Sunday, March 10, 2013

Easy post but oh so rewarding to write

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezie, as Jon would say.

 This blog will be super easy as I get to copy and past a couple of testimonial I got this week from people following this way of life! 
I love these emails.
I also love the recipe below for buns.  They are super versatile.  I invested (only $8) on a muffin top pan to make these.  And it rocks, it also rocks for the oopsie rolls my kids love.  Normally I would never spend money on something that has the words muffin top in it :-)  This however is an approved product. 
Have you bought chia seeds yet?  They were one of the first staples I bought for my cupboard and threw them into smoothies a few times.  Well my boys love pudding so on Saturday I came up with a little concoction and it was awesome.  I'll give you the ingredients but that is about all I can give as I just did it to look and taste. 
Would it be helpful for me to put together a shopping list for you?  Let me know.  I know I place links here for where I buy some things but I could maybe put together a list.  Although the initial investment can seem big, I have found it way less maddening to get the staples and stock my cupboards and then just do a weekly shopping trip for meat, dairy and veggies.  Even some of that I buy in bulk at Costco and use my handy dandy Food Saver.  I highly recommend that investment.  I know it has paid for itself already.  Just ask my hubby, I make a big announcement every time I use it.  Just need to confirm it's value honey.  I feel so blessed that the man I love and adore loves this lifestyle as much as I do.  I think maybe he just secretly enjoys the fact that I cook so much and make sure he has a lunch packed every day of the week.  No, in all seriousness he loves the changes he has felt and seen in our entire family.  Maybe I'll let him guest blog one of these days.  He is pretty funny and could certainly add some humor to this "Yup, We Willingly Chose This For Our Family". 
Have a great week.  We are enjoying spring break at our house.  Off to Chuck E Cheese in the morning.  Glad we have a real good excuse now to not eat that crappy pizza.  The Wheat Belly Pizza Crust #1 in the cookbook far tastes better than most pizza joints. 

Testimony #1

A year ago, where I will begin this story, I found myself frantically racing to urgent care with my four year old son after a seven day stint of tummy aches. They had intensified to a point where he was doubled over in pain. The urgent care doctor was “befuddled” (this was his term) by the presenting symptoms, mentioned a few possible diagnoses and sent me on to the emergency department for “imaging.” On the way I took a chance and put in a call to a friend of mine who specializes in nutrition. With all the assertiveness of a panicked mother, I told him I would be in his office in ten minutes with my very sick son…could he give me a second opinion?! It took him ten minutes to diagnose that eating gluten was the source of my son’s problem AND give him a homeopathic remedy that gave instant, temporary relief!
God’s grace is a beautiful thing. I recently read in Wheat Belly, by William Davis that it often takes the traditional medical community several years to pinpoint this diagnosis. We were not out of the woods yet, but I could see that we were on the right track. For the next two weeks we worked intensively to get the rotting, indigestible wheat to move through his system and stop causing tummy aches. To be honest, I had put the whole “gluten-free” movement into the same category as all other so called healthy fads that will prove to be non-sense in the long run. As a carb addict myself, how could I come to any other conclusion? This situation started to shake me out of my wheat induced slumber. The second wave of panic came quickly. What will I feed my son? With gluten off the menu, a fridge full of frozen pizzas and a pantry full of mac-n-cheese, lunch seemed nearly impossible! With some quick and not so brilliant study, I soon discovered two things:
1. Forward motion would require more home cooking, less convenience…TRUE.
2. All I had to do was replace my current wheat flour with a gluten free mix of cornstarch, tapioca starch and rice flour…FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!
This plan did take care of tummy aches for my son, but lead to weight gain for me, despite my love for endurance running. It did NOTHING for the overall health of my family. Yet, I did get to keep one of my closely held possessions, my addiction to the riding the carb roller coaster that left me constantly hungry and searching the corners of my pantry for any bit of sugar or carb heavy food every two hours like a crazed maniac. Watch out if I could not have my carb fix…Cranky Mama!
Actually, I had had moderate success managing my weight with low carb dieting and running. I had
learned one very important thing through that process; managing my weight was about managing my
blood sugar cravings. When on a low carb diet, I would easily walk by any carb heavy food without
a problem. As soon as I reintroduced carbs into my diet, there I was back on the unstoppable roller
coaster of intense cravings and weight gain. I had no idea low carb eating could be a part of a healthy
lifestyle and that I didn’t have to endlessly wrestle with my weight and the tyranny of cravings every two hours of every day!
I had been talking with Joy Chrest a little bit about gluten-free eating and she was having a lot of success with her weight. One day she posted on facebook that Dr. Oz was featuring Dr. William Davis author of Wheat Belly and watched it. I was blown away by the fact that for some people whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than eating a candy bar. I don’t need a blood glucose “thingy” to know that that is me! I bought his book and learned so much about wheat. It is billed as a weight loss book, but the information really helped me understand why my son struggled as he did at such a young age and why it became such relentless tyrant in my own experience. Further, I have a daughter who is eight and can clearly see that I was setting her up for a lifetime of struggle with food. In addition to the nine pounds and four inches I have lost in my mid-section, I am sleeping better and full of energy. In the interest of balance, I do have to mention that there has been a transition period for me. Removing grains from my diet initially left me fatigued and a little depressed. But, as my body has transitioned to one that burns fat for fuel vs. one that burns sugar and stores fat, I have slowly but surely felt more vibrant and healthy with each passing day. I sleep so well. The dark circles under my eyes and Rosacea tint of my skin have morphed into a healthy glow. Also, I actually taste the flavors in food now and I feel like that rat in the Disney movie Ratatouille-I get to cook every day for my family of five, what a pleasure!
May I tell you a little more about my son? Everything has changed for him. He has gone from a quiet,
pale faced, small for his age, low-energy kid and is now a vibrant healthy boy with wild dreams of
becoming a kung fu master and energy to burn. I’ll take the challenge of raising a strong, growing,
climbing, wild eyed energetic boy over the listless passivity of chronic fatigue any day! Praise God!
So many people suffer with wheat/grain fueled health issues and don’t even know it. It’s crazy! For us, the tummy aches helped us connect the dots more quickly. What about those who suffer with asthma, behavior and attentiveness problems, depression, skin conditions, etc? I say-take on the challenge of replacing your grains and sugar with healthy sugar substitutes and healthy fats-I know it’s a big step and have felt overwhelmed with of planning those first few grain free meals-not easy, but worth it!
Joy Chrest, Maria Emmerich, Dr. William Davis are all a wealth of information with feet on the ground recipes and shopping tips. Sit in their pocket and soak it up like a sponge. Every time I am around Joy,I come home and explore ingredients, recipes and ideas she has shared with me. What a blessing! You will reap the benefits in your health and quality of life, so will your children. Here’s to your health and vitality-happy cooking!

Before:Little guy right before diagnosis and hospitalization of pneumonia with that look in his eyes.  Mom even said a caricature artist picked up on this. Chilling
After: Sweet little boy, filled with life and thriving!

Testimony #2
Hi joy! Love your blogs. Always keep me motivated! I am fully committed to this now so buying food, cooking, etc... Has gotten expensive and consuming and I start to get defeated not to mention most people still think i am crazy :-) but your blogs bring me back to why I am doing this! So frustrating how the "junk" is so cheap! Funny though I have not been in the middle aisles for awhile now! I have found local health store that has enough of the meats and have some great products in their organic section which is helpful! Not a great selection, but enough.

I would like to share my story with you and don't ever share this so it is a little hard for me. I am new to this eating lifestyle and don't have a lot of input but I can tell you my story a bit. I wanted to try this not so much to lose weight but because the addiction to food and the anxiety that comes with it i knew was so unhealthy. My life has been consumed by food for 20 plus years. Between Eating disorders, binging, snacking at night when no one else was around, it got very tiring! The guilt of what i was doing to my body became overwhelming. I finally started praying a lot about this because I knew God really could only direct me and I saw your posts on Facebook which led me to Maria emmerich. What a change in so little time. I lived fat free low calorie for so long letting it go was hard! But I no longer sneak those snacks and have the guilt, I am FULL after a meal or 1 snack! That has never happened! It is such a feeling of freedom. And no more bloating, I am working on no longer needing anxiety medication, and I have had hypothyroidism for years and I am going in next week to get my bloodwork checked as they think it might be changing since when I am off my meds I feel better than when on them. My daughter has dealt with anxiety since she was 3 and they talk about meds, etc..... But I am slowly working on switching her to the "free" lifestyle and we can notice a difference when she has been on my food versus getting all wheat/sugar. She is calmer, less resistant, can handle situations better. Hoping to be able to change her diet completely and see what happens! I am excited for her!

Testimony #3

Hello I'm Kathy, a friend of Tom and Joy. 1 month ago today I started wheat belly.
I just want to say it does work. My legs and feet were always swollen, and a week after
getting on wheat belly they went down to normal size. I feel better, I've joined a gym, and enjoy
trying these new recipes. I have lost 2 in. in my belly, and 1 in. on my hips. My weight has dropped
15 lbs. Ty Joy, for believing in me. I told u I would try this for 1 mo. So now I'm moving on to a
new goal of another mo. Wheat Belly has become my new friend!
Here is the recipe and link for the new buns in the muffin top pan
Finally, a grain free bread that holds up to your favorite sandwich!
Like most people, I LOVE BREAD!!!! It is such a convenience food! Growing up my dad used to say that you can "jam" anything in between 2 pieces of bread and call it a meal. We did this with everything from tomatoes, bananas, homemade sweet pickles (this was a favorite) as well as a good ol' pb & J and of course, burgers. I am so happy that I don't have to deprive myself of bread even though I have given up wheat and the Bunny Bread of my childhood! These sandwich buns are so easy and convenient and can be used in place of regular bread for any of your favorite sandwiches!

After giving up wheat and all grains, I quickly began to seek out a grain free bread alternative. I was inspired by Elana's Pantry's "Paleo Bread" I love her recipe for bread but wanted a bread that didn't taste like coconut or any other nut. I also wanted something that could hold up to a juicy burger. Every bread I have tried usually held together at first then just crumbled in my fingers making a big mess, especially if it contained something warm like a burger and sauce. I would then make the bread slices thicker and that was just too much bread. Preparing the bread in "buns" solves the problem of soggy bread and it allows the bread to maintain its structure while eating a sandwich. So the end result is something you stuff with your favorite fillings, pick up and eat with one hand! Carefully slicing it in half and toasting for just bit only makes this bun more durable and delicious!

Yes, there are quite a few ingredients in these buns. The combo of almond and coconut flour with flaxseed meal help give it the right feel and texture. The addition of vanilla and stevia give it just a bit of sweetness trying to mimic the taste you would get from a traditional loaf of bread.
Top with Sesame Seeds before baking
I think this recipe is pretty simple. You don't even need a mixer or blender. I did all of my mixing with a whisk and it comes together fast but you will need an ice cream scoop and a muffin top pan. The muffin top pan allows more surface area to brown giving the bun more structure. The ice cream scoop ensures the buns are the same size as well as the right shape so that they bake evenly, not lumpy. The muffin pan also helps give the buns a consistent size and shape. To make sure the buns cover the entire bottom of the muffin top pan, hit the pan on the counter top 2 times and turn the pan and hit another 2 times. Yes, I am serious. If you don't, the buns will be small in diameter and rise too high and become thick. If you try to flatten them with a spoon or knife, they will be lumpy. If you hit the pan on the counter, this will also force out any air pockets and spread out the batter.

I also love that making this bread recipe as buns speeds up the cooking time. Cooking time is only 12-15 minutes! As soon as the first 6 sandwich buns come out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack and pop in your next batch. I didn't even need to use any type of butter or oil for the pan but you can if you are concerned your pan may stick. So in 45 minutes "tops" you can bake 18 buns which is the equivalent of 36 pieces of bread!

Store in refrigerator for 1 week in a plastic container, separating each bun by a layer of paper towels to prevent moisture from making buns soggy. When ready to eat, carefully slice in half (or do this before storing in the refrigerator) with serrated knife or use a bagel cutter and eat cold or my favorite is to pop the bun in the toaster on the lightest setting. Be careful of going too long in the toaster because the high fat content will cause the edges to burn very quickly.

Another thing that I like is that these buns are portable! Slice the bun in half and place in a sandwich bag and take it with you and use your grain-free bun and leave the restaurant's bun on your plate! So now that poor hamburger can have a bun, even when you go out! I really do this! ;-)
Freeze in an airtight container, perhaps wrapped in paper towels inside of a small sandwich bags. They should last a couple weeks if not longer in freezer. Just pop in the toaster when ready to eat or microwave for a few seconds to thaw.

Now, go enjoy your favorite burger or sandwich or treat the bun like an English muffin and spread it with cream cheese or butter and your favorite no-sugar preserves. The possibilities are endless!

Note: If wanting to make these dairy free, follow Elana's Pantry Recipe and substitute stevia for honey and follow the instructions below to make it into buns.
Breakfast- Bacon Egg & Cheese

Lunch- Ham Sandwich
Dinner- Grilled Chicken with Avocado and Bacon

Dinner- Cheese Burger with Bacon and Avocado
Pulled Pork sandwich with my BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
Melissa's Sandwich Buns
Makes 18 buns

Dry Ingredients
3 cups almond flour (10 oz by weight)
1/2 cup coconut flour (2 oz by weight)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Kal Brand Stevia
1/4 tsp salt (if not using salted butter)

Wet Ingredients
2 tbsp Vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
8 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted

Optional topping: Sesame Seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  3. Add vinegar to dry.
  4. In separate bowl, blend all remaining wet ingredients well.
  5. Scoop batter into muffin top pan using ice cream scoop.
  6. Hit pan on counter top 2 times then turn pan and hit 2 more times, this produces a more even thickness and gets out air bubbles!
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes then remove and cool on wire rack.
  8. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
  9. To serve: Carefully slice bun in half using serrated knife (or bagel cutter). Toast on lowest setting to extra strength.
Note: I recommend slicing in half before storage in the refrigerator to make these Sandwich buns convenient for the kids.
Each Sandwich Bun: A little over 3 carbs
Regular whole wheat bun: 16-25 grams of carbs
Joy's Chocolate Chia Seed pudding
Can of coconut milk
Heavy Whipping Cream
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Swerve confectioners
Chia Seeds
Mix up with blender, should be a bit runny because the chia seeds are gonna grow and will firm up the mixture.  Refrigerate a couple hours or over night.  Enjoy.
Oopsie Rolls for Muffin top pans (easy, and cheap) kids love these

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Separate the eggs and add, salt, and cream cheese to the yolks. Use a mixer to combine the ingredients together.
  • In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff (if you're using the same mixer, mix the whites first and then the yolk mixture).
  • Using a spatula, gradually fold the egg yolk mixture into the white mixture, being careful not to break down the whites.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and spoon the mixture onto the sheet, making 6 mounds. Flatten each mound slightly.
  • Bake about 30 minutes (You want them slightly softer, not crumbly). Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes, and then remove to a rack and allow them to cool. Store them in a bread sack or a ziplock bag to keep them from drying out.


1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try these buns! The testimonies are so motivating. Thanks for sharing.