As Sydney is having a surge of gorgeous late summer weather. So it seemed only fitting that I share this super easy and exceptionally delicious classic summer treat; Vanilla ice-cream. When its good its unbeatable in my opinion. Once apon a time when I was young I would have never have chosen this flavour, too boring on both colour and flavour. I was all about the big flavour punch of chocolate or (fake) banana and even bubblegum. But now Im all grown up – supposedly- I just can’t go past the lovely, creamy texture with the pretty subtle hint of real vanilla as it sweeps across your tongue. This flavour is perfection as it is, however it also lends itself to be ‘pimped’ with the addition of numerous different flavour options to be crushed, crumbled and swirled through.
This recipe has been adapted to fit a more whole-foodie home-made way of life, keeping it clean and low in sugars.
Paleo Vanilla Ice-cream.
2 egg whites
300ml coconut cream
1/2-1 tsp Real Vanilla extract (you can use a real pod)
Optional: Berries (1/2 cup)
Whip the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until stiff
Pour coconut cream into egg whites – add 1tsp vanilla extract or paste
Fold gently through the mix until well combined
Add berries at this step if you are including.
Place in ice cream machine (if you have one) otherwise pour in to a container and place in freezer for 1-2 hour. It should still be a bit soft.
Take it out and ‘re-whip’ mixture with a fork or re-blend for that best result. As you are using coconut cream it shouldn’t set with crystals like traditional homemade ice cream that uses dairy. Put the mix back into the freezer for another 30mins or until softly set.
As coconut cream is already fairly sweet I didn’t add anything else. If your would like yours sweeter then add stevia or rice syrup to the coconut milk and blend well before you add the mix to the egg whites.
It also works fantastically well in Affogato which is a classic Italian coffee where you place a small scoop of ice-cream into a cup and then pour 30ml or so of freshly made espresso coffee. The heat will begin to melt the ice-cream and make the coffee sweet and creamy.
A great option for the kids is to pour it into popsicle molds – add some berries to the mix for a strawberries and cream look and taste! The mix sets really firm and its a perfect alternative for children with allergies to dairy.
Remember this is very rich so you only need a small amount, but it far out weighs the generic supermarket 4lt tubs of white as white ‘vanilla’ options, I find that one or two scoops is all you need.
Enjoy E x
PS – no judgment will be cast if you eat it right out of the tub.
I could give you a thousand links to website on eating right, recommend books, give you recipes, tell you to avoid this or that food, low this, high that, include, eliminate, moderation blah blah blah…..
We are in an age where we have so much access to information. Some good, some bad. But what I’m finding is that we are actually more confused, over weight, hungry and desperately searching for the next wonder drug or pill to magically undo our predicament.
But until you can understand your physiology your basically like a hamster on the treadmill to nowhere.
Its not you, It’s your hormones. We all have them but what we haven’t really figured out is that they OWN us. They are responsible for all our urges, basic human functions and how we respond to stimuli. You cannot out smart your physiology.
What we need to know for weight loss, more importantly fat loss, is that we can get them to work FOR us rather than against us. Its not rocket science, but if you know how to manipulate them, you my friend, are in the drivers seat of what can become a very easy ride.
Hormone Helper # 1:
Make insulin your best friend. You get control of this sucker and it’s a dream run.
Why? Because increased insulin equals increased ability for a body to store fat.
It works on more is more is more is more cycle. Call it a positive feedback loop that actually gives you a negative result – unless fat gain is what you want.
Here’s the run down on what insulin is for:
We need it to move sugar out of our blood and into our cells. Insulin is release from the pancreas when triggered by the presence of sugar/glucose in our blood stream. This is actually a very vital hormone as we can’t use sugar when its in our blood, we need it in our cells to elicit a function, mostly giving us energy to move our muscles. So insulin is released and it shuttles sugar from our blood into our muscle and liver cells for storage as glucose and glycogen. If we eat a lot of high carb foods we have a lot of sugar entering our blood, which will need a lot of insulin moving it into our cells, essentially for storage. But this is where the ‘weight’ issues come in. We can only store a certain amount of sugar in our cells as glucose. It’s kind of our instant energy, useful for flight/fight responses. It doesn’t require oxygen to break it down so its perfect for short, sharp bursts of activity known as anaerobic – meaning ‘without oxygen’ such as 100m sprint. Perfect when running away from a Saber Tooth tiger, for example.
How it works in OUR reality:
When we have meal after meal that contains carbs, insulin will be at work every few hours. So unless your burning up that last lot of ‘sugar’ to make room in your cells for the next load, our bodies will create a ‘long term storage’ solution. We turn it (glucose) into fat. Stored in, you guessed it, a fat cell reserve.
This function in caveman times was extremely necessary in preparation for possible famine. As I have mentioned before, caveman and woman didn’t have 24hr access to a supermarket. So in the leaner months they would need extra fat stores to ensure they had enough ‘fuel’ to survive.
What is happening in our current time is that we have abundance of food and no need for a famine function. But our bodies haven’t evolved to understand this – yet.
How it relates to weight gain:
First note this; Insulin STOPS the use of fat being used for energy by inhibiting a hormone essential for its break down/metabolism.
We do need carbs, but we don’t need them in every meal or everyday. Our body actually prefers to use fat as its primary fuel source. It’s more efficient for our body because when one gram of fat is metabolized (burned) it contains twice the amount of ‘energy’ aka calories, as one gram of carbohydrates*. Lets call it good fuel economy. This is the other reason why we turn excess glucose into fat; it holds twice as much energy in half the space.
Our bodies don’t know that in our lifetime we probably won’t see famine. So this hormone system for storage is being activated day in and day out. We are putting on more and more weight. The traditional way to lose weight is eat less and expel more. But this isn’t how we are designed to exist. And living in a permanent dieting state leads to more dis-ease eventually. And it’s also just not that fun.
Your body has been carefully designed for optimum functionality. Its so good at what it does it runs on autopilot. The problem is (you) keep over-riding the system with some bad habits, such as food choice, over eating or mindless consumption and now we are beginning to malfunction. In this particular instance its resulting in excess weight and stress on our cells. There is no surprise that the consistent releasing of insulin to deal with the consistent intake of carbs is resulting in a skyrocketing number of people being diagnosed with diabetes (type 2).
This is not a coincidence.
Once we understand, respect and get insulin working FOR us as apposed AGAINST we will be brought back to a more harmonious homeostasis level that will have a positive flow-on effect to our health. Maybe you don’t have a slow metabolism; maybe you’ve just been looking at it all wrong? I’m here to tell you; it’s not your fault.
Next posts will be on how food can either hinder or help us achieve better insulin balance.
*Fat yields 9 Calories/37 Kilojoules
*Carbohydrates yield 4 Calories/17 Kilojoules
EXTRA NEWS @ The Wholefood Truth:
I’m about to release a free ebook called The Hormone Helper so we can all understand ourselves a bit better. It will translate topics that are often very ‘science-y’ and at times difficult to decipher. If you would like a copy of the ebook then follow me and you’ll be alerted to when it’s completed and available for you, so you can begin to turn the tables and get your hormones working 100% for you!
You’re disgustingly uncomfortably full, yet you’re still shoveling. You’re not even tasting it anymore. Its just substance. Yet you can’t stop.
I want to begin to discuss your reason for eating. Food is absolutely vital for survival. I’ve discussed it in relation to pleasure, social events, traditions and celebrations. But why can some people simply walk away when they are done and others never know when to draw the line?
I guess the question to ask is less about what you are eating and more about what are you eating over? What are you eating to avoid, distract from? Relationships, career, self-perception, habit? I can promise you that food isn’t your answer; just as its not your friend and neither you enemy.
We can go on a hundred different diets to ‘find one that works’ but what I can promise you is that until you find your truth with yourself you’ll be at a constant battle with it.
The Yo-Yo Dieter is the most perfectly coined term for a person who is really suppressing a need that isn’t being met. My experience from seeing this over and over in my clients, is that you can’t out eat an emotion.
Its time to face your fear. Ask the questions. Take notes and notice when you’re actually hungry. What are your triggers? Times of day? Are there people who make you lunge for the biscuit barrel more frequently than others? Is someone enabling you and encouraging your participation to make themselves feel better?
Why do you continue once you’re content?
But perhaps that’s exactly it; Contentment. If we were content we would cease to want. So perhaps the question is ‘What is it you want for’? When we can understand this in its truest sense perhaps food will play a less significant role.
Carbs, fats, etc may never need counting again! How freeing could that feel?
So next time your going for a second helping, what is it exactly you are wanting for?
My Easter’s traditionally consists of me making grand statements early march about not eating ANY chocolate. But then sometime on the Thursday before Good Friday, just before we break for a long weekend, I get all excited and mesmerized by the colorful foil that seductively wraps those egg shaped nuggets of chocolate. I’ll come back from lunch or a meeting at work and a team member has placed an egg on everyone’s desk, keeping in the spirit of celebrating this holiday. At this point in time my will power has dissolved and I’m launched into a slippery slop of sugar highs and lows pretty much until I’m back at work after Easter Sunday – at best. Worst and more accurately, the roller coaster continues for a few weeks after Easter.
I love the sweet stuff. But we broke up last year. I’ve noticed that I am actually becoming extremely sensitive to sugar. We basically don’t get along. I cant stop once I’ve started and the side effects include, but are not limited to; bloating, digestion discomfort, acne (my personal fav), mood swings, anxiety and fluid retention (did you know that one gram of sugar we can then store 4gms of liquid with it!) Hello puffiness.
Which means this is the first year I will go without biting into bunny ears or scooping the center out of a Cadbury Crème Egg with my fingers. (I know you do it too). And since I don’t believe in denial or restriction I’ve made my own chocolates to celebrate with this Easter.
Raw Vegan Chocolate for Easter.
2 heaped tbls Raw Cacao powder
3 tbls Coconut Oil/butter
1 tbls Creamed coconut paste (this is optional, I gives it more body and stability so it doesn’t melt as quickly when served)
Stevia – to taste
Sea salt flakes – only a tiny pinch
Molds – any shape, I used a small ice cube tray, as it was all I had
The How To:
Melt coconut oil – add in creamed coconut paste and work the mix in until its smooth.
Mix in cacao until dissolved
Add Stevia to taste – I used Nativa granules approx. 1tsp.
Add pinch of sea salt
In a mold pour a small amount of chocolate mix to the base so it’s like a thin disc
Sprinkle Coconut shavings or flakes on top
Set in fridge/freezer for 5mins
They should pop out easily
Chocolate Filled Raspberries
Get large fresh raspberries
Fill the cavity with the chocolate mix
Set in fridge
These make great Petit Fours after dinner
Place a fresh or frozen raspberry in the center of a mold
Pour enough choc mix to compeltlty submerge it
Place in freezer or fridge to set
When you bit into the chocolate you get a fresh explosion of raspberry tarty-ness as its individual berry cells ‘pop’ inside your mouth.
Peanut Butter Gooey Surprise (my absolute fav)
Pour or spoon the chocolate mix into the bottom of a mold, to fill about ¼.
Put tray in freezer to set base (2-3mins)
When completely set spoon ½ a teaspoon of peanut butter on top of the chocolate base – this doesn’t need to be spread perfectly, its best to only have a small blob in the center.
Spoon enough chocolate mix over the peanut butter so that it’s completely covered.
Set in fridge until solid
This creates a ‘Reece’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cup’ effect – so when you bit into the chocolate you get a gooey explosion of salty-sweet peanut butter fudgy center – Uh-Maze-Balls.
Other alternatives are to pour the chocolate in to a thin slab and sprinkle nuts, seeds, berries etc and when set you can break into shards and serve after dinner with coffee or tea.
The only limitations with this recipe is that it uses coconut oil, which is liquid at room temp so it doesn’t last long outside the fridge or freezer. Making it less than ideal for easy transport. I often make a batch and leave it in its mold in the freezer and pop a few cubes out when I have friends over for dinner or afternoon tea. To help this chocolate have a more stability at room temp you could easily substitute coconut oil for Cacao Butter, which is avail in health food stores and other specialty shops. It’s the same ingredient used in commercial chocolate that gives it its smooth buttery mouth feel – its also solid at room temp. You will need to add more sweetness if you do use cacao butter as it not as naturally sweet as coconut oil.
Here’s to my first sugar free Easter.
Do you have any similar sweet treats to share?
With our modern world becoming more and more food focused how do you see your own relationship with food?
Do you see food for purely what it is i.e. sustenance, only for basic human survival?
Do you see it as something that provides pleasure and joy?
Do you use it to help strengthen and build relationships aka ‘The Family Dinner’.
Escape: Are you filling an internal void with food?
Do you view it with an ease and a light heartedness?
Or perhaps you see it as a burden, a chore, a drama? Maybe there is more to it than that for you, maybe is deep and dark and a complete mental head funk.
I want to help free everyone from this inner mental turmoil of excessive food dialogue. This thinking is so disruptive to you life, not to mention your health. Don’t you want to be free from that?
Lately, I’ve been busy observing. Taking it all in. Being still and just listening. Listening to conversations at work, at the gym, with friends, overhearing talk in supermarkets, television shows around food, books, magazines and general chat. I’ve listened a lot. And what I’m hearing is that we are so very confused. Which in turn is leading us to over think everything food related. Which not only is mentally exhausting but also teetering on dangerous.
How long has this been going on for? How much time do you dedicate to thinking or perhaps obsessing about food? More than once a day? Only at meal times? Every few hours? A few times each hour? …. It’s all you can think about?
Depending on what level you are on the scale I want you to know its ok.
But where too from here? Perhaps it’s worthwhile beginning to listen to your own inner dialogue. What are you saying to yourself about food and how often? How are you making your meal choices? Or more importantly WHY are you choosing what you eat or what you don’t.
For now that’s it. Have a listen. Lets just start here and see what comes up.
I used to get all worked up over having everything on a recipe list to make a meal. Do I have three different colour capsicums (bell peppers), that specific cut of meat, this brand of olive oil etc. That extra stress before even getting to the cooking part was enough to leave me disinterested in it all. And since its one of the things I love, I can understand and sympathise with people who cook just cos they need to eat. They see it as just another domestic chore, getting no enjoyment from it. I used to live with someone like that; he had 5 meals down pat. There was no variation; most of the ingredients came out of a jar, instant meal-in-a-box or the freezer. I get it though. There are heaps of things that I have NO interest in that other people love to do. Each to their own. But the point of this post is that a meal doesn’t need to be complicated. Perfection is an illusion. Truth be told, I only look at cooking mags for the pictures, I rarely cook anything from them. I hate to follow directions and I hate to measure. I follow the cook-by-feel methodology in the kitchen.
Back to the point.
There is nothing wrong with eggs for dinner. There is nothing wrong with soup for breakfast or eating lunch at 4pm if that’s how you day played out.
We have too much food wastage. There are some stats out there saying on average an Australian household with throw away more than $1000+ a year in uneaten, wasted food. In previous posts I have mentioned that when I go away for more than a few days I give away my perishable items. Food going to waste is such as shame.
So I guess the main message today is to eat what you have. Last week for lunch at work I pulled out a chunk of wood-smoked salmon (the other half had been used in a salad from the night before), 1/3 of a avocado that was on its last legs and a cucumber. Three ingredients that made for an easy and complete meal. I smashed the avocado and spread it on the bottom of a plate, broke up the salmon and placed that on top and just ate the cucumber as it was. And yes, I got some weird looks and ‘Is that what your having for lunch’ comments, however I relish the fact my meals are a bit off centre, matches my personality, ergo makes me feel normal.
However, that made me think that perhaps we are all a little too focused on what a meal is ‘supposed’ to look like due to years and years of conditioning to meal time-frames and ideals, instead of eating for hunger, sustenance and enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong I believe that we derive a huge amount of pleasure from food and meals, but I think we are trying WAY to hard. The focus should be on flavour or sharing food, not perfect plating up.
So don’t be afraid to mix it up. Have veggie muffins for dinner with hummus and lettuce if that’s what you’ve got in the fridge. Go through your condiments and pickle jars, add a few boiled eggs, some nuts, a slice of cheese and carrot sticks, serve it on a chopping board. Your kids will think you’ve lost it, but when they get to eat it with their hands you’ll be surprised how quickly the veggie sticks move. Remember, vegetables that are less than perfect can be added to soups, roasts or grated into patties, pikelets and muffins. Add a tin of tuna or crabmeat and whole-egg mayonnaise for a quick spread or dip.
Mr and Mrs Caveman never had the conversation that started with ‘Your eating WHAT for breakfast!’, they ate what they had. I’m sure sometimes it would have been boring, but never wasteful.
We are lucky to have options; supermarkets open til midnight and takeaway that gets delivered to our front door. This just pure excessiveness. It’s not helping our efforts to become more sustainable or responsible for tomorrow. If for nothing else this will help you save a few bucks. I don’t know anyone who’s not interested in at least that.
Be mindful in your purchasing. Do you need three different types of milk in your house? Really?
In the coming weeks I’ll me focusing more around motivation and psychology for eating. Why we eat what we eat, why we crave certain foods at certain times. This will hopefully help you understand that you can’t fight biology and that while you are not to blame for your less than perfect food choices, you can begin to influence your physiology as a base level Which I think is pretty amazing stuff.
Until then, look in your fridge and cupboard before you look at a takeaway menu.