Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend-FAIL, Water-FAIL, Exercise-FAIL

This past weekend was the first weekend away with my new lifestyle. We went to my in-laws' cabin. I packed my dairy-free options & went on my way. I did pretty well, for the most part... I passed on things like lasagna, burgers, french toast & dessert bars. It was surprisingly easier than I anticipated. I did, however, give in to a few things I probably shouldn't have had... Mike & Ike's candy, Mountain Dew & Soy Chocolate Ice Cream. Yikes! Ah well, you win some & you lose some. Changing your lifestyle is hard & will take practice. Practice makes perfect!

So, I've decided to continue another week of getting in enough water & adding in exercise, since last week was a total and complete FAILURE. I changed in yoga for meeting with friends, running for excuses of it being too windy and water for well, I have no excuse. So, here's to another week of dairy-free, water-drinking, exercising-loving (fake it till you make it, right?) living!

Now, here are some questions for you... I want to see those comments, readers!!!
1) How do you stay healthy and on-plan when you're out of town?
2) How do you ensure you're drinking your 8 glasses of water per day?
3) What kinds of activities/exercise do you do? How do you make sure you incorporate them into your life and make them a priority?

Dish Invasion & Pumpkin Pie for Breakfast!

I went to dinner with a friend awhile ago. For the first time IN MY LIFE, I asked the waitress to return what I ordered and bring me something different. Since my lunch and afternoon snacks weren't quite successful, I was starving! Out to eat + starving = bad choices! I ordered onion rings as an appetizer (which I pretty much ate the entire basket of), returned the Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwich (cause, duh, chicken salad has dairy) and had her bring me the Coconut Chicken Fingers instead. While they were yummy, I totally paid for it the next day. I used to order that kind of stuff ALL the time, so it didn't bother me much. But now that I'm primarily eating healthy, when I eat crap, I feel like crap. Guess the phrase, "You are what you eat" turns out to be true. So, I swished down some of my Acid Reflux medication (which I only take when I really need it) with some water and added my daily dose of Miralax (per my doc's instructions, long story...) in hopes to move that icky food out of my system as quickly as possible. By lunch, I was finally starting to feel better. Ugh... note self... don't eat fried crap anymore! Lesson learned.

Do you know what this is?

Pumpkin Pie Vegan Overnight Oats. These were so creamy & yummy!!! The only thing I changed in Angela's recipe was that I warmed mine up & left out the toppings. I think I'll try these again, but cold, since Pumpkin Pie is cold and that's what they tasted like!
Since you can never have enough pumpkin,
I added a Pumpkin Tea to my breakfast!

AM Snack - The kids "yuck"ed plain Greek yogurt and I can't say I blame them. I'm not a big plain yogurt fan myself. But after adding a little bit of the Medium Amber Grade A Pure Maple Syrup to it, they gobbled it right up and even wanted seconds! I'm so happy that I'm able to feed them healthy foods that they enjoy. It may be more expensive, but knowing that I'm making a difference in their health and establishing healthy eating habits now, gives me such a feeling of success, I can't even tell you.
Chia Seeds that I added to my breakfast
and Grade A Pure Maple Syrup that I added to the kids' yogurt.

So, I've discovered that the only drawback of eating healthy is.... the invasion of dishes! I am constantly unloading the dishwasher only to reload it again. I can't keep up! I guess it's a good problem to have. ;)

For lunch I thought I would try Swordfish Steaks. I don't really care for seafood or fish (except I can tolerate Mahi Mahi), but I'm always willing to try new things. I'm such a brat... as the steaks were cooking, I was getting nauseated from the smell of them, so I didn't even try them! lol.

Instead I made a salad and added some Nutritional Yeast.

Don't you hate it when you open something
and its already have empty?!

The salad was yummy! Except I was getting full, so I pulled out the Turkish Dried Apricots & made sure to finish those. ;)


The kids didn't like the swordfish steaks, either. But they DID love these Take 'N Bake Rosemary Rolls from the bakery at Kowalski's Market!

At nap time, two of my favorite things came out to play. :)


Lastly, I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but this yellow pepper was HUGE!
Peppers make a great snack!
Try the different colors, as they all have different flavors.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Turkish Delights

I forgot to mention that after 1 week of no dairy, the scale said I was experiencing a  weight loss of about 2 lbs. I don't put much stock into this, however, because a lovely side effect of dealing w/PCOS is not being able to lose weight. And if you are lucky enough to lose it, it's pretty impossible to keep it off. I am doing this for my health & healing, NOT to lose weight. If that happens to be a side effect, then great, if not, I'm still trudging forward for my health.
Organic Dried Turkish Apricots - a delight!

For breakfast I had my usual Raisin Bran cereal with my rice milk. Today, however, I decided to add some chopped up organic dried Turkish apricots and some slivered almonds. OH. MY. These little apricots were sooo incredibly good, I just wanted to eat the whole bag! Definitely, a new found favorite!

In addition to water this week, I'm focusing on exercise. (groan) I'm not gonna lie... I HATE exercising! However, there are activities that I enjoy doing and miss, actually. Like running, yoga, dance & softball. I never seem to have time for any of them, because I'm so darn busy. But, I realized something this week... I don't have time for them, because I don't MAKE time for them. I've decided that what I need to do is write them in my calendar as a set appointment. If someone calls to do something, I need to invite them or not go out with them. Taking care of ME and keeping my stress levels down while doing something I enjoy needs to be a priority in my life. There was a study done that proved that women with more stress in their lives, suffered worse symptoms of endometriosis then the women with less stress. I'll say it again... THIS NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY! In order to have a goal to work towards, I have 2 events that I'm super excited about! Click on them for more information.

Hope & Hearts Run

MS Twin Cities Mud Run

I never used to like shopping; in fact, I hated it. Until my uber-stylish friends took me shopping! Now I know how to dress for my body type & I'm loving it. This past weekend my SIL took me the Len Druskin Outlet at Southdale Mall in MN. I found soooo many goodies!

My new find! Don't you love it?
I got these great finds at Target this week. Whole Foods had the exact same turkey for sale at $1 more!

I spread a little guacamole on these wraps and put the turkey on top then rolled it up. You could add veggies to it, too. I wish I had some sprouts to add, but Whole Foods didn't have them. Guess I'll have to remember to get them at Target next time.

Isn't it pretty? :) I took one bite and gak! It was nasty! I couldn't figure out what I didn't like about it, so I unrolled it and started eating each piece by itself. Was the guacamole old? Nope, that's good. Was it the turkey? Nope, that's decent. Is it the wrap? GAK! Yup, I didn't like these wraps at all. So, I ate the turkey by itself & pulled off the guacamole with my carrots. lol. I grabbed the remaining apples & stuck them in the fridge. This one was much too soft for my liking. Overall, lunch was very unsuccessful.

I've really been craving iced tea lately. But I don't want the sugared-up kind, I want the healthy homemade kind. One problem: I have no idea how to make iced tea. lol. So, this was my version...

My version of homemade iced tea
Well, it worked pretty well actually. I just had to steep it for quite awhile. The lemon flavor went really well with the carrots. I'm not sure this is the proper way to make it, though. Anyone have any suggestions or recipes?

Homemade Veggie Soup
Is that not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?! I was craving the Zero Point WW Veggie Soup from my old Weight Watchers days. I found this recipe online, but it isn't the original. You can find the original here. I used a combination of the 2 recipes to make mine, but I left out the salt & pepper. I wanted a low-sodium soup. And.... that's exactly what I got. :( I wasn't impressed. I think next time I'll just use the original recipe and follow it to a "T"; hopefully it will be as good as I remember it! This recipe is really versatile, too. You can add whatever veggies you want and take out whichever ones you don't!

Oh, and a note on spring water... remember to fill your tea pot & ice cube trays with fresh spring water and not tap water. This is something I caught myself doing!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Treats!

Yesterday morning I tried to trick my daughter by giving her rice milk instead of cow's milk. I honestly thought she'd like it better because it's sweeter, but she noticed right away. What I heard was, "Yuck! Mommy, there's something wrong with this milk!" :)

Amazing Grass Meal~Chocolate Infusion made w/Strawberries & Almond Milk
served w/Ezekiel Bread & Earth Balance

This week's newest introduction to the Endo Diet is getting enough water. Dehydration causes your cells to become sluggish; your body can't build new tissues effectively, toxic product build-up in your bloodstream, blood volume decreases, less oxygen and fewer nutrients are transported to your cells, making you feel weak and tired. You need water for mental health clarity and emotional balance. Water provides us with energy, stops water-retention, improves the look of your skin, quenches your appetite and helps banish cellulite. It's best to buy ONLY spring water. If you can't afford it, by a filter and change it often. The goal is to get at least 8 glasses of water in per day. (Information provided by the endo diet link above)

Speaking of skin, mine has been breaking out like CRAZY since surgery. I read, on a Naturopathic Doctor's website, that skin breakouts are your body's way of getting rid of toxins that it doesn't want in there. On that note, I guess I'm glad I'm breaking out?! Seriously though, I haven't had this much trouble w/my skin since I was a teenager! What products do you guys use that are organic w/o all the added crap? Anyone else have this acne problem as an adult? Particularly when they started changing their eating habits?

Organic Vegetarian Chili w/Daiya Cheese
served w/Organic Baby Carrots, Organic Grapes & Rice Milk 

In an effort to find a good alternative to shredded cheese, I found this little nugget at Whole Foods...

It works, as an alternative; however, this cheese substitute tastes nothing like shredded cheese. In fact, I find that it hasn't much flavor at all. Though it's really not that terrible nutrition-wise, I think I'll save my calories for something I truly like.

While the children are napping, I'm enjoying my new little treat!
My homemade Strawberry Sorbet!

The Strawberry Sorbet was pure deliciousness! I think next time I'll try using less sugar, though. You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!

Healed, Healthy, Whole

As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended a prayer cabin a few weeks ago. During that time, while in prayer, I stumbled across this verse...

Revelations 2:17 TNIV - Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To those who are victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

I then felt that God told me "Speak as if this were so. You will no longer be called Broken, Barren & Infertile." and then there was silence. Really, God? You're just going to leave me hanging?! 

It wasn't until about 1:30 in the morning that I woke up out of a deep sleep with a phrase being repeated in my head over and over and over again. I finally realized what was happening... the Lord woke me up with my NEW Name!!! "You will no longer be called Broken, Barren & Infertile. Instead you will be called, "Healed. Whole. and Healthy. Repeat this phrase in the mirror everyday 10 times, 'I am healed. I am whole. I am healthy.'" Confession: I have yet to stand in front of a mirror and do this. Why? I've been seeing a Christian therapist to help me make some sense of my situation. She pointed out to me that the phrase is in present-tense, "I AM healed. I AM whole. I AM healthy." Since I just underwent another surgery for reoccurring endometriosis, I don't FEEL healed & whole. 

However, I am realizing something today...

1) I have tried for years and years to get my eating & health under control. It isn't until NOW that I'm actually able to stick to it. That is because I am seeking God's help each and every step of the way. I am only doing what God leads me to do. I'm not trying to do it in my strength anymore. So, I AM HEALTHY!

2) Being healed & whole is a promise the Lord gave to me. My healing & wholeness will only come from Him & Him alone. And it will be in His timing, not mine. I must not lose hope or give up on Him. I must learn to trust.

3) Before God gave me my new name, He said, "Speak this as if it were so." I was so excited to get my new name, and so confused by the silence at first, that I missed this part. But, this part is SO important. God was promising me my healing & wholeness THAT IS YET TO COME. He gave me my new name in PRESENT tense, so that I can speak it as if it were so! This is a tool He's given me against the Enemy! God is so good!

I making it a goal & a promise to my readers that I WILL start speaking this phrase to myself (if even silently in my head) on a DAILY basis! Amen!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy...ugh!

I didn't have time to post yesterday, cause we spent the weekend @ my bro's house & ran around all day w/birthday parties & shopping. Here's a few goodies from yesterday's food I consumed...
This was my make-shift breakfast
Snack: The most delicious thing ever! From Caribou Coffee.
The gluten-free, dairy-free cupcakes I made w/lemon icing... Mmmmm

Being @ my bro's house this morning, I woke up hungry. So, I ransacked their cupboards looking for something I could eat. The best thing I could come up w/was Quaker Instant Oatmeal - Maple and Brown Sugar flavored. Though there's a ton of sugar in this, remember that I'm only focusing on dairy-free this week. So, I added water and scarfed it down. On the car ride home, I swished down the leftovers of my now-watered-down Pluot Iced Green Tea from Caribou.

I'm feeling very tired today and I'm not sure that it's due to a lack of sleep. I've gotten a decent amount of sleep and since cutting out dairy, have actually needed less of it. I tried laying down this afternoon for a nap, but after about 15 minutes of trying to fall asleep, I just couldn't. I've really been trying to stay in tune and listen to what my body needs lately. So, what is causing this fatigue? Lack of moving around (When I woke up this morning, I immediately headed to the car to go home; when we got home, I sat on the couch and chatted w/my BFF who was in town for a bit), lack of food, having my menses, my mind reeling w/all the things I needed/wanted to get done today, etc. So, I got up from my bed and decided to pour myself a cup of green tea and shower to see if it would help.

As I sipped on my tea, I surfed the web. I belong to a Yahoo Group called EndoNatural. It's a group of women with Endometriosis who are trying to take charge of their condition using natural methods. Today, one of the ladies posted about this product, Macafem. Does anyone know anything about this? Supposedly it helps naturally balance your hormones.

As I type this, I'm realizing that I'm beginning to shake... a sure sign of low-blood-sugar. Guess it's time for some lunch.

Lunch consisted of my green tea, Don Lee Farms All-Natural Vegetarian Patties, and grapes. Yum! I put on my Clair Du Lune-type music channel on Pandora, while eating. It reminded me of how the wealthy sometimes eat. But, it made for a very peaceful, all-encompassing experience.

My busy self forewent the shower and headed out the door for grocery shopping (don't judge). I first stopped off @ Super Target to see what they could offer me before heading to Whole Foods, where people in my area joke that it should be called "Whole Paycheck". Why Super Target? Awhile back I did price comparisons @ a # of stores and it turns out Super Target has the overall best prices.

I was very happy w/what Target had to offer in the way of organic and all-natural products. This was also great, because when I headed to Whole Foods, I had my Target receipts so I could price compare on some of my favorites... for instance, my organic turkey deli meat was cheaper @ Target, but my rice and almond milks were cheaper @ Whole Foods. Go figure!

Anywho, on my way out to Whole Foods, I realized it was dinner time and stopped by the nearest drive-thru. Fast food and I have a love/hate relationship. I know how horrible it is for me now (like I didn't know before), yet when I'm starving it's my go-to. Lesson Learned: PLAN AHEAD! Pack my dinner or whatever meal it will be when I know I'm going to be out and about (which feels like ALL the time lately, geesh!) So, I'm not even going to mention what I ate... you can all figure that out. At least it was dairy-free!

I spent WAY too much $$$ @ Whole Foods, but they had such fun and healthy options! I came home w/some new goodies to try this week! I'm so excited!!!

This is one thing I wanted to try... Goat's Milk Yogurt. This one was Strawberry-flavored. It wasn't labeled organic, but said "natural". It was also GMO-free, gluten-free and kosher, and most importantly contained the active live cultures to promote healthy digestion. It also said "natural flavors" which could've meant MSG, but who knows. Overall, I liked this product (very goat-milky-tasting), but I didn't love it. I think I'll stick w/my Chobani Greek Yogurt, which is half the price of this goat's milk yogurt!

Tonight was filled w/food prep for next week and also introducing the new changes to my diet: spring water and exercise. Yikes! :)

Get Outta Your Rut!

I woke up again Friday with a horrible migraine, so my beloved husband made me oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon. I added some pumpkin pie spice just for more flavor.

I also mixed together my sample of Greens First from the chiropractor to try. It surprisingly wasn't too bad. I tried to the mint flavor. For more information on Greens First, click here. A fellow blogger, Angela, uses Amazing Grass products. 

Fridays in the summer are my days off from the daycare. It's also my husband's day off, so this Friday I got to run all my errands and go shopping... by MYSELF!!! I grabbed a bottled spring water and the jar of organic peanuts and headed out the door to my post-op appointment. After getting GREAT news (everything looks as normal as possible now; endometriosis couldn't be confirmed) I left realizing that I was hungry! It was almost noon and I had lots more shopping to do. So, I headed to McDonald's expecting to order a salad. As I was standing in line, I realized that all of the salad dressings contain milk. I was so frazzled and hungry, that I decided to order a banana strawberry smoothie instead. As I headed back to the car, smoothie in hand, straw in mouth, I realized, "Crap! This has yogurt in it!" I was so hungry that I slurped it down an shoved a handful of peanuts in my mouth anyway. Oh well... you win some, you lose some.

I headed to the mall before finishing my smoothie, excited to start shopping! After a couple hours of purchasing my goodies, I realized I really needed to eat... I was beginning to lose steam. So, I headed to the food court... Subway!

Sometimes in life, we get stuck in a rut with our food choices. How many of you go to a restaurant and always order the same thing? Here's my challenge: try something new the next time you go to a restaurant. Here's why: I went to Subway and ordered the chicken on wheat bread (which I've had before). Except this time I got no cheese and loaded on the veggies: spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles and banana peppers (In the past I've only ordered lettuce and pickles). In realizing that I can no longer get my usual mayo, I had the courage to ask them which of their sauces were dairy-free; I ended up getting the sweet onion sauce. In the end, I LOVED THIS SANDWICH MORE THAN MY USUAL RUT SANDWICH!!! Yum!

Friday night was DATE NIGHT! We decided to double w/some friends & head to BWW, so the boys could enjoy the MN Twins Game while we ate dinner. I was so very proud of myself - I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know if their sauce had dairy in it, so I asked! Those of you who know me know that this is a big step for me! I was shocked to see how many of them contained dairy, including the mild sauce, which is what I wanted. Darn! 

So, I decided on the Chicken Tender Wrap (hold the cheese) w/Honey BBQ Sauce. Yum! I didn't eat much of the chips, cause well, they're not good for you (and the fried chicken is?!), but also because the salsa they came w/tasted like spaghetti sauce. Yuck. :( 

Ben & I split a basket of deep-fried pickles - my favorite! I ate mine w/o the ranch dipping sauce. 
After we were all thoroughly stuffed, we headed to Brunswick Zone, to bowl & also play in the arcade & work off some of those calories! :)

Only to put some calories back on...

...This was my first-time trying Honey Weiss beer! Oh my! Soooooo good!

We ended the night w/a sugar-loaded dessert... a single Airhead. ;) Hey, @least it's got no dairy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I recently discovered a whole new world of bloggers who are a whole community of people dedicated to blogging about healthy living. I was jealous when I saw that they all attended a recent Healthy Living conference. I realized that I was a wannabe. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be a foodie, too. :) I want my new lifestyle of healthy eating to inspire others, the way they've inspired me. So, I became one of them! ;) I became a member of Healthy Living Blogs. Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you're interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to and check the site out for yourself!

So, welcome to my first day of taking pictures of my food & sharing with you what I'm eating! I hope it inspires you! Enjoy! P.S. My 3 year old DD asked me a couple times today, "Mom, why are you taking pictures of your food?!" lol!

Day one and I already forgot to take a picture of my breakfast! lol! Breakfast was rather uninspiring. I had a Costco brand of Raisin Brand with Rice Milk and 4 oz of organic orange juice.

Morning Snack was yummy!!!

The cooler mornings inspired me to make some homemade hot cocoa. I simply heated up 1 cup of Rice Milk on the stove (I try not to use the microwave as much I can) and added 1 tsp of cocoa. Since Rice Milk is naturally sweet, I didn't add anything else. For the kiddos (I run an in-home licensed daycare), I made theirs with organic cow's milk, 1 tsp cocoa & 1 tsp vanilla extract, since they don't have the sweet flavor in their milk already. Mine was AMAZING!!! But none of the kiddos liked theirs. Boo-hoo. The raisins were, well, raisins. The portion you see was too much for me... I ate about 1/2 the bowl... too much sugar makes me gag.

My lunch was an experiment of sorts. Sorry for the poor picture quality.

The open faced soy sandwich is on organic 100% whole wheat bread (Kirkland brand from Costco). I topped it with mustard and then with Boca Ground Soy Crumbles that I cooked through on the stove until crispy. It was interesting. The crispy soy reminded me of bacon, which made my mouth happy. :) (Side note for clarification: I am trying to stay away from unfermented soy, but I need to use up what's in my fridge/freezer first!) I also cut up some organic green pepper & that's guacamole, on the side, for dipping my peppers in. Yum, Yum! I heart guacamole!!!

Afternoon snack was soooo good... I wanted to eat 3 of them! Don't worry, I stuck to the 1 you see here. :)

This is a homemade Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookie served with Rice Milk. If you click on the cookie name, you can find the original recipe, but I modified it quite a bit, so below you will find my version. I didn't realize that the chocolate chips I used contained milk, so next time I'll use carob chips. Oh well, at least it wasn't a lot of milk in these.

1.5 Tbs. butter-flavored grape-seed oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cups chocolate chips (ghiradelli)
3/4 cups raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

2. Blend walnuts in food processor 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Add grape-seed oil, and blend 2 to 3 minutes more, or until mixture has the consistency of natural peanut butter, scraping down sides of food processor occasionally. Transfer to bowl. Add almond butter.

3. Whisk together brown sugar and ½ cup water in small saucepan, and bring mixture to a boil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ground walnut & almond butters, add vanilla extract, and stir until no lumps remain.

4. Whisk together whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in separate bowl. Stir whole wheat flour mixture into walnut mixture. Cool 10 minutes. Fold in oats, then chocolate chips, then raisins.

5. Shape cookie dough into 2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten cookies with bottom of drinking glass dipped in water. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Lastly, this brings us to dinner. I fully intended to cook dinner tonight, but I also suffer from migraines and have been fighting one off since last night. I get them so bad that my fingers start to tingle and last night it was radiating up my forearms. So, I decided to forego the cooking and head to the chiropractor instead, with DH and DD in tow. This is the first time in this restaurant since going dairy-free, so I was excited to try a new option!

Mmm... the #12 Beach Club, minus the cheese, from none other than Jimmy John's. Except, I just looked at the calorie count... Yikes! Now I wish I would've exercised today! I'd like to get back into running & yoga; I've been stagnant for far too long. Ah, motivation, where have you gone???

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


First thing to be cut out of my diet is this: DAIRY. Did you know: dairy products are pro-inflammatory, not easy to ingest & can interrupt the absorption of other essential nutrients? "Dairy-free" includes all milk, cheese, etc. - Dairy ingredients come in many different forms, several with names more difficult to pronounce than "milk." The important thing is to be able to recognize them when they appear on a label. Look for: curds, whey, ghee, casein, rennet, casein, lactose, lactulose, whey, casein, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, and lactoglobulin. Also note that dairy-free is not the same as egg-free.

The first thing I did this week was switch to Rice Milk. I had been drinking Almond Milk for awhile, which I really liked, but was pretty expensive. Since I hadn't really been drinking much cow's milk anyway, this wasn't very hard for me. I purchased some Rice Dream Enriched Vanilla Milk. I had never tried Rice Milk prior to this and I INSTANTLY fell in love!!! This is significantly sweeter than cow's milk and since I tend to have a sweet tooth... this satisfies me in so many ways. It has the consistency of skim cow's milk. Rice milk is great on cereal or just for drinking!

I was doing some research today on rice milk and found that Whole Foods has a generic rice milk that I may try. It has more fiber than Rice Dream. It contains, the controversial, carrageenan though. It also contains "natural flavor" which could actually be MSG. And I'll need to compare prices... Whole Foods is about twice as long of a drive for me to get to than Target, where I bought my Rice Dream, so it may not be worth it. Yeah, I think I'll probably stick with my Rice Dream. lol.

I also enjoy almond milk, though as I mentioned above, it's a bit spendier than my rice milk. It has a distinct almond flavor, yet sweeter. Probably because I get the vanilla flavor, except it has no added sweeteners. I've only tried one brand & that's Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla. It's delish! Has anyone tried any other brands? Again, I did research and found a generic brand at Whole Foods. But, it has the same issues as mentioned above with the generic rice milk. My Blue Diamond almond milk is all but organic (I think). Does anyone know, if Blue Diamond is organic??? Almond milk has the consistency of whole milk, being that it's on the thicker-side. It's great for cooking with when you need richness & creaminess, like in milkshakes, creamy soups, creamy sauces, puddings or homemade ice cream.

I tend to stay away from soy milk because soy contains compounds that block the absorption of needed nutrients like zinc & disable enzymes your body needs to access other nutrients. It directly blocks thyroid function & protein absorption. Women who are extremely sensitive to estrogens of any kind (such as women with endometriosis) may react negatively to them. It also demonstrates toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues & in the thyroid. FERMENTED soy products are fine, in moderation, but should be eaten with protein like fish or seaweed for the best absorption. Examples of fermented soy are tempeh, miso & tamari (aka soy sauce).

I have yet to find a good alternative to cheese, since I'm trying to avoid unfermented soy, as mentioned above. A vegan friend of mine mentioned that she uses Nutritional Yeast in place of parmesan cheese. I have yet to try nutritional yeast, as I am torn. There are plenty of benefits of it, yet I know that eliminating sugar is coming later in my endo diet and nutritional yeast is on the no-no list. However, it also contains chromium, a trace mineral known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor, with may help with fluctuating blood sugars. Hmm... guess I'll have to think on that one a bit more. Any other suggestions for cheese alternatives? So far I've just eliminated it... we went to the Olive Garden & I ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana without cheese. Today the kids had green pepper slices and string cheese for snack; I just avoided the string cheese. I made spaghetti & put Parmesan cheese on top for the kiddos for lunch this week; I made mine without it. I also have yet to find alternatives to cottage cheese & ricotta cheese.


This week I made The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World. Thanks to my friend Amy for passing along the recipe. They were delish! I made a few additions and substitutions to mine, but the one thing I didn't change was the ground walnuts and oil (I used butter-flavored grapeseed oil in place of the canola oil, only because I didn't have any canola oil on hand) in place of the butter and eggs. I was amazed at how well this worked! As far as a "butter" replacer on food, I've started using Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread. This gives a great buttery flavor, but it's hard in texture, making it hard to spread or mix. It also contains unfermented soy, so I use it very sparingly... today I used it on toast. I left the tub out for a little while to get it softened up a bit. I also put it on my toast immediately when it was piping hot to help melt it faster, making it more spreadable. Any other suggestions out there for a good butter replacer? Nut butters are also great (almond butter, peanut butter, etc.)

Here are some other great substitutes for butter/margarine when using it for cooking & baking:
Baking = Sunflower oil or other organic nut & seed oils
Sauces = Olive Oil
Margarine on Vegetables = Flax Seed Oil
Salad Dressing = Flex Seed Oil
Cooking = Do NOT use Flax Seed Oil

As far as cream cheese goes, well, I've just avoided it, much like I've done with cheese. I have yet to find a good replacer. Yesterday morning, the kids had cream cheese on their toast for a change from their usual butter or peanut butter; I just stuck with my Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread. Suggestions???

Ahhh... ice cream. Funny story... before I met my husband, I hated ice cream. But in the last few years, it's unfortunately grown on me. And I can't seem to get enough of it this summer. :( This is the one thing I've had a hard time giving up. I was craving it yesterday and literally as I was going through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen I said, "Crap! This is dairy!" I went through the drive-thru anyway. ;) Luckily, I only ate 1/2 of a mini-sized Heath Blizzard, so it wasn't too bad. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself. lol. Does anyone have a good dairy-free ice cream recipe or know a good ice cream shop in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that has dairy-free options? HELP!

There are great substitutes out there for baking when it calls for eggs. Here are some great ideas, that I haven't yet tried:

Commercial Egg Replacers = baking
Arrowroot Powder = baking
1 tbsp arrowroot for each 1 cup non-glutinous flour
Psyllium Seed Husk Powder = breads, cookies, cakes & muffins
combine 1 tbsp psyllium w/3 tbsp water & let sit for a few mins
1/2 banana, cookies, muffins, cakes
1/2 tsp Baking Powder + 2-4 tbsp extra liquid = 1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce w/1/2 tsp baking powder = 1 egg
1/2 banana, mashed w/1/2 tsp baking soda = 1 egg, adds a distinct banana taste
2 tbsp ground flax seed + 1/2 c water, blended to egg white consistency = 2 eggs

The thing I'm trying to find a substitute for is scrambled eggs. I thought I would try the ground flax seed with the water today and see if it would turn out edible. It did not. It wouldn't thicken up into a solid form, like eggs do; instead, it became sticky & had the consistency of egg whites. Yuck! Oh well, A for effort. That's what this new lifestyle is about... trying new things.

Yogurt is a tricky thing. The natural ‘live’ yogurt is beneficial for your intestinal flora and helps address the negative bacteria overgrowth caused by Candida. I need to do a little more research to see if the benefits of yogurt outweigh the negative effects it could have on my system. Thoughts??? Goat’s milk based yogurt is best, as it's easier for our human bodies to digest than the traditional cow's milk yogurt. I haven't tried goat's milk based yogurt yet. Has anyone else? What did you think? I do love Greek Yogurt, as it's high in protein & has the natural live & active cultures, including 3 probiotics. It tastes much creamier than the unhealthy, sugar-filled traditional yogurts, too. Mmm...

As far as good baking alternatives to yogurt go, Nut Yogurts are great for puddings, some salad dressings, mayo or where creamy texture is needed.

Other items I need good alternatives for that don't contain unfermented soy: mayonnaise, creamer, etc.

Well, there you have it. The beginning of a new me! I am so excited about getting healthy and taking charge of my health. It saddens and angers me that it is legal to poison us through our "food" and be sneaky about it, too. And for what? Money and profit-margins. Well, this foodie ain't having it anymore! Time to be my own foodie advocate for healing! Thank you to the companies like Rice Dream & Blue Diamond who try their hardest to provide us with REAL food, using only the healthiest ingredients that the good Lord provided. I am indebted to you.

Information was taken from various sources including: Recipes for the Endometriosis Diet by Carolyn Levett, and the Whole Foods Market website.