher and food is always better in its original form. However, there is nothing wrong with going with a good ground turmeric powder for convenience. My favorite is Frontier because they don’t have GMOs or artificial colors or preservatives.

1.     ROASTED TURMERIC SWEET POTATOES: Roll sweet potatoes in melted coconut oil and sprinkle with ½-1 tsp. turmeric, ¼ tsp. cayenne, salt and pepper (to taste). Roast for 30 minutes at 425, turning them over halfway.

2.     ROASTED TURMERIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Roll Brussels Sprouts in melted coconut oil and generously sprinkle with ½-1 tsp. turmeric, ¼ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. cayenne, salt and pepper (to taste). Roast for 20 minutes at 375, turning them over halfway. Also works great with broccoli.

3.     SOOTHING TURMERIC SMOOTHIE: 1 cup of greens (like spinach or kale), handful of frozen pineapple, ½ inch of fresh ginger root OR ½ tsp. ground ginger, ½ inch of fresh turmeric root OR ½ tsp. ground turmeric powder, ½ tsp. cinnamon, dash of pepper

4.     KICK IN THE PANTS TURMERIC TEA: Hot water, lemon slice, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, dash of cayenne, dash of turmeric and honey (to taste, if you need a sweetener)

5.     GOLDEN (TURMERIC) EGGS: No real recipe here. I just find that the peppery flavor compliments omelets and fried eggs well. I sprinkle it on top of my eggs right before they’re done cooking, along with a dash of cayenne and salt and pepper.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Turmeric is better digested in the bloodstream with two things: BLACK PEPPER (contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin) and FAT (such as oil, butter, avocado, etc) because it is fat soluble.

 

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78 
  2. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03492/Cooking-With-Spices-Turmeric.html
  3. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric

 

Okay, your turn! Does anybody else use Turmeric? Do you have achy inflamed muscle pain or a bloated stomachache and want to be my turmeric test subject? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!

Healthy Mommy

The 10 Things That Make Me a ‘Bad Mom’

March 8, 2019
BadMompost

This may be a health food blog, but my new full-time Mommy life doesn’t allow for pretty pictures of colorful salads and hours of research on the benefits of turmeric or bone broth. I’ve been wracking my brain wondering what I could possibly write about right now on Healthy Stacey that’s of any help to anybody. But recently, I came to the conclusion that I’m just not in that head space right now.

Then I thought, maybe I can offer parenting advice? HAHAHAHA (that’s me laughing at myself). Because I have no idea what the heck I am doing and in no position to offer advice to others. So then I decided, instead of offering advice, why not offer the truth?

Mom life is HARD. And about 75% of the time, I don’t think I’m doing it right.  In fact, on a daily basis, I think about all of the things I do that are most likely going to turn my child into a needy, selfish, messy, maladjusted human being. I've never said it out loud, but that terrible nagging voice inside is constantly calling me a bad mom. Instead of quelling the negative thoughts and reminding myself how great a mom I am (or asking my husband to remind me), I decided to embrace it. Shout it from the rooftops!

That’s why I’m giving you my list — The Ten Things That Make Me a "Bad Mom," in hopes that you share yours too so we can all remember that we’re not alone and we all have a little Bad Mom in us.

  1. I dread hearing her sweet cries for “Mama!” in the morning, knowing that either my sleep or my short-lived alone time is over even faster than I expected.
  2. My feeling of dread equally matches my feeling of excitement when I close that door to her room at 7:05 pm and head downstairs for three blissful hours of alone time.
  3. I’ve already been on two different elementary school tours, and she’s only 16 months…preschool doesn’t start until they’re three. Yes, I am that eager for the day she goes to school and I got (some of) my freedom back.
  4. As much as I tried to avoid screen time before two (per the American Academy of Pediatrics), there are days when I just can’t entertain her any longer and resort to Kid Zone On Demand (an assortment of children’s shows all in one place on Comcast). When she actually sits to pay attention (read: stare mindlessly at the screen), I get so relieved for a moment of peace — even when peace means watching Caillou whine for the 32nd time about how hard his life is (this little boy has a serious hate following, which of course means Charley LOVES him).
  5. I secretly hate when I meet another toddler close in age to Charley who seems totally capable of cleaning up, playing independently, and/or sharing, leading me to wonder why my child is so averse to all of these things.
  6. I’ve read many times about the importance of routine and not overloading your kids with activities. Something about them being overwhelmed and needing consistency while they’re trying to make sense of the world, yada, yada, yada. But every time I try to stay home to give her “safety” and “routine,” I end up wanting to climb the walls because it’s all on me to entertain her. Inevitably, I give in, and we end up at the library, or gymnastics, or dance, or music, or her other music class, or the neighbor's house, becuase I NEED CONTACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD. Oh, sorry. Was I yelling?
  7. I only brush her teeth once a day. And when I do brush them, the only thing she’ll give me is her tongue so who knows how much cleaning her actual teeth are getting. Incidentally, I just wrote a post for Mama Natural on bottle rot, which made me feel even worse about putting her at risk for early tooth decay.
  8. On long car rides, I give her bags of snacks — totally ruining her appetite for lunch or dinner — because I know it’s the only thing that will keep her from throwing a fit for at least half the ride.
  9. When she throws temper tantrums, she bangs her head on the floor (or the closest hard surface she can find). Though I stop her most of the time because I don’t want her to get a concussion, sometimes, when I’m really over it, I just let her go and hope she’ll learn her lesson by how much it hurts. I know. I’m terrible.
  10. I once gave her a huge orange slice while at the airport and didn’t pay attention at all while she was eating it, until the moment I saw her put the entire thing in her mouth — peel and all — and swallow it.

Phew. That felt good. Exhilarating even. You know why? Because once I wrote them all down, I realized they weren’t THAT bad (right?). And it reminded me of all the things I am doing right (I'll save that for another day). Or at least with good intention, because what is right really when it comes to parenting?

We're all killing ourselves every day trying to do the best we can. But then we read the parenting books and the parenting blogs and second guess our choices; we go on Pinterest and Instagram and think, I could be doing more; we see other moms at the children's museum who looked like they just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog complete well-behaved and equally well-dressed child and suddenly become convinced that you ARE doing it wrong and just aren't cut out for this kind of work.

It should go without saying that I love my daughter dearly. She is the most incredible creature I've ever laid eyes on and I'm so proud to be her mother. I often remind myself that the more spunk she has (i.e. I'll-do-what-I-want-ness), the more likely she is to turn out the confident, defiant woman I want her to be. I just didn't realize — until I was knee-deep in motherhood — how hard the job would be to get her there.

Alright, now, it’s your turn. Seriously, write ‘em down. Comment below. Or on Facebook. Or email me. Just get it out. You’ll feel better. I promise.

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature