Hey there! I’m just popping in to let you know that I have decided to do all of my blogging at Heart, Soul and Strength. I was going to try keeping one blog for food and one for other stuff, but I don’t want to keep up with two different blogs. So, I am blogging here about whatever I feel like blogging about:) Hope you’ll come visit!

Too Many Rules!

Hey there my friends! I know it’s been a while since I have posted and I should get the ‘Slacker’ award for my blog, but things have just been~~well, HARD! Many of you know that I have struggled with eating issues and body image in the past, and if you didn’t already know, ya do now 🙂 So, when I saw a new Dr. back in January, he wanted me to eat~grain free, diary free, gluten free, totally sugar free, AND low-oxalate! Can you say OVERWHELMED?!! Have you ever had someone tell you couldn’t have a certain thing? Then, after being told you couldn’t have that certain thing, did you then want it with everything in you?! Well, I know that feeling all too well!

I think sometimes the more ‘rules’ we have, the more we want what we can’t have. I also know that food rules STRESS ME OUT!!! I have reverted back to wanting to lose weight and counting every calorie that goes into my mouth. I have reverted back to feeling like a failure because I can’t seem to follow all the ‘rules’! I have been very critical of my body even though I am at a healthy weight. My point is~THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE!!

I talked with the Dr. this morning about some hormonal issues and was totally honest with him about my struggles with food. I am SO relieved that he agreed with me that the main thing is THAT I EAT HEALTHY! I know I have to stay gluten and diary free and low-oxalate does seem to be a good thing. As far as staying grain free~forget it!

Anyway, it is HARD work for me to keep my thinking in the right place about food and body image. I am at a healthy weight, but I still have to battle the wrong thinking. I know there are SO many women in the world that struggle with this kind of thing. I know I am not alone and I know that God is the only one that can truly change my heart! I also know that God wants my focus to be on Him rather than eating a perfect diet or having a certain body. I think it’s kind of ironic that we (or at least I) can be so caught up in eating a ‘perfect’ diet when in reality the STRESS from trying to do that is probably worse on our health than eating a non-perfect diet!

I know this another picture-less post, but I just wanted to give an honest update 😉

How about you~can you relate to trying to follow too many rules?

Well, it looks like I have not been in the mood for blogging lately~oops! I am still trying to figure this ‘diet’ thing out and it has not been easy. I have had some wonderful meals and think I should take a picture and post on my blog, but I’m just not feelin’ it 😉 I am NOT quiting my blog all together, just kind of trying to re-group. Hope you’ll be patient with me and keep stopping by. I will be back to ‘normal’ soon~whatever that means~I mean, who defines ‘normal’ anyway?

Hope you are all doing well! 🙂

A Minor Setback

Hey everybody! How is your week going? Mine has been pretty busy and a little confusing. I haven’t been posting because of my confusion 😉

It all started this past Saturday evening. My stomach started feeling like~well, I don’t know what it felt like, but it wasn’t good! Let’s just say I almost ended up going to the ER. I was in SO much pain I hyperventilated really bad and thought I was going to meet my maker~not to mention scared the bajeebers out of my poor hubby who was trying his best to get me to relax and breathe. I actually got mad at him at one point for telling me to breath because of course I WANTED to breathe! It kind of reminded me of being in labor, only there was no cute little baby to reward me at the end!

So, obviously I made it through that episode, but things just haven’t been right and I’m not sure why. I talked to my Dr. and he said to stop taking calcium citrate with magnesium. He was thinking the magnesium in it was the problem. I stopped taking it and still~something is not right. Way too many trips to the bathroom (tmi)! I know it’s not the stomach flu that seems to be floating around the world because I don’t feel ‘sick’. My gut is just not happy 😦 I keep wondering if maybe it’s the beloved coconut bread I have been eating so I am going to ‘try’ really hard NOT to eat any coconut flour today. I WILL be very SAD 😦 if it turns out that I am having trouble with coconut flour. It does have lots of fiber in it though.

I haven’t had any spectacular meals to show you because, frankly, I’m at a loss as to what to eat at the moment. Hopefully, things will be back to normal ASAP. My Dr. did say that I could eat some rice or oats if I feel like I need to. He isn’t totally against me eating grains at this point. He also said I could use a tiny bit of honey as long as I don’t go wild with it 🙂 I was going to make some Pumpkin Coconut Flour muffins that call for honey, but I guess that will have to wait. Maybe some rice is just what my tummy needs~who knows~.

I have had a couple of people ask about the recipe for the coconut flour bread that I am eating these days so I thought I would post it today. I originally found the recipe at Life As A Plate. I just found this blog not long ago and I am ever so glad that I did! I have made several changes though and thought I would show you what I do. Actually, my daughter usually makes this for me 😉 I think I’ve only made it once.

Coconut Flour Bread

I didn’t change much from the original recipe but I needed it to be dairy free. I used to use real organic butter in the bread before I realized I needed to cut out dairy. It was SUPER yummy with real butter! Now, I am using Earth Balance dairy free/soy free butter. It’s good that way too. Anyway, here is the recipe my daughter makes for me:

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup flax meal

2 Tbs. arrowroot

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion powder

1/8 cup sesame seeds (I leave these out due to tummy)

7 eggs (you can get away with only 6 eggs)

1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil (original recipe calls for 1/2 c.)

2 Tbs. full fat coconut milk (original recipe calls for sour cream)

Combine dry ingredients except 1 Tbs. sesame seeds if using.

Combine eggs and coconut milk (or sour cream) and beat into dry mix~then add butter or coconut oil.

Pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbs. sesame seeds if using. I use a small loaf pan~not a regular size but not mini loaf either~not sure what size mine is exactly because I’ve never measured it 🙂

Bake @ 325 for 40 minutes. I always cover mine with foil after the first 15 minutes to keep top from burning but your oven may be different than mine.

Let cool in pan for a bit then take out of pan and cool the rest of the way on cooling rack. Slice and enjoy! A BIG thank you to Life As A Plate~this bread has changed my life! 🙂

Okay, now I have a small confession to make.  I ‘cheated’ on my ‘diet’ last night! I ate a couple of things I wasn’t supposed to! Cereal has always been one of my favorite foods and when I’m tired and don’t feel like making anything else, I WANT CEREAL!! Why am I telling you this? Because I don’t want people to think that I have it all together and I never cheat!! I am not always the best at doing what I’m told to do to better my health 😉 I WANT to stick to the ‘diet’ that has been prescribed for me, but sometimes, I’m weak and cave. Any tips you may have would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

Hope you enjoy the bread recipe and have a great weekend!

Pure Torture!

About 2 or 3 times a month, our church meets in small groups at different people’s homes~we call it care group. Last night, I had the honor of making snacks. I picked a recipe that I can’t eat, but I can at least look at it 🙂

Cookie and Cream Cheesecake Bars

I found this recipe at Living Graciously blog. They must have been really good, because they were GONE!  They were easy to make too and I may make them again sometime soon for my family. The biggest problem I had making them was the SMELL!! They smelled SO good. I felt like a smoker who has quit and just wants to take in the smell. Anyway, that was torture!

So what did I have for dessert yesterday? Well, after my very late lunch, I still had a hankering for something and then remembered this:

frozen cherries with coconut milk

I put about 6-8 frozen cherries in a small prep bowl and put about 1-1/2 Tbs. of canned coconut milk over the top. The coconut milk freezes on the cherries for a yummy little treat!

I used to do this all the time and have posted about it at some point. The difference is, back then I would put dark chocolate chips on top, and now I must settle for no chocolate. It’s still yummy though! If you can have chocolate, I encourage you to give it a try with it 😉

Well, I’m off to physical therapy. Hope you all have a beautiful day!

What is your favorite dessert? If I could eat anything I want, I think my pick would probably be pecan pie 🙂 with ice cream of course!

I know, Christmas is long gone, but I’m making a different kind of list. I’m back to Living Free after a long break! I have been blogging at Heart, Soul and Strength lately . That blog is mostly about health stuff, but I have found myself wanting to talk about FOOD!!

I am currently on a gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free (not even stevia), low oxalate diet! What a mouthful! So, the other day I was feeling completely overwhelmed by all of this and I thought ‘I just need to make a list!’. I started going through the low-oxalate food list and grain free cookbooks and writing down different possibilities for meals that meet all of my dietary restrictions. That way, when I feel lost and overwhelmed, I can just go to my list and pick out a meal~and KNOW that is it safe 🙂 Whew!

Normally when people go grain free, they rely more on nuts and nut flours, but I can’t do that because of oxalates. My stand by flour these days is coconut flour and I LOVE it! Anyway, I wanted to show you what I had to eat yesterday.

Spirulina smoothie with 2 boiled eggs

I had been stumped as to how to make a smoothie with NO sweetener of any kind. My fruits are pretty limited due to oxalates so no bananas in this baby! Then I remembered~coconut water! I used 3/4 c. coconut water, 1/4 coconut milk(canned), 1 tbs. ground flax, 1-1/2 tsp. spirulina powder, frozen mango and pineapple.


Chicken, mashed cauliflower, coconut flour bread w/ avocado

That’s not a very good picture, but I can assure you, it was delicious! I cooked the chicken in wheat free tamari and some herbs and had garlicky mashed cauliflower. The bread and avocado were just the icing on the cake 😉


Salad, beef and broccoli~chinese style and coconut flour bread

Again, terrible picture (gotta work on that), but tasted heavenly. I actually used deer tenderloin instead of beef. So, yummy! The deer and broccoli had sesame oil and lots of garlic. I planned on cooking cabbage with this, but ran out of energy. Never fear, this is a meal we WILL be having again!

My Dr. only wants me to eat every 5 hours and all of these meals kept me plenty satisfied until time to eat again 🙂 WooHoo!! Off to a good start on my ‘list’!

New Home

Long time no see everyone! I just wanted to let you know that my blog has found a new home. I hope you will come visit me here soon! I felt like my blog here at Living Free had lost focus and purpose. I have since been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and will be blogging at Heart, Soul and Strength about my journey learning to deal with chronic illness. Living Free began as more of a food blog and I’m just not in that season anymore. I will be sharing about food every now and then on my new blog and would be very blessed to see some of my friends in my new home:)

The Empty Dinner

Hubby and I went on a date night last night to a place called Bull and Bones. I had looked online before we went and it said ‘gluten free friendly’ so I thought this would be a great place to go! We got there and asked the waiter if he could tell me what was gluten free. He went to ask and returned and proceeded to tell me that all of their steaks were gluten free–duh, and all their ribs were gluten free if you didn’t get the b’bcue sauce, yada, yada, yada. Problem:1) I do not like steak–I may taste a steak once a year–or less! 2) You could not pay me to eat ribs–tried them–once  3) was NOT in the mood for a salad or chicken. Actually, I wasn’t in the mood for ANYTHING on the menu!! So, what did I order–absolutely NOTHING!! I figured why pay anywhere from $12-$15 for something I don’t even want. Hubby got his ribs and fries and I sat and enjoyed my water. I felt very weird because everyone kept looking at me like I was an outcast! I have never done this before in my whole life, but I was glad I didn’t eat just for the sake of eating.

After hubby ate, we needed to find something that I DID want to eat. We went in an ice cream place, a chocolate store, and a smoothie place and still-NOTHING! Can you believe it? We made our way to the health food store across the street and I FINALLY settled on some millet and flax crackers and hummus. I could eat hummus anytime!

millet and flax cracker with hummus

That hit the spot and I had it again for lunch today:) I also did end up getting a piece of chocolate at the health food store.


I was craving peanut butter, which is kind of weird because I never eat it, but I went with it. I had a few nibbles of this last night and few more at lunch today. I’m trying to make it last 😉

Later, before we came home, I got a small cup of chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups in it. This was at a different ice cream place than we first went in. It’s called Cold Stone and they have the BEST chocolate ice cream! I don’t know what’s up with the chocolate and peanut butter craving, but it sure did taste good! I was completely satisfied after eating what I really wanted instead of settling for an expensive meal that didn’t appeal to me. I am trying to learn to really pay attention to what my body is craving and I think it is helping me. I’m not as worried about food rules etc. and I didn’t feel one bit guilty over the ice cream!! I can have treats in moderation and there is NOTHING wrong with that 🙂

Have you ever gone out to eat and then ordered nothing?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

No More Hiding!

Happy Thursday morning! I can’t believe it’s Thursday already, but I’m glad because that means tomorrow is Friday! That means I don’t have to work tomorrow 8)

I called this post ‘No More Hiding’ because for a while now, I have just been putting along like I am doing grand, when in reality, I have been sliding down the slippery slope of my old obssession with weight and bad body image. I have decided that it is high time I just be honest and admit, I HAVE REALLY BEEN STRUGGLING!! From now on, I plan to just be myself– for better or for worse!

The last few days have been pretty busy and I have still been working on sticking to my goals that I listed in my last post, but I forgot one. It’s a VERY important one too! I forgot to put on my list–DO NOT WEIGH EVERYDAY!! That can get me back into bondage with food and weight issues faster than you can say ‘Bob’s your uncle’ and I unfortunately had been going down that road. So, my goal is to weigh once a week–or every other week would be even better. I know some people don’t believe in weighing at all, but I’m not ready for that yet 😉

I’m going to see my nutritionist next Friday. I haven’t seen her in over a year and am looking forward to it. I just feel like I need some help getting my head on straight as far as what is best for my body and health. I am also having to step away from reading as many blogs for a while. Sometimes, the more I read, the more confused I get. I put VERY high expectations on myself and then beat myself up if I can’t meet them.

I have also started an online Bible study called ‘In His Image’ that really focuses on finding acceptance and satisfaction in Christ instead of a certain weight etc. AND, I have ordered a book called ‘You Are Not What You Weigh’. I have read this book before and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever struggled with body image etc. I am obviously trying to be very proactive in my fight against old habits! I think if we just sit back and let things slide–we get into BIG trouble!

1 Timothy 1:18-19 says, “I give you this instruction… so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.” I am trying to fight the good fight and hold on to faith instead of clinging to the worthless idol of being a certain weight.

Okay, so that was my honesty for the day–now on to some food!

I had the BEST brunch the other day. I bet ya’ll didn’t know that I LOVE burritos! Well, I do. I started out planning to make a tofu and potato hash and it turned into a black bean and potato hash instead. I adore anything with black beans so this really hit the spot!

black bean and tator hash

I shredded a few red potatoes in the food processor and placed them in a skillet with a little oil. Then I added onions, red pepper, zucchini and 1 can black beans. Then I put some of this mixture in a warm brown rice tortilla with a little salsa and pepperjack flavored soy cheese.

my burrito:)

That was the BEST meal I have had in a long time! I am discovering that there are certain types of foods that really get me in the mood to cook, but more about that another day 🙂

Gosh, I better go! It’s not Friday yet, which means I DO have to work today! Hope you all have a fantabulous day 😉