Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake
Breastfeeding, Coconut Oil, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Health, Recipes

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake

I think this will be my last post before we move.  There is so much going on right now: phone calls to make, boxes to pack and kids to soothe.  But as overwhelming as it all is . . . I am SOOOO excited!!!  Don’t worry, I won’t be gone for long; move-in date is set for the beginning of September!  Woohoo!  I have not shared a lot of details about the place we have been living in, but needless to say it is time to GO!  It has caused a lot of our physical and emotional health issues.  For the first month, my son cried every time that we pulled into the drive for this house.  How sad is that?  But, we are DONE!

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake

Since I have been testing the waters for being dairy-free to help my daughter while breastfeeding her, I decided to tweak a favorite recipe of mine.  Recently I’ve been making a banana oatmeal bake to help boost my milk supply and it is quite tasty.  Now, I know that oats can be questionable in the gluten-free world.  I refused to eat it for a couple years for fear that I would have a reaction, but once I tried it I haven’t noticed anything.  So I took my banana oatmeal bake recipe and made it dairy-free.  It is still very moist and very yummy!

Baby Girl at 2.5 Mths

I’ve had several people ask me if I think going dairy-free has made a difference for Baby Girl.  To be honest, it’s been very difficult for me to tell because we’ve had to eat out a lot while getting ready to move.  It’s hard enough eating fast-food while being gluten-free, but adding dairy-free is a little overwhelming to me.  I feel like it’s too much to keep adding to my special order of no bun to no bun AND no cheese.  At many restaurants if I ask for no bun they just give me the slab of meat, no condiments and no fixings!  But I think it has been long enough for me to begin to see a difference in my daughter.  Baby Girl doesn’t seem to have any trouble pooping whether or not I eat cheese.  However, she gets really bad tummy aches where she’s writhing and crying in pain if I eat cheese.  Her disposition and her sleep are so much better if I am dairy-free.  So now that I can see a difference I will continue with my dairy-free diet and work harder to keep away from it while eating out.

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake

Ingredients

2 cups Oats
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 can Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 large Egg
2 Apples peeled and chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Add coconut milk, egg, vanilla extract and coconut oil.  Mix together.
Add apples to batter and mix until apples are coated.
Pour batter with apples into baking dish and make sure that apples are evenly distributed and covered as much as possible with batter.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake

I like this dish because I can use it for breakfast or as a quick snack throughout the day, especially when the kids are cranky and I don’t have time to make food for myself in the morning.  And with the oats, I can also help boost my milk supply!  Over time I have also been playing around with changing the ingredients.  This recipe started out using 1 cup of bananas and I replaced them with apples for this post.  Right now I have a dish in the oven with bananas and peanut butter . . . I’m very excited to see how that will turn out!  I’m seriously thinking about drizzling some honey on top of it once it’s finished baking . . . MMmmmm!

I can’t wait to write again after we’ve moved and let you know what a difference living in this new home makes for us!  Until then!

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apple Bake

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ACV, Bone Broth, Coconut Oil, Kefir, Molasses

Day 1 Week 1

I apologize in advance, this post is going to be long.  Because this is the first documentary post of changing my lifestyle and diet I need to give some background as to why I’m doing it, where I’m at in the beginning of this journey, and the steps that I am taking to change it.  The following posts will be updates based on what I lay out here.

Why Am I Doing This?
I have given a brief summary regarding the reasons why I’m taking this journey on my “About” page and in my first post, but I wanted to detail exactly what has been happening so you can know the reasons why I am adjusting my diet and taking certain supplements.  A lot has happened in a relatively short time regarding my health.  In the Fall of 2013 I had an ovarian cyst that was 9cm and was surgically removed in January 2014.  I got pregnant the next month in February.  After having my son in November, I got another cyst that following March in 2015.  Thankfully it went away on it’s own.  But, at this point I knew that my hormones were out of whack.  My OBGYN suggested that I take chemical birth control to “help regulate my hormones.”  I had been against taking chemical birth control in the past because I knew that it could seriously mess up my body if I took it long term.  But I figured, since this was (from what I understood) supposed to be a short term medical treatment to correct my hormonal problem that it would be okay (according to the doctor it would possibly only take three months for my hormones to adjust and hopefully I would be okay after that).  What a joke!  Other than the ovarian cysts that I had developed in the past, I have never had the hormonal problems that I did while I was on this birth control!  Just to name a few symptoms that I experienced while taking it: Mood swings, depression, nausea, frequent urination, distended abdomen, darkening and enlargening of nipples, breasts feeling fuller and heavier (despite the fact that I quit breastfeeding my son in April), fatigue, acne, skin changes, brittle and/or soft nails, dry hair, lower back pain, gassiness, pressure right under my ribs like something was poking me, fullness in the abdomen, acid reflux and my personal favorite was that out of the 10 weeks that I was on the pill, I bled for 8 weeks.  Even after I quit taking the pill, I continued to have most of these symptoms to the point that I was convinced that I was either pregnant or had another cyst.

This is the biggest I got after I quit taking the pill
This was about four weeks after I quit taking the pill

About one month after I quit taking the pill, I went to see my OBGYN who did an ultrasound.  She said that everything looked textbook perfect–no sign of a pregnancy, cysts or even cancer.  So what is going on?!?  I also went to my PCP who took several blood tests and stool samples.  She found that I had a bacterial infection in my intestines which was causing the nausea, bloating and distended abdomen.  I was prescribed really strong antibiotics.  My thyroid was also checked to see if that was causing my hormonal issues but everything came back normal.  So now my immune system is shot, my hormones are a wreck and I can guarantee you that I no longer have any good bacteria left in my gut after taking these antibiotics.  (I have developed a pretty bad yeast infection since).  Long story short, I will NEVER take chemical birth control EVER again!  I guarantee you, that if I hadn’t been taking it, we would have caught this infection much sooner.

So Where Am I Today?
This is six weeks after I quit the chemical birth control, one week after taking the antibiotics and Day 1 of my new diet and lifestyle.

Day 1
Day 1

As you can see, the antibiotics have already made a difference in my size and reduced the bloating and distension.  Today I weigh 151.8 lbs, my waist is 40″ and my bust is 38.5.”  Every week I will update my measurements and any reactions or changes I’ve noticed during the week.

What Steps I’m Taking to Change My Lifestyle and Diet
I’ve decided that my health needs a drastic boost.  I could try to turn to my doctors and pay for more tests and loads of medicine.  Or I could try to naturally heal my body through a change in lifestyle and diet.  As you can guess, I chose the latter.  So what am I doing?  First off, I’m going to completely cut out sugar and processed foods–this means no pasta, no flour and no pizza.  However, to help with sticking with this diet, I want to allow a cheat day about once a month cuz let’s face it, I’m really going to miss pizza!  Next I’m going to add several natural supplements.  I’m already taking vitamins and minerals, but my body needs a little extra help.  So I’m going to start taking Apple Cider Vinegar, Bone Broth, Molasses, Kefir, Coconut oil and a probiotic capsule every day.  I would like to go into detail for each one why I chose it and what benefits it offers, but that will have to be for later posts.  Just know that they help improve the immune system, correct hormones, provide extra vitamins and/or minerals and heal the gut.  In addition, I’m going to try my best to get 6-7 hours of sleep a night and exercise 15-30 minutes a day for five days a week.

So that’s pretty much everything in a nutshell, I hope.  Now that you understand the reasons why I’m taking this new journey, I hope you will join me and see what happens.  I can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

ACV, Coconut Oil, gluten free diet, Kefir, Molasses, paleo diet, Recipes

My Goal is to Change My Health

My goal is to change my health.

I have told people many times that I’m gluten free and eat a gluten free diet.  Almost every person responds by saying that they have thought about doing it themselves, but just didn’t think that they could go through with it.  And I always answer, “You have to have the right motivation.”  If you don’t, you will not keep the diet.  My motivation has been an allergic reaction to gluten, not life-threatening, mind you.  But enough to make me feel like crap for a week or two.

That was in the past.  I now have a new motivation.  Yes, I can hear you now, “What can be worse than a gluten free lifestyle?”  Hahaha.  You would ask that wouldn’t you?  That is what this blog is all about.  My health (or lack thereof) and my journey to naturally heal my body.  I want to take you with me as I experiment with a lifestyle and diet change.  I have already seen huge results by changing to a gluten free diet.  Now I want to venture even closer to the paleo diet–meaning strictly meats, veggies and fruits, no sugar, no processed foods–and I want to limit my dairy intake as well.  I also want to try some natural supplements, like ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), Molasses, Coconut Oil and Kefir.  Every week I will document my health for you and also share a new recipe.  I have found it very hard to find a collection of recipes that are gluten free/paleo that are easy and contain simple ingredients (who has the money to buy every single gluten free flour anyway?).  Please feel free to comment and share your experiences as well.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Me and my son
Me and my son