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Saturday mornings are meant for coffee, reading my Bible while the hubby browses the newspaper, and making something warm and tasty for breakfast. Most week days I make oatmeal or have a slice of Ezekiel bread. Quick, easy and satisfying!
Growing up my mom was a baker and cook and she could make ANY thing. Every day she stretched the family budget by making delicious meals from scratch. She canned, baked bread, made sweet rolls, and managed her home like high-paid CEO who took a $1 salary. Her true wage earned – at her choice – was knowing her children were raised in safety and security while my dad worked to provide for our needs.
While I grew up appreciating the love of baking, now I avoid white flour and try to limit sugar. I have a complex attitude towards eating because:
- I ate a plant-based for 18 months during cancer round two. Juiced on the hour. Five pounds of carrots and six green apples daily with another 80% raw foods (lots of salads) and 20% cooked foods (sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa). No dairy because dairy can be inflammatory. Yes, I feel your pain – I have dairy farmers in my family. I moved from cow milk to almond and coconut milk, and the eating plan included a good portion (but not unlimited) healthy fats like almond oil, walnut oil, pumpkin oil, avocados and olive oil. Hummus? Delicious. No coffee. Lots of herbal tea and water. One teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup daily. No artificial sweeteners. Hard? You bet. But dying from cancer and cancer treatment side effects (which I went through, twice) is harder.
- Went back to a more standard diet over the past couple of years and ate more of what I shouldn’t have. I feel healthy for all I’ve been through but I know I must be careful with what I eat. I need to do more consistent light exercise (walking, swimming, pilates). I did green powdered drink daily for the past few years but dropped the daily carrot juice to a few times per week. I’ve used the carrot juice as more of a maintenance routine; there is nothing like it and I love the drink.
- Recently have tried low carb/keto because it IS a great way to eat for people needing to lose weight. I did low carb years ago and really enjoyed it and I lost weight! But I put the weight back on. The ketogenic diet is being hailed as a great way to prevent cancer. I don’t argue that at all. However, having done the plant-based diet to recover from cancer and cancer treatment, I find the full ketogenic eating very “heavy”. Delicious, but heavy. Fried foods now kill my digestive system and I ate all kinds of fried food on low carb in the past. Keto allows artificial sweeteners, many of which I find concerning from a cancer survivor perspective. I use Stevia to sweeten herbal teas; I can’t stand stevia in my coffee.
- I toyed with Paleo which emphasizes eating only what “cave ancestors” would have had available. No whole grains (which were allowed on the plant-based diet); no dairy; lots of meat and healthy fats, plants, and nuts and berries. Hummus is off limits on paleo eating plans because it is a legume.
- This week I told my husband, “I feel best on plant-based. It was hard, and I did it to save my life and I got tired of it, but this ketogenic thing is WAYYYY too heavy for me.”
The verdict? I’m working to find the right heavily-plant based balance for me. Sometimes we can eat too much of a good thing; so portions of healthy foods are important, too.
Here is what I’ve decided is best for me:
- Cooked foods include oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, in limited amounts.
- No fried foods.
- Meats in very limited amounts (Green veggies have lots of protein! But if you don’t eat ANY meat, you need to supplement some of the omega fats that you won’t get without meat. Flaxseed is an excellent way to do that.)
- Meats that are consumed should be organic/hormone free chicken, turkey, and wild fish.
- At LEAST one big salad per day for lunch, and many days, it should be TWO. Lunch and supper.
- Fruit? Perfectly ok in limited quantities. Avoid the dirty dozen fruits known for high pesticide content.
- Healthy fats from good oils (almond, walnut, olive, coconut, avocado) perfectly great.
- Legumes are fine (yay, hummus!).
- When in doubt, if it doesn’t come off a tree or out of the ground, DON’T EAT IT.
Today I decided to try using up extra cooked sweet potatoes. I added almond flour, eggs, and spices to create a healthy bread. Here is my recipe!
1 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cloves (I used 9-10 drops of Young Living Clove Essential Oil – always use the Vitality line for oils that are ingested)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt (I use Himalayan Sea Salt)
1 cup Cooked & Mashed Sweet Potato (for me this was two medium precooked sweet potatoes)
3 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil (best measured when melted, not solid)
1/4 cup Honey (you can also use Maple Syrup)
1 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. I prefer to put a drop of olive oil in the pan and use a paper towel to oils the entire pan.
- Line the pan with parchment paper to make your life easier after the bread finishes baking.
- In a small bowl combine the Almond Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves (or Young Living Clove Vitality Essential Oil), Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl whisk the Eggs. Add in Mashed Sweet Potato/Yam, Honey or Maple Syrup, Coconut Oil, and Vanilla. Whisk very well to combine all ingredients. There may be some small lumps from the Sweet Potato and that is fine.
- Pour dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes, uncovered, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with very few moist crumbs attached.
- Allow bread to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Carefully peel away the wax paper before slicing.
- Makes 1 loaf.