Hey all! I hope you are having a great week so far! Thanks for keeping up with me here and on other social platforms; Insta and Youtube! If your not already than please follow me here and onmy other channels! Your support means the world to me and really helps me be able to inspire and reach more people!
Today, I wanted to share with you a recipe that I’ve actually paired up with my mom to make and it was she that gave me the inspiration to make this into a post! My mom has made these for us for a while now but her process and methods to making, in my opinion, some of the best oven-baked fries ever have now led to this and my newest IG reel that will be up tonight! ;p
Everyone loves french fries, but not everyone wants to eat deep-fried food all the time or can for that matter however, homemade don’t always satisfy that salty, oily craving the way fast food versions do. But, let me tell you the honest truth, these ones do!!! If you have some seasoning salt then totally feel free to add that to them for something a bit extra however, if not than a sprinkle of salt and some ketchup will still do the trick!
THE MAIN THING YOU NEED TO KNOW IS… for the BEST RESULT you’ll want to cook these on a STONEWARE PAN!!! IF you get nothing else from this, this alone will be gold, however if you don’t have one available to you, than these three tips will give you just as good of results!
Now, you might be wondering, what’s the deal then with needing a stoneware pan? I honestly don’t know what it is, if its the properties in the stone vs the steel but all I know is my mom basically swears by it and so I say, “Yes ma’am,” eat good fries and carry on my day! So, again if you don’t have a stoneware pan don’t threat. We’ve still gotten good results without it as long as we still followed these 3 steps!!1. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Doing so will make sure each fry has enough space to properly cook. You’ll know your pan is too crowded if fries are overlapping and laying on top of each other. Than, it’s better to spread them out onto another pan and not have some fries soggy and some burnt.2. Blanch the uncooked fries in cold water for at least 20 minutes to 1 hour; can also be done overnight if needed. This ensures that the fries aren’t too starchy and that they get crispy of the outside and fluffy on the inside.3. Cook at a higher temperature!! This is crucial. Often we cook things around 350F for a moderate amount of time, however for these babies, it’s best to cook them hot and for a bit longer. We suggest 425f/218C for an initial 20 minutes, stir and then another 20 minutes of until golden brown.
Crispy Baked Fries:
3-5 potatoes skinned
2 tbsp. Olive oil
Salt of seasoning salt to taste
Peel potatoes and cut them up into roughly medium-sized, “Homestyle” fries.
Place uncooked fries in a medium/large bowl with cold water completely covering them for 20 minutes to 1 hour or overnight if meal prepping.
Preheat oven to 425F/218C.Once time is up, take fries out of the water, oil and season the fries and place them well spread apart on your stoneware pan (or normal baking sheet.) Cook for 20 minutes, stir and then cook for another 20 or until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
And that’s all, it’s as simple as that! If you try this please leave a comment down below and share your experience with others by tagging me on Instagram @buhler.amber! Also, please check out my youtube video for a visual guide in how to make these! Have a great night!
Hey all! I hope you have been having a great week! I’ve missed y’all so much as I have been busy diving into the Youtube realm and learning how to film and edit videos. The short version of the story is it’s very time consuming, at least right now in the learning stages, so please stick with me as I try to balance them and try to find a good routine and schedule for both.
The majority of my content currently on Youtube will be all about bullet journaling and some of my go-to easy vegan recipes, however at some point I’d love to create content on other topics like “Low-waste living and Sustainability” and whatever else fixes my fancy. At this point however, we’ll be sticking to vegan food and bullet journaling, so please make sure to go check it out and like, subscribe and comment!
Now with that out of the way, let’s get into todays post: How to make Vegan French toast that’s out of this world!!
This recipe is one I’ve had for a very long time now and I think because it’s been on our regular routine to make so often, it totally slipped my mind to share it with you here! Plus I’m sure I’ve shown this one thousands of times on my IG “Story” that, I probably thought I had shared it when I hadn’t!
And just as a side note: In the video I shared how sourdough bread is a must however after I realized for most people it would probably be quite difficult to find a vegan version. The truth is this bread I used for my husband we found out afterwards isn’t vegan but for him it was okay. I just didn’t want it to seem misleading!! However, for those that are curious, I definitely did find vegan sourdough breads to buy online, so maybe check your grocery store or specialty bakery or the Internet, if this interests you.
For myself, I use a vegan and grain-free bread I find at the grocery store. The nice thing about this recipe is you can really use whatever bread suits your needs and it will still taste and work out great.
So, next time you have brunch with your family or friends, depending on where you live in the world due to COVID, I challenge you to try this recipe instead of your classic one filled with eggs and milk and see what everybody thinks. Or just make it for yourself! Brunch is still good even if it’s just for one! But I dare you! If you’re on the edge of trying a Vegan/vegetarian diet, than start with something like this that you know just CAN’T go wrong! And comment here and share your experience on IG! You can tag me @buhler.amber and #thekaleko and I’ll see you in the next one!
Vegan French Toast
1 cup Almond milk
2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seed
1 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pinch of salt
About 6-8 slices of bread per recipe.
Put all the ingredients except the bread in a medium sized bowl and stir vigorously till well combined. Then let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to rest and thicken.
Place a frying pan on Medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray to help the French toast not to stick to the pan. Once it’s hot, quickly restir the mixture and dunk the bread into it, letting the excess run off a bit before putting it on the pan.
Let it cook for a minute or two on each side and flip till it’s golden brown.
Serve right away with your favourite toppings: Maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar, whip cream (?), nut butter etc.
Hey all! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! I was planning on writing a post last week on self-care but it seemed I needed to actually practice it more first before I could speak about it. I was a little too stressed out I guess, but now we’re here; better late than never I guess.
Also, I have some exciting news in the works! I am planning on working on some video content in the new year so please stay tuned in for that! I will keep updates on my IG account on my story @buhler.amber! J
So, I’m going to try to keep this pretty simple today because we’ve all heard probably too many long spiels about how we need to love ourselves and manage our time better and create “margin” for ourselves and we can’t give from an empty cup and as important as all of this is, I want to cut the BS and get straight to the point. We need to learn to manage stress and take care of ourselves on a daily basis.
Yes all of these things are great and so important to talk about but if you’re actually stressed and burnt out, that’s NOT going to fix anything and if your like myself, deep down, even if it’s just unconscious you’re going to feel pretty shitty and inadequate after listening to something like that. All it’s going to sound like is Charlie Browns teacher mixed the newest social media influencer you’ve been following – a bunch of nice words for nice people who have it all together and their lives are in perfect order.
If your anything like me, by the end of the day your eyes are glazed over, your coffees been reheated so many times you’ve probably almost given up on it and your just scrolling to numb out how exhausted and disappointed you actually are with your life that you don’t want to feel guilty and ungrateful about. And I know for some even the word “stress” will trigger you, but I promise to try not to talk in a way that makes you feel like you have a whole new list of things your not doing right or at all.
I just want to share my experience from this last week and again, hopefully by me cutting out some of my own crap it will at least make you laugh and feel like a normal human again.
So, the beginning of last week for whatever reason, we were all very heightened and stressed in our house or at least I was and I wasn’t handling it well. My sweet boy whose now been potty-trained during the day for around a month almost flawlessly, started to refuse wanting to go to the potty and had accident after accident. I was getting flustered and really was trying to have a calm approach to it but I was starting to lose it my edge.
Lot’s has been going on for me personally and I’ve been trying to sort through my emotions and handle more of my stress on my own and with Jesus but, because I’m a verbal processor, I sometimes slip up. My son is a little me personality wise: we both like control, having the last word, are emotionally driven and passionate people and yet very, very sensitive.
So it went a little something like this: (please, please try not to judge me. I’m only human, you can laugh though.)
Bennett: Potty (already the 2nd or 3rd time saying this.)
Me. You need to go potty?
Me: Okay, but you’ve already told me a couple times so I think we should go.
Me: Bennett, do you need to poop?
Bennett shakes his head “yes” says, “no”
Me: Well, I think we should at least try-
Bennett: SCREAMS!!! No potty, no potty!
(Not giving excuses just context) Me exhausted (being up with a teething baby at night), sore (Fibromyalgia) and nauseous (pregnant), taking a deep breathe. Trying to remind him of the potty songs we’ve played at least 1,000 times by now and the treat he’d get if he went and somehow we miraculously make it to the bathroom but it wouldn’t go well. The yelling and “reasoning” continues and in the end we both feel trapped and don’t get what we want.
The point is despite my efforts, I was actually supressing how I felt by trying to control his behaviour and he obviously retaliated and I couldn’t handle it. I had to learn the hard way that my inability to handle my stress was actually stressing out my son and the fact that a new sibling was on the way was actually starting to affect him.
After I sorted through things and got my act together, I apologized in a non-manipulative, non-guilt tripping or threatening way. I owned my side and allowed him to be real with how he felt. I tried to listen and ask him questions and helped him understand he wasn’t going to be forgotten even with a new baby on the way.
And sense I owned my side, started taking better care of myself, I’ve had a lot more patience and my son has had less tantrums and accidents. We’re both learning to identify what’s really going on and have been all the better for it.
So, like I said I’m going to leave it there for now. If you want a follow up post on what I personally did to actually work through my stress and the actual “self-care” actions that worked for me, than please just leave a comment down below so I know you appreciate this sort of content. And like always, it wouldn’t be a “Kale Ko.” post if there wasn’t also a recipe attached, so here’s my favourite recipe for Gluten-free, Vegan and Refined sugar-free Gingerbread cookies and I’ll see you in the next one!
Hey all, I thought I’d just write today and see where the process takes me. Pregnancy has been a roller coaster of emotions and mood swings and so, it’s been hard to find the motivation to sit down and work out what’s going on into a decent post. Plus, my youngest has now required “white noise” for sleeping and so in the meantime, she’s been using my tablet for this, which has been inconvenient for me, but we’ve made due. However, whenever I’ve had the time or energy though, she’s been sleeping, hence… no device for me to write with. Thankfully, tonight I could use my husband’s laptop so, hopefully it pays off… here we go!
Pregnancy always DRASTICALLY changes what I can/can’t eat…A N D, what I want to and don’t want to eat too. I’m a “normal” pregnant person, just saying. But, its been a confusing whirlwind, nonetheless and though I’m not super good at it, I’ve been trying to be extra patient and gracious with myself… I mean I am growing a tiny human being after all. That’s gotta count for something!
However, I’m a perfectionist, probably OCD and the fact that this little bean inside me has so much say and control over how I feel and fuel my body sometimes really drives me insane! Thankfully, this isn’t my first rodeo!
All pregnancies are different, however this one is by far, the most like the one I had with my son: lot’s of nausea and exhaustion and breaking the borders of what I typically would eat; a very clean, low-carb, Paleo Vegan diet. Let’s just say, this bae likes carbs (ironic isn’t it?) and the ONLY thing that really keeps the nausea under control is eating and often.
Cooking for myself right now is a task and a half, despite how much I normally enjoy it. Honestly, most days I don’t want to do it, unless inspiration strikes, like today when I decided to make Chinese bread called “Bing.” As sad as it is, this very easy recipe wiped me for the rest of the day. But, sepite what you see here and on social media, I don’t want to cook or really even think about food right now.
I just what a child would want, French fries and fruit, chocolate and ice cream, bread, pizza and fizzy drinks. For whatever reason, every pregnancy, I always crave iced tea like some sort of madwoman. It’s always the same. To put it simply, I want what I shouldn’t have and baby it’s a real struggle.
And textures don’t just throw me off and weird illusive smells. If only it were that simple. I also get thrown off by loud, obnoxious sounds… like, my toddler screaming something as innocent as “Jingle Bells” as loudly as he can on repeat. Yes, I know how crazy it sounds but, I’ve been prone to headaches and light-headedness a lot this pregnancy.
*Caveat 3: I’m sorry you can’t see the realness of me eating Mc Donalds or pizza. I was too scared to take pictures of it at the time, but I’ll get into the fear thing in a little bit.
Basically the mantra of my life is: Let it GO…but I can’t, so give it to Jesus!! Anyone else relate???
It’s so easy to let fear, worry and stress run our lives and in the process, we totally sabotage ourselves and others we care the most about. To be real, I have a fear of people finding out how much I enjoy the foods I’m not supposed to eat and that I’ll look like a hypocrite or some kind of joke.
I’m “scared” of peoples judgement and that I won’t seem “healthy enough” or “vegan enough” if I ever ate something and enjoyed foods that typically wouldn’t be considered “healthy” or “vegan” or “paleo.” I know it’s crazy!
I know nobody really is going to care and if they did I wouldn’t need to listen to their opinion of me, but I’m human just like the rest of you and I like looking a certain way and feeling in control of my life. But kids are the colourful part of life and so is food, ALL food and I do enjoy both thoroughly.
To put it in different terms, there’s times of fasting and feasting, there’s on seasons and off seasons for things like sports, the weather and travel destinations, etc. There are days for work and days for rest/play. There are times to push really hard and times to relax and take breaks. Seasons to yield our hopes and dreams to Jesus, slow down and enjoy the simple things and there are seasons to hit the throttle to the floor and go when HE says, “Go get em’!!”
I share this to say, I’m in a different season again and the content I create might sometimes look a little different, but that’s actually a good thing. I’m more than just a person with health conditions that effect the dietary decisions I make. I’m more than my depression and anxiety, but I promise you, I’m still working on it. I’m still a mom, Christ follower, yoga doer, a creative junkie, plant lover, coffee enthusiast and die-hard foodie.
I’m still a writer and I always will be. I still am on a journey of quote unquote “finding myself,” in the sense of who I am, what I like and what I aspire to be. I will always be a bit vintage and hippie in a minimalist and modern way. I for now will have to remain the person with millions of great tattoo ideas in their head without a single one actually on their body (due to being pregnant.) And I will still be someone who’s transparent and real and hopefully someone whom is encouraging to sit down and read.
I hope all of y’all will find something beautiful in this holiday season even though it’s very different this year. Look for the light in the darkness and know there’s still good things to come!
Hey all, Happy Friday and welcome back! The last few weeks have been filled with me baking Vegan and Gluten-free Christmas treats to sell to people in my local area and coming to terms with the fact that I, indeed, once again am preg-ner-ant!!(*I misspelled that on purpose. If you havn’t watched this ridiculous video on how people have actually spelled the word “pregnant,” you missing out.) Please, watch and comment below your favourite rendition.
It was shocking at first, sense this definitely wasn’t our plan, (having 2 babies basically 13 months apart) however that goes to show life doesn’t usually go according to plan. I needed sometime to figure out what I felt and how it would impact my health and mainly my diet but now I finally have come to a conclusion, which I will share with you in a little bit.
If you’re not following me yet please make sure to do so! It Really helps out and lets me know to keep making more content like this. Also, after this please go check out my Instagram account @buhler.amber. In this post I will share all the links for the recipes I used to make my Christmas baking this year! Let me know in the comments which one you’d love to see a full post on! I’m on “Team Macarons”… if there were such a thing!! ;P So let’s get started!
First of all, for those that don’t know or haven’t experienced it personally, being pregnant changes a lot of things. Now, you can try your hardest to fight that or you can just roll with it because deep down you know your just not yourself- literally and figuratively. Your growing a tiny human, which is amazing and surreal, a whole lot of crazy and so, so much more! It makes you moody and cranky, tired, sick, exhausted to the point of going to bed when your other kids do.
It makes you crave weird things, not be able to drink coffee.. (this is a personal problem I have every time. It’s ridiculous but I just can’t stand it in the first trimester.) My first pregnancy, I cried over spilling Skittles in the snow and I wrote the year 1995 on a cheque!!
Being pregnant is a HUGE blessing that I don’t take for granted and my heart literally breaks everytime I find out that one of my friends, either struggle to conceive or has had a miscarriage(s), but it’s also a sacrifice especially when not planned and you we’re taking the precautions necessary to not conceive a child.
God has used this situation to humble me and show me just how much of a control freak I’ve become over the last while. I’ve honestly have taken a lot of life too seriously and personallylately and this sweet precious baby was a good gentle reminder to live a little and let go and to stop striving for perfectionism.
So the conclusion I’ve had to come to and am at peace with isI’m not going to be doing “Vegan Keto” while pregnant. Maybe that’s an obvious choice but it’s way too restrictive for growing a baby, plus being pregnant means it’s crucial to be gaining a healthy amount of weight while keto makes you lose weight and fast if your doing it right. Also, lot’s of major food groups, even fruits and veg and limited on a Ketongenic plan and so I’ve had to close that chapter for now to begin a new one. Also, the medication I was taking for my Fibromyalgia had to stop being taken because it wasn’t on the list of pregnancy safe drugs so, this door also had to be closed for now.
So, even though this has been hard and has had some draw backs, it’s been good to remember, like the wise olds nun said in The Sound of Music, “When God closes a door he opens a window!” When we’ve had a streak of “bad luck” for lack of better words, or stressful times (ie. A world-wide Pandemic), it’s hard to remain positive let alone believe there’s any good in it or that it could possibly benefit you, but even when things suck and feel like hell something good can still come out of it.. if your able to take your eyes off yourself.. for just.. one. sec.. please don’t hit me. I’m saying this from recent experience.
So, moral of the story, it’s time to lighten up. Chill. Like really. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. Find funny things to laugh at. Don’t be perfect all the time. Admit your flaws and allow yourself to be real once an awhile. Forgive people quickly when their stressed and say stupid things. Smile even at the person who tells you your going the wrong way when you forgot in a rush to follow the directional arrows of the floor at the grocery store. And hey. Maybe it’s time to give the News a break. We’re all stressed out, constantly listening in to that stuff won’t really help.
We used to say (not actually but whatever) the most relaxing thing to do was take your bra off when you get home (sorry guys or dad if your reading this) but now it’s definitely taking off your mask in the car and being able to breathe normally without feeling like your about to induce an asthma or panic attack! For the people that wear them in the car intentionally, I feel so bad for you and I mean that respectfully. So, to start off some fun, here’s the links to those delicious recipes I was talking about!
Hey Everyone! Welcome back! For those that don’t know, I took the last week off to potty-train my son. To stay informed on these things and/or when I have to take sometime off, please make sure to head over to my IG account @buhler.amber and give me a follow! And now onto todays lovely post!!
I mentioned a few posts ago that my dad and mom have been working together with me to adapt a plant-based diet for my dads heart health, due to the fact that he has high cholesterol and was given the prospect of having to take prescription drugs as the assumed only treatment option. They were not pleased with this concept and so, through working together and individually, we decided that he should do a plant-based diet and see if he could drop his LDL levels naturally.
I had my mom take photos of some of the foods they’ve eaten in the last while to show you what it realistically could look like for someone whose also interested in making the jump over and how it is totally doable to heal your body naturally through foodwith a little guidance.
I find we as people, generally speaking have a hard time with change but, especially ingrained thoughts and beliefs. For example, typically at least in Western society and America especially, your raised to believe meat is the life-blood of society, cows milk is idolized for all it’s supposed “health benefits”, vegetables are just a “supposed to” (be eaten) and everything is fried and made as quick as possible to be eaten even quicker. We’ve bought into a corrupted system that manipulates us to want more and more and stay stuck like a hamster spinning its own wheel. Even after tripping on it’s own feet time after time it keeps running and falling on loop.
We eat like crap, we’re not exercising as we should or managingstress in healthy ways. We work ourselves to death and even though we have a million and one ways to stay connected to others, we’re the most lonely and depressed generation yet; regardless of Covid. At the same time, more and more people are dealing with serious health conditions, illnesses, and so forth. Here’s just one recent statistic I found on mental health in Canada: “In 2013, an estimated 3 million Canadians (11.6%) aged 18 years or older reported that they had a mood and/or anxiety disorder.Footnote1”
The reality is, we are a very sick nation and we are told to manage our symptoms through pharmaceutical drugs (which is a business that makes a killing by the way), instead of getting to the root causes and fixing those instead. According to Dr. Cheryl Barton, “… the worldwide pharmaceutical market was worth nearly $1.3 trillion in 20191 and the top 10 pharma companies accounted for around a third of sales ($392.5 billion).”(ThePharmaLeter.com)
Now, before I get too far ahead of myself, I do want to say I’m NOT entirely against taking medications or people who do, because I do take them for certain things. I just think it’s important to think about the WHY and how Urgent the need and if there are suitable and effective alternatives or if it can be accompanied with other things for a short term usage. Yes, medication does have a place, I just personally believe that meds are mainly there to help manage the symptoms of an underlying root cause and BOTH should be evaluated at least equally, if one truly has the hope to get better.
And this was the hope of my dad and mom, that they could get healthier, but particularly my dad in this situation. They were willing to be disciplined and put the hard work in to get the results only known to a few. They, poetically speaking, took the road less traveled and have found themselves with more energy, enjoying new foods they never expected could be as good as they are, and more to give each other and those around them. They’re also finding new ways to eat old favourites, like homemade pizza and lots of yummy soups and some baking!
You’ll see the random egg or a tad of low-fat dairy cheese in some of the pictures, but we’re all at a different stage of the journey and we should love and embrace everyone no matter where they’re at! This is still a huge undertaking and I am quite proud of them and all the changes and improvements they’ve taken, their humility and openness to change! I wish you all a great and fabulous day and to be a ray of sunshine wherever you go!
Hey all and happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a good week and have found ways to stay focused and grounded in these uncertain times. With everything going on, it some days literally feels impossible to find something happy and beautiful, however there still always is!
Maybe that’s a smile from one of the few people you’re allowed to see, a text from a friend just to say hi. Maybe it’s the beauty of the change in seasons, the fact that you have breathe in your lungs or the ability to enjoy a warm meal or cozy up on the coach under a blanket to read a book or watch Netflix with your dog.
We all have favourite meals- those steady ones that keep us anchored! For my family, meaning even my extended family, one of our favourites has always been Greek Pitas. Main reason, besides how delicious it is, is how well it accommodates every style of eater in our family. The meat eaters and the vegetarians/vegans like myself, ALWAYS END UP HAPPY and so, this was not one I was going to let go of easily, even with switching to a low-carb high-fat form of veganism.
The idea of this meal has been with me sense the start of my journey! It’s been a faithful go to when my parents had no other ideas of what to cook for family suppers that would make us all happy!
My mom in the past typically would cook up some chicken and chickpeas separately in Slovacki seasoning and serve it with roasted red pepper hummus, tons of veg and wraps. It evolved many times, changing from gluten-free wraps to coconut flour ones for me, then gluten-free ones for my mom, to now no meat at all because a good majority of my close family on that side has adopted more vegetarian eating!
This vegan-keto falafel recipe has been a life saver and I hope you try it, even if you don’t eat this way on a regular basis. This would be a great, overall inexpensive option for a “Meat-free Monday” if your just starting your journey or trying to be more mindful of how you eat! It’s also filling and super flavourful!
Next time I meal prep, I want to make a larger amount to freeze so I have an easy lunch option to add to a salad.
Now onto the post! One of the most important things for me sense COVID has started is being mindful of my current state and knowing when to slow down when I’m tired, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or feeling depressed. “Slowing down” can look completely different for each and every person, but the simplest way is just by closing ones eyes and taking deep breathes.
Becoming aware of ones breathe and how you feel is important in the heat of the moment and else where. It teaches us to become present and let go of everything that’s hindering us.Slowing down allows us to become aware of what’s going right in our lives instead of just what isn’t and it helps us become whom we actually want to be.
Let me rewind a bit and tell you how this has become one of the most crucial tools for me in this time. A few months ago, I had some blood work done to role out any abnormalities and inflammatory conditions. Doctors in the past flippantly told me my chronic pain and fatigue was Fibromyalgia (meaning they had no clue why I was hurting so bad and couldn’t do anything about it), where this doctor actually listened to me and also desired to role out any other options.
The outcome ended up that no markers were showing signs of a diagnosable condition (Lupis, Crohnes, etc.) and so we determined that Fibromyalgia was indeed correct. This means they can’t find a physical abnormality to match my symptoms.. it’s something much more deep and vulnerable than that – my overactive pain responses are because of traumatic events in my past.
This was hard to swallow but accurate (and that’s as much as I feel comfortable sharing at this time) but, my doctor said there was hope yet. There was indeed a medication I could take that would naturally level out the pain responses in my body but, there was something more!
Meditation. I was quite shocked to hear a medical doctor telling me to meditate but, he said for my conditions meditation alone would work better than ANYTHING else I could do!!
He explained a little bit of Quantum Physics to me and how there’s an energy field inside all of us and when we feel negative we attract negativity to ourselves; the opposite of being positive is also true. He could tell I was interested but a bit skeptical, so he had an amazing tool he shared with me, which was Dr. Joe Despenza. He encouraged me to try his morning meditations and give it a go.
You might wonder why I was skeptical maybe for different reasons, but I grew up quite conservatively with the understanding that this stuff is “New Age” and it wasn’t really talked about, especially positively, yet again, neither was mental health. Lot’s of things were taboo for lack of better words and so he told me this man’s meditations weren’t coming in that lense, that they were actually based on real proven science, so I gave it a chance. What did I really have to lose??
All I can say is don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It honestly is one of the best things however, if you’re skeptical like I was then I would recommend listening to some of Dr. Joe’s talks. I’ll leave some resources down below for those who want further information to look into!
So that’s all for today! I hope ya’ll can find peace and real comfort in this trying time and know no matter what comes you’re not alone! Even though now you might physically be alone often, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to stay connected. We must utilize technology and keep connected to family, friends and our churches at all costs! If you don’t have these then I encourage you to find community here by giving me a follow and reaching out in the comments or over on my IG account @buhler.amber!
Here’s a verse to close it off:
Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Todays a special day because I’m going to be sharing two recipes with you instead of just one! With going vegan keto, I wanted to still have fun food that would make any day all that better! I’m talking about the at home date night kinda foods, considering where I live we’re back at a “Code Red” due to COVID and no restaurant is allowing you to eat in again! Or that perfect appetizer for with watching a football game. This my friends is it! If your looking for a replacement for chicken wings and traditional potato fries, then look no further! I promise you your going to love it!
Like always please make sure to follow and like this post so I know you are enjoying this kind of content! To check that out my IG account go to @buhler.amber! And now, let’s get to the post!
This has truly become a favourite, not just for myself, but also for my husband and parents. My dad recently found out that he has high cholesterol and was told he’d have to go on medication, however, this wasn’t the route he wanted to take if there were other options. He told me that he wanted a different way to improve his heart health and was discouraged by the prospect of having to taking prescription drugs. His doctor told him that once he was on the medication and it had stabilized a bit they completely stop looking at his cholesterol altogether but he’d still have to take the medication most likely indefinitely.
To me this was absolutely ridiculous because then, the meds were barely even supposed to relieve the symptoms let alone improve his new found condition where he’d be well again! I won’t go into too much detail here because, I plan on doing a whole other post on what my dad and mom and myself came up with, however, I will say I did a lot of research like I always dowhen these sorts of things come up and this was the general consensus: A plant-based diet is the only diet known to reverse heart disease. ( I do have my dads permission to share this by the way!!)
And so I encouraged and challenged them that if they were serious about trying to take a natural route, this would be the best way to do that and that’s what they decided to do! My dad has been eating a plant-based diet with the occasional egg or bit of low-fat cheese for over 6 WEEKS NOW! HE is feeling incredible and I am so proud of him and the steps he’s taken to better his health.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I, along with our kids had them over for supper and we served them this!! My dads not an avocado person, like at all, and he was actually pleasantly surprised by the fact that he actually enjoyed the baked fries. The Cauliflower wings, however are still one of his favourites sense starting his plant-based journey and he is ALWAYS asking my mom to make them.
I love these because they’re incredibly filling and satiating due to the higher fat concentration from being Keto however, they’re very easy to adapt for someone who isn’t eating that way! Change out the almond flour for regular or all-purpose gluten-free flour, put a different sauce on them! For my husband and my son, I always make theirs honey BBQ and I stick to the hot sauce version. I also love that the wings freeze incredibly well, I just put a piece of parchment paper in between the layers in a freezer safe container and I’m good to go! When I want too reheat them, I just place them back in the oven at 425F until they’re hot all the way through!
The Avocado fries are great because they’re so simple to make! To me the batter when baked on them remind me of Tempura and I LOVE Asian food!! So there you have it! Two AMAZINGLY delicious recipes to make for your next at home date, family supper or as an appetizer for with watching a football game! Let me know if you try them and I hope you have a great day!
Recipe links here:
A few sources for extra reading and watching on the power of a plant-based diet:
Hey all! I hope your having a great weekend so far! I just wanted to quickly share with you a super delicious recipe that’s so filling and so satisfying! If your not yet following me yet on Instagram, then head over there once your done reading this! My social is @buhler.amber !
I think my love for Indian food now must precede me because no matter what style of eating I’ve taken up, curries and the sort could never leave me. When I was a girl my uncle once made Buttered Chicken for us when we were visiting them on vacation in British Columbia. He would tell these amazing stories from his work at the time, when he would install electronics into peoples houses, of the incredible smells of spices and the generous hearts that would always want to feed him as soon as he walked in the door. Sometimes he would humbly take them up on their offer and other times due to the time restraint he was under, he would have to pass, but my aunt said she always knew he’d had a good day of work if he came home smelling like Curry, Guram Masala and so on.
Okay, I might’ve exaggerated a little but that’s how I like to remember it, like an old afghan my grandma made, cozy, inviting and forever. We all no matter how unsentimental we say we are have memories tied to food, both good and bad. Yours might not be as melodramatic as mine, but when was the last time you intentionally thought about what you ate?
I’m not saying this in a shameful way, like you should go on a diet or to tell you what to do or not to do. No. Not at all! My friend, when was the last time you ate something slowly and thought about how it felt? When was the last time you stopped to appreciate even how dark and rich and decadent that chocolate cake really was?
My grandpa was a chef or at least he was until he got too sick to continue his career. Sadly, I never got to experience first hand how good of a cook he was but, I do know he’s the reason why I love to cook so much today. You see, my grandpa was a diabetic and on dialysis and they lived in Pennsylvania and my parents, brother and I lived in Northern California at the time. If you’re not very good at United States geography well, those two states are as far away from each other as they can be, so we only saw them maybe once a year.
Even though my grandpa was very sick, he loved taking us to his favourite restaurants and watching “The Food Network” with me at his side. Even though he was weak and didn’t have as much energy as I’m sure he wished he had, you could tell how much he loved food, sharing it and experiences with others and of course his family.
Certain foods will just always remind me of him, like Cinnamon flavoured ice cream. My other grandpa, it was pie and black coffee to the brim. He always had to have a BIG slice of both kinds my grandma had made. In general he was a sweets kinda guy, just like his soul. A ooey gooey cinnamon bun, full of love, life and laughter!
You see, food is like a mirror and it reveals things the soul is shy about. Some fear and avoid it, some abuse it, some love it and celebrate it and others are basically indifferent to it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we need it to survive.. does that, however change the fact that life is about more than just surviving??
If life was only about survival, wouldn’t we get fed flakes like a goldfish or eat raw flesh like a tiger? I believe there’s a reason that food tastes good and that there’s so many varieties and ways to enjoy it! I believe God wants us to enjoy it and created it so we could and share it with others. What was the last thing Jesus did with his disciples? Eat a meal together – break bread and drink wine.
For me, my health has made it where I can’t just eat whatever suits my fancy, but as hard as that is, I think its a good thing. It keeps me from getting entitled and finding satisfaction from food more than God. It makes me deal with my problems instead of pushing them away. It pushes me and challenges me to find the good where previously I thought there was none.
Food can and is good even if you have reasons that challenge that! Even if your Celliac you can still enjoy bread or pasta that’s gluten-free. Even if your struggling with fear related to food that doesn’t mean you’ll always feel that way. Food is for the soul as much as it is for the body and you will find your way.. you will come to peace with it and yourself if that’s what you choose one day.
I hear people all the time say they don’t know what to make for supper for their family. That their tired, bored and that it’s too much work. Well, sure you could risk trying something entirely new, which can be scary or intimidating OR you could remember what your grandma always made for you growing up and serve that to your kids and/or partner. In doing so, your keeping her memory alive! Your giving yourself that feeling all over again and joy and gratitude will well up inside, especially if you share it with others! Let your comfort comfort others.
Hey all! I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it! With everything that’s going on in the world it’s important that we find comfort and assurance from the right things and that includes food. Food fuels the body and affects the soul! Not to get too brainy on you, but they do say the gut is basically equivalent to a second brain, so you really will feel like you are what you eat. Ballance and moderation are crucialto any health goal! It’s important to allow yourself to have treats but the majority of the time eat fuel that fuels and healthy mind and body and soul.
Here’s the recipe for Vegan Keto “Buttered Cauliflower!”
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and myself did. For those who aren’t low-carb, serve it with Naan bread or a side of Chickpeas. For myself I had a keto bun with vegan butter and garlic salt for flavour.
*Just a note however, this recipe is quite large so I recommend halfing it. Enjoy!
Hi guys! I am so excited to share this post with you! I’ve been working on it sense my original two week experiment and now it is finally here! This post will be a bit lengthy and a bit of a science lesson so I recommend making sure you really take the time to sit down and read this one! This hopefully will answer all your main questions and if not, than I will do a follow up post; clarifying or expanding on anything that seems necessary.
I also recommend bookmarking this one on your computer and sharing it with anyone who you know is trying to improve their health at the root source and as naturally as possible. I believe the science and I am also living proof that a plant-based diet can manage chronic health conditions better than any medication can. Food is the best source of medicine and it can literally change the trajectory of your life, if your able to accept it. Let me know if your interested in what a plant-based diet could do for you!! And as always, please give this post a like and follow me here and on Instagram @buhler.amber
Here’s a basic run down of what we will be covering in this post:
-Brief review of my personal health journey over the last 6-8 months
-The science lesson (“Magic School Bus” here we come!)
-What is Ketosis? What is Veganism? Can you actually do both?
-“Meat Free Keto: 2 week meal Plan” (How it works.)
-Conclusion/summery: What am I doing now?
-Other sources.. real people who’ve tried it successfully!
** and FINALLY: the best Vegan Keto pancake recipe EVER!!!**
So, if you haven’t grabbed a cup of coffee yet, now’s your chance! Otherwise buckle up for the ride!!
So, on to todays post! If you are already following me on IG then you would know that I recently have switched things up again dietarily to a high fat low carb form of veganism. In other words I’ve decided to take a Ketogenic approach to my vegan lifestyle. If you’ve been following me for a while then you would know that for the last 4-6 months(?) prior to my switch, Icut out all grains and most refined sugars, including corn out of my diet due to the fact that I got severely bloated, had terrible indigestion and suffer(ed) from chronic pain and fatigue.
However, sense making this change, I started relying highly off of processed vegan meat substitutes and beans and many other non-grain bread alternatives, which eventually led to some issues.
First off, as good as it tasted and satisfied my “cravings,” mentally I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like relying so heavily off of the “fake versions” of some of my favourite foods, because I have a strong stance that whole foods IS best. Also, I was getting some strong and painful flare ups to just about anything and so, I was starting to feel desperate, helpless and stuck all over again. Sometimes for my emotional health, I’d cheat pretty severely because I couldn’t handle it the disappointment. Emotionally I was drowning and so, I’d basically play “Russian Roulette” with my body. I was losing hope and figured if I was getting sick no matter what I did, than maybe it didn’t matter at all. Deep down I didn’t like what I was doing but, I felt lost and I was trying to cope with my struggles the best that I could.
And then, we thought I was having gall bladder attacks so, I saw my doctor and he booked an appointment for in September for an ultrasound to check it out. However, this also led to a dead end and I was told it was just my IBS. I’ve been very stubborn about this diagnosis, but now I’ve started to come to terms with it and it makes sense. I had a lot of excess stress in my personal life and my body was responding. It was only doing what it learned to do to protect me under stressful circumstances but it was excruciating. Sense then, I’ve learned some incredible ways to manage stress but, that will have to be a whole other post on it’s own.
On top of that though, despite how much I was eating, I was NEVER full. I could eat a large supper and feel like I hadn’t eaten a thing. I’d try to wait it out or distract the irrational hunger, even with a healthy snack but it never go away.
I’d spend so, so much time making a meal and trying to get full that I just couldn’t keep up. Trying to take care of my kids and our house got incredibly more and more difficult. My physical pain levels made getting out of bed incredibly difficult and being sick all the time made me even more fatigued and prone to getting depressed. I knew something had to change but I couldn’t figure out what.
This is where prayer and science came into play. I was desperate and so I prayed constantly for an answer and a breakthrough. Inmy experience, God always likes to show up in the weirdest of ways and that’s exactly how this happened.. me mindlessly scrolling on Youtube and me just “happening” to have clicked on a video that would forever change my life.
“The Magic School bus” Science Lesson(s):
Let me introduce you to Christine Hronec, is a food scientist and nutrition expert and owner of “Gauge Girl Training.” No this is not sponsored! I am just sharing the research I did in hopes it will help one of you who is reading!
Hronec explained how there’s 3 main body types the Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph and that typically speaking, the leaner high-metabolism Ectomorphs have a high tolerance of carbs where larger built, slower metabolism Endomorphs usually have a lower carb tolerance. I would be in the middle category that should typically have a moderate tolerance, however she does explain that sometimes, you can have a “mesomorph” outward appearance but internally operate more like an Endomorph.
What is “carb tolerance?” In short, this just answers the question, does your body have any issues digesting carbs? (Watch this and take the “carb tolerance” quiz: https://youtu.be/Efo340QaJPw )
Do you get tired, bloated, lethargic, gain weight easily and have a constant craving for more etc.?? All of which I did. This is also known as “insulin resistance.” This means that when you eat carbs your basically, “starving at a cellular level,” Christine says because your body isn’t able to use the carbs as energy. For people with insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, pre-/diabetes, PCOS she recommends taking a Ketogenic approach (which again means, your diet is high in fat and low in carbs and moderate in protein.)
Now, before I go any further, I do want to say I am NOT recommending that you go out and make a self-diagnosis, however if you are always feeling tired and lethargic and bloated with a constant craving for more carbs, you “might” have a low carb tolerance in which, you should speak to a professional about what steps you should be taking. For myself, the only reason why I am able to come to such a conclusion is because, for years now I’ve been dealing with my digestive health issues and this wasn’t an overnight realization. It has been MONTHSand years, for that matter, of trying and failing and seeking medical and naturopathic advice, getting bloodwork and scopes done, taking supplements and so on with no to very littler improvement.
For me, I have tried so many different approaches to gut health, mental and general physical health that for me, with previously seeing a TON of improvement with Paleo (grain-free and refined-sugar free) and yet still having tons of issues, the idea of “carb intollerence” really clicked and made a lot of sense to me and my personal journey. No, I’m not saying that you should now take what works for me and apply it to your situation. I’m just saying that this “theory” seemed to be potentially at least one of the missing pieces to my puzzle and got me asking myself a LOT of questions!!
SO, What is a Ketogenic diet and what is a Vegan diet and can they be done together???
Now you know what insulin resistance and carb intollerence are, what is “Keto” and can/how can you do it and as a vegan???
Well, let’s start with the easy stuff first, shall we? What is Keto?
So, Keto is a diet where the majority of your nutrition is coming from fat; typically anywhere from 70-85%. Your protein allowance of a ketogenic protocal is 20-30% and carbs come in at 5-10%. So, typically on a NON-KETOGENIC approach you would be using carbohydrate’s as your main fuel or energy source, however when doing Keto, you switch your main source from carbs to fats which in the process turns on your bodies ability to use STORED FAT AS ENERGY.
Now the thing I find interesting, as a side note (because I’m nerdy like that), is this diet was originally designed to help children with Epilepsy in countries where medication wasn’t widely accessible OR where multiple medications have been tried with little success. It wasn’t till the 60s and 70s that it was used as a weight-loss protocol. When a child was put on a Ketogenic diet it has been found in many studies that, most have less seizures and the Ketone bodies work to calm the overactive nervous system.
With this information and that of other resources I found, even just everyday people who’ve shared their personal experiences on Keto (specifically also as a Vegan), there are many more health benefits besides the typical loss of excess weight and fat, that this diet is known for.
Many said they saw their mood and overall energy improve, their appetites become manageable and their cardiovascular activity levels improve. Some did say strength training on the other hand was a bit more difficult, so just something to keep in mind, if this is something that you’re interested in. However, again, do your own research, apply what seems applicable to you and seek professional help to make sure this is right for you; especially if you have a condition in which you’re doctor is managing.
And a quick reminder, this does not give you the allowance to stop taking all your medications!! I repeat, please PLEASE don’t drop your meds just because you think you don’t need them anymore! Most medications need to be “weaned off” ofand SLOWLY. Just a friendly reminder! 🙂
So, in a nut shell, a Ketogenic diet is typically a diet very high in animal fat , like butter, heavy cream, bacon etc., where a typical vegan diet is high in plant based carbs that also function as themajor protein source. Examples would be: Quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice, beans and legumes, etc. SO, how is it even POSSIBLE to do both at the same time?? On the outside, they appear to be from completely different universes with never even the possibility of intercepting one another, however that’s not the case. It just take a lot of ingenuity.. and maybe a side of crazy!
Vegan keto: How it works? (“MeatfreeKeto – 2 week plan.”)
This was a question I wrestled with for a while, because I knew by now there was NO WAY a diet filled with animal products would EVER work for me!! My journey with veganism has been a long one and most of it has been driven by the desperate need to be a healthy and functioning member of society. However, the deeper I’ve gone into the realm of Veganism, the more I’ve realized how important the larger picture of this movement is. It’s not just about me, it’s about all of us. It’s about the fact that ALL living things have value and no form of abuse is okay. It’s about the fact that this is the only viable planet we have and taping her dry of her resources, fighting and killing over them, is not what I’d call “stewarding the Earth.”
There’s plenty of research out there for anyone whose willing to read/listen to it but the problem is MOST aren’t willing to listen to it because it’s uncomfortable and it threatens our comfort ability. They say “Knowledge is power,” but I’d say it’s just potential power unless acted upon. There’s also the side that people don’t even know they should care because no ones ever challenged them or talked about it! We need to educate and we need to get educated and then we need to act! (Tangent over lol ;p)
As I processed and theorized how to make it a reality, I was presented with another God-send: a whole blog with a two week meal plan for this specific way of eating. Every time I’ve tried something, it’s literally taken hours and days to come up with a working meal plan and for the first time, someone else had paved the road for me and I didn’t have to do the heavy lifting!!I was so astounded and amazed, I paid the ten dollars CND and was on my way!
This ended up being very foundational and led me to being able to finally be on the mend and start living my life again!
Summery/Conclusion: What I am doing now??
The initial “experimental stage” was challenging and awkward at first but, eventually I started to get the hang of it! I figured out what supplements would be the most beneficial, especially for the early stages and I discovered key recipes that made my life a whole lot easier. I struggled at first to know what to even tell people what I was eating and I was insecure in what I was doing . It made me come face to face with myself, what I wanted and who I wanted to be.
It made me confront my self-entitlement and pride; unconscious beliefs I still had about food, like: “I deserve ______.” It made me realize so many things about myself and I had to actually come to a resolve: either give up the whole eating “healthy” thing and stay sick, depressed and entitled OR humble myselfand accept the success of the experiment as the way to the life I really wanted. To be whole, healthy, fit, inspirational, a fighter and someone who doesn’t give up on themselves. Someone who makes their dreams and their kids dreams a reality!
Sadly, but also fortunately, it took me a solid month at least to decide what was right for me. It took lots of self-sabotage and low points for me to realize all of the benefits I had from the experimental phase were gone and I was low and desperate again. I had to make a choice to break the cycle and to get the results I wanted; to do what only 1% of the population is willing to do.. and that’s what I did!
I chose the road less travelled and I got what I wanted and more. I didn’t go into it to lose weight, I just wanted to feel better, not be bloated and have the energy to keep up with my kids. Sense starting my Vegan Keto journey plus the month-ish break, I’ve lost 12 POUNDS and all of these plus symptoms are being managed!
If you want to know what I eat in a day than stay tuned! I am also working on creating a minimalists list of my favourite staple foods on Vegan Keto!
Here’s a list of a lot of the resources I used to discover Vegan Keto! I hope this inspires you to take yourself and your health seriously! Stay tuned and God bless!!
**The reason why most to all of these people are Youtuber’s where I collected tons of my knowledge, is I wanted to see first hand from real people if it worked and if it was sustainable for them! Some of the above mentioned influencers also happen to be nutritionists or were studying nutrition at the time they filmed these videos. The bulk of the research I found studies and science to back what they said or I personally checked the links they put in the descriptions of their videos, from where they got their information. I needed to make a “virtual field study” of others, both men and women to know if it was something I could “risk” putting my own body through.
Plus, here’s my all time favourite pancake recipe!! Vegan Ketohealthy and delicious!! I plan on sharing an adapted Pumpkin pancake recipe to this one soon!!
Today I wanted to share with you a really fun healthy dessert recipe I know your absolutely going to love! Why do I know this?? Because any chance my son had to take one off of the counter when I wasn’t looking, he’d make a run for it! Even now that he and I have eaten them all he still says, “More brownies?”
Let me introduce you to the “Meat Free Keto” protein brownie! I promise, you’ll thank me later. If you like content like this please be sure to give me a follow and also check out my IG account @buhler.amber.
When I first decided to do a 2 week trial of Vegan Keto, I did a ton of research, trying to find out all of what I would need and how I would get a sufficient amount of protein. That’s where I ran across the fact that Pea protein is the best plant-based low carb protein supplement available. Secondly, I had paid for the 2 week “Meat Free Keto” meal plan and shakes were recommended as a good snack in between meals, so I decided to give it ago.
However, I wasn’t a really big fan and I struggled to get through them. Plus, I think I reasoned that due to the fact that keto is “moderate protein” I figured I didn’t need to bother… that didn’t resolve the fact thought that I had this big container of protein powder I didn’t really know what to do with. So it sat there for a while and then I came across this beauty and lol, my sons life was forever changed ;P!!
These brownies were so good and I loved being able to have a treat that worked for me. On it’s own, it’s quite basic (still delicious though) so I decided to make some coconut whip cream and put that on top. All I did was refrigerate a can of full fat coconut cream.
Once it was ready I took a bit out and put it into a bowl with a teaspoon ish (give or take on how sweet you want it) of Monkfruit sweetener and a splash of vanilla and whipped it up with an electric mixer. Once it tasted how I wanted it too, I put a doll-up on a brownie, ate and enjoyed it! Adding the whip made it feel like I was having ice cream on top!! Honestly, what’s really better than that!!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet post! I am looking forward to talking to ya’ll againhere real soon!! Cheers!
Hey all! I am so very excited to announce that I will be able to post more recipes now that aren’t as restrictive, because my husband and son are transitioning into plant-based eating. Most of these recipes will be vegan, however some might be vegetarian, it just depends on what they end up liking most. I’m so excited to be able to post content that can be more applicable to more people and hopefully I can show you the joy it can be to eat this way with a family and kids.
I’m so grateful for everyone whose stuck with me to this point of my health journey and all I can say is it’s only going up from here! This has become my passion and I’m thrilled to know I have the mental space to help others now also improve their health. I want to show you it is possible to eat healthy and feel amazing doing it.
My desire is that you can have an open mind and open heart – that for example, eating “restrictively” doesn’t have to be a bad thing and in fact it could be the key to unlocking greater levels of health and dare I say wholeness in your relationship with food, yourself and others.
Something I’ve learned in my journey but especially over the last couple months is MINDSET is EVERYTHING! If your mind isn’t in the right place, you’ll never be happy or content or able to feel at peace or in control of your life. You’ll stay stuck and feeling desperate if you don’t take command over your thought life – change your thoughts and you will literally change the trajectory of your life. You don’t believe me? I dare you, try me on it! I am living proof that this is accurate.
Literally up until the last month, maybe even couple weeks I unconsciously thought eating restrictively was bad despite the countless benefits there have been for me and how much I’ve pursued trying to find an answer for my health issues through limiting or eliminating specific foods. Why, well because this is what the media tells us to believe and fear of being judged and left out of things. The media tells us that restrictive eating is bad and it CAN BE if not done with caution and knowledge of what’s needed to not create a nutrient deficiency, however there’s also a side they’re hiding: instant gratification through food.
They cover it up with firstly talking negatively about restrictive eating, saying things like it can’t be a long term solution or you couldn’t possibly remain a happy and good person but, then they move into some very specific personal agendas like, intuitive eating and saying things like, “just eat whatever makes you happy” (which isn’t even half the picture of what intuitive eating is) or targeting very sensitive issues like eating disorders and body image (like inclusivity and body acceptance – which I do believe is very important and worthwhile discussion and everyone is beautiful no matter what size, shape, race etc. That they are.)
I just think negatively speaking on what people choose not to eat isn’t the only cause to the situations people find themselves in when they struggle with any of these above plus issues. It’s a two sided coin, if not more than that. There’s the fact that over indulging and “eating whatever makes you happy,” for example,is also a very slippery slope that could similarly lead to these issues. Mainly, because if you based all your decisions on feelings you could end up losing yourself, due to the fact that feelings are fleeting and bound to change and your feelings are just one way to express yourself.
Scientists now have done enough studies and research to know that food can be just as addictive to the brain as narcotics; specifically sugar, fatty or processed foods. When comfort or stress eating get out of control, you can end up using food just like someone would use drugs or alcohol.
For myself, restrictive eating (I need to find a new name for it) actually made me HAVE to confront my relationship with foodand how I saw myself, and my relationships. It made me realize the places where I had entitlement and pride. It made me realize how I was trying to rely off of food when I felt bad to make me feel better instead of relying off of God as enough. It made me realize so many things and it wasn’t until I was face to face with the solution to managing my health through Vegan Keto did I realize how much I was letting this entitlement to instant gratification run my life.
Yes, for some people maybe restricting too many foods could be a bad thing, I’m not denying this, however who said it was ever wrong with setting limits and new standards to how we eat. Who ever said taking ownership over an area of weakness and implimenting healthy boundaries was a bad thing? If I was legally blind no one would expect me to drive a car and in fact it wouldn’t even be safe!
To be able to achieve your dream ______________(fill in the blank) you actually have to be willing to do what 99% of peoplearen’t willing to do! I am eating the most restricted I ever have and yet I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with the trajectory of my health and life. For the first time, I have sustained energy, less chronic pain and fatigue. I’m full and satisfied with what I’m eating, I’m not bloated and I am losing weight too! I have capacity and energy to share with others and I get to give my husband and my kids the best version of myself. What’s better than that?!
So, in conclusion, because this is getting a bit lengthy, let me ask you that elementary school question, from a whole new angle: what do you want to do with your life?
Do you feel stuck and desperate? Are you depressed and do you wonder what’s the point of all of this? Are you happy? Do you actually genuinely feel gratitude for your life and do you feel hopeful about where it’s going?
If not then what are you going to do about it? If you could choose one area of your life you could make better what would it be? Leave your answer down below! To see life lasting changewe have to be willing to do what only 1% of people do who actually achieve their dream lives. Are you ready??
Here’s the recipe for the Vegan banana chocolate chip muffins I made for my husband and son this week! Technically the recipe calls for blueberries, but I just chose to do chocolate because, it’s my husbands favourite! Feel free to try either. They turned out beautiful and like always, make sure to tag me on social media if you try this or any of the other recipes I share here! IG @buhler.amber
Hey everyone! I just wanted to quickly write to you all about a delicious vegan keto soup recipe I tried this week! It has definitely been a warm comfort food in this chilly fall seasonand has become one I’ll be keeping on the list to remake! This coconut curry soup is really quick and easy to make and if your willing to give it a go it will pleasantly surprise you! Also, if you’re not a huge curry fan than don’t worry! I plan on trying some more soup recipes this winter so stay tuned!
So, in my style, I completely forgot to buy the curry paste for this recipe, however, using curry powder worked just as good. And just in case the original writer of this recipe ever reads this, I’m not saying that curry powder is better than curry paste, I’m just saying let’s work with what we have, am I right?!Ultimately, if I can save money, while I eat healthy food that tastes good and feels good than, to me that’s a for sure win!
I also didn’t end up adding any sweetener, mainly again because of my tired mom brain. The sugar or sweetener of choice would enhance the coconut flavour, so if that’s what you’re going for, then try to not forget it like I did!! It still tastes really good without it though, in case you we’re wondering.
This soup is also, for as simple as it is, is incredibly filling, even on it’s own without sides. I think this is one of my favourite things about Keto though, is how filling the food is! That and the increased energy that generally speaking lasts all day! A great side option with this soup would be a salad or a vegan and keto approved bun like this brand “Unbuns.” (not sponsored BTW.)
Another nice thing is this soup is toddler approved, well, at least by mine whose very used to eating a majority of plant-based whole foods (though he still also gets to enjoy some of the other not as healthy stuff as well.) When I wouldn’t be looking or was taking care of my daughter he would grab my spoon and slurp it up and say enthusiastically, “GOOD!”
While were on the topic of children and food, let me know down below if you have trouble getting you’re kids to eat the healthy stuff or if you’d like a post on some of my sons favourite vegan meals/foods. He isn’t vegan like I am however, I am trying to transition my husband and son to a vegetarian diet for now. They both have their non-vegan foods they really like so we’ll see how much changes and how fast. All we know, is all of us feel better when we consume less animal products.
So, let me know if you end up trying this recipe and be sure to like, follow and comment down below!
Hey guys, sorry it’s been so long. Lot’s has happened sense I wrote last and I was hoping to keep you more updated on my journey, but I wasn’t in a place where I could put it all properly down into coherent thoughts and sentences. In the end, I realized I just needed some space from food and social media and I needed sometime alone with my own thoughts and questions before I shared them with everyone else here.
About two months ago, I tried an experiment with my body by going vegan keto for at least two weeks and then I was going to revaluate from there. If you want I can do a whole post on my experience, my why and the research I did, however I’ll try to keep it short for now. The short version is what I was doing wasn’t working anymore. I was still constantly sick and bloated and dealing with chronic pain and fatigue and so, I knew something had to give.
Then I stumbled across some very educational videos on what’s called “carb tolerance” and how those with a low carb tolerancewould do better on a higher fat concentrated diet; most commonly known as “Keto.” Again, I won’t go into tons of detail on what a Ketogenic diet is here. I’ll just give the basics and let you Google it if you’re interested in further researching it.
So the basic explanation of Keto is: eating a diet where the major energy source is fat, you eat a moderate level of protein and a very low level of carbs; typically only 5-10% of your daily caloric expenditure. By switching from carbs to fats as your main energy source, you switch on your bodies ability to burn stored fat as energy through the process of making more Ketones. When you eat carbs, your body has a spike of insulin in the blood and is stored as glycogen.
Now that insulin has 3 main places it will go. It will go to muscle cells, other cells or gets stored as fat and when your body has a hard time digesting and processing carbs, your bodies internal alarms go off and make more and more insulin.If the muscle and other cells don’t respond, it’s going to get stored as fat. Which means, in essence, such a person would be starving at a cellular level. Typically, they’d crave more and more carbs and never feel full, they’d be bloated and fatigued, inflamed and so on.
Considering these we’re all symptoms I was having I knew Iwas onto something, however there was one major problem. A ketogenic diet is typically high in animal based fat and a vegan diet is typically high in carbohydrates as the protein source (ie. Chickpeas, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats etc.). I already knew meat and animal products we’re out however, did that mean Icouldn’t do Keto as a Vegan??
Again, I did TONS of research before starting this as I knew Iwas already quite restricted and didn’t want do end up with a nutrient deficiency. If you’re interested in a post on all the supplements that are specifically recommended for when trying a vegan ketogenic diet, just like this post and comment down below “interested” and that will really help me out!
What I learned was that both could coincide alongside each other however, it would take a lot of planning and diligence to make it work. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and then I actually came across a two week meal plan for this specific dietand I was so happy! This is not sponsored, I am just sharing what helped me on my journey in hopes that it will help you.The blog I found it on is called “Meat Free Keto.” Literally this has become my main source for recipe inspiration!
Not having to make the plan or the grocery list really helped a lot in the beginning because it felt like relearning how to ride a bike; awkward and a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to tell people I was eating, I didn’t want to eat specific things on the plan and social settings got even trickier. I was seeing amazing results physically (ei. Chronic pain gone by day 4?!!!) but I allowed the emotions I felt of isolation, fear and insecurity get the better of me. I got through the “experimental stage” and then some, but my emotions took over and unfortunately, I let them sabotage my results.
Here I was face to face with the end result I wanted and I fled in the opposite direction. See, what I learned (the hard way) was my goal and the result I wanted didn’t line up and until I could come to a conclusion, I was stuck at an impass and would never be able to change. I realized the goal to be able to eat whatever I wanted didn’t line up with the result I wanted of being healthy and whole.
As I was struggling with my emotions on the matter, I realized how flawed my thinking was and how it made no sense to eat super duper healthy to get well only so I could eat poorly and not be held responsible for it. You see, for me personally, I originally thought that with being so restricted I was missing out on so much but, I really wasn’t. I realized that even if I could,for example eat meat or dairy, etc., I wasn’t missing the healthy stuff. I was just missing the ability to eat away my emotions with food instead of dealing with them. In essence, I was in a dopamine withdrawal and I needed (or so I thought) a way to numb my emotions.
In this time, as I was face to face with myself and all I wanted was to shut the world out, I realized I could either stay stuck, sick and desperate or choose to do the hard thing and yield the results I deep down wanted from it. I could face my fears of what people would think of me or I could do what was best for me AND OTHERS, which was to accept this as the solution to managing my health and humble myself and move on.
While I was going through this testing time, I found a “Ted Talk” where a lady explained how after working through her mental health journey she wrote a letter to her old suicidal self and that inspired me to write a letter to my old sick self. I wrote this so that when I’m tempted to get prideful or insecure I can look back at how far I’ve come and know I don’t want to go back to being sick and desperate. That this is a start of a new journey and God’s not finished with me yet.
I can relate a lot now even more to the Apostle Paul when he asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh: “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10, NIV.)
God will answer our prayers, it’s just not always the way we expect it. Sometimes, God heals disease where there literally no trace of it being there and sometimes it’s a process with lots of sacrifice and a constant coming to Him to be enough for us.
So, to answer your question, no I am not healed but I am in the process and getting healed in God’s eyes is so multifaceted. He doesn’t just want my body to work, he wants all of me to be whole and renewed and He wants the same for you. So, join me on the journey and be willing and brave enough to ask yourself the hard questions. I’ll see you here again soon!
Over the last two days I’ve tried sitting down to write so many times, however every time I’ve been interrupted, whether that was by my children or my own distracted thoughts. There’s been too much going on to really pin any of it down into words, but my hope is I’ll at least get something this time worth communicating and sharing with you.
The stresses of life have been difficult but the joys are still greatand in all things God is still good and in control. However, I like control and I like appearing calm and centred and like nothing can touch me. I like knowing all my ducks are in a row and if not then that I let them be that way but that doesn’t typically happen.
I make plans with friends and family and my son gets a common cold that with everything going on in the world right now, will keep us at home until it’s gone. My health gets worse instead of better and my son (as wonderful as it is) is getting more independent. As soon as food starts to become easier and I feel like I have a grip on things, I start getting sick again.
But, with all of this said and more that I won’t share the benign details of, looking inwardly and questioning why we can’t handle everything will only make it harder. I’ve come to realize, as sucky as they are, hardships and having to struggle is a good thing and it’s a lesson my stubborn head has to keep learning.
Struggle helps us understand how desperate our need for God is and how much better it can be mentally and emotionally when we give up the reigns and trust that He knows what he’s doing.Motherhood and parenting are some of the best places to practice humility and dying to self. It’s also a great place to learn how to establish healthy boundaries because they set limits and make sure were not dying to the wrong things.
I’ve found as a mom and watching other moms that it’s very easy to lose ourselves and our true identities in Christ by trying to always appease our kids. We get spent and burnt out trying to make everything perfect and everyone happy that we forget about ourselves and more importantly our relationship with Jesus. I’ve found a core correlation to feeling spent and worn out with not spending quality time with Jesus.
How often, if we we’re honest, does our prayer lives sound like the echoes of our toddlers demands? “God, I’m tired! We need a bigger house! Jesus, fix my problem now! Give me what I want when I want it! What you mean I’m capable of solving my own problems? You do it!!” I’m not saying God doesn’t care about us or our struggles but he is a GOOD Father and sometimes, just like us with our own kids wants us to try even if it means risking failure.
My son loves Duplo blocks but when he first started playing with them he’d get frustrated when he couldn’t get them to stack right or if he tried to put a piece in a spot where it wouldn’t fit.He’d complain to me to fix it or throw them but, what did my husband and I do? Did we take the blocks from him or do it ourselves? No, of course not! We taught him and showed him how to do it so he could do it himself.
I redirected his frustration by guiding his hands to placing the pieces properly. Once he figured it out and could do it on his own he was so proud of himself and now can sit and play by himself for a long time. So you see, the struggle made him stronger and more capable in the long run even though it risked failure and more frustration.
This is the same with our struggles and frustrations! Yes, Jesus wants to answer them and he wants us to come to him as we arebut he also wants us to grow in spiritual maturity just like we want our kids to grow in maturity. Boundaries are healthy and important because they show us where the limits are and also keep us safe. Just like we’d tell our child to not touch the hot stove top because they could get burnt, the same goes with God. God doesn’t set boundaries because He’s limited or because he can’t handle or meet all our demands. He sets boundaries in love because they keep us safe and protected. We don’t always understand why or what He’s going but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong or bad for doing so.
Ultimately, he wants what’s best for us, he sets boundaries to keep us safe and allows struggle and hardship to grow us and keep us in a state of humility, so that when we succeed we can have joy and pride in ourselves for prevailing and pushing through. Also, so we know that it was God helped who helpedget you there and that all the glory belongs to him.
“The joy of the Lord is our strength!!!” Nehemiah 8:10
I hope you enjoyed this piece as I will be experimenting with a little bit of different content! No worries, we will continue to find and share delicious comfort food recipes for the restricted gut but hopefully also a little more for your heart as well!! Let me know in the comments what you think and please feel free to share with your mom friends you think that would benefit from it! Many blessings!
Hey there! Welcome back! Today I have another simple and delicious summer dessert recipe for you! These frozen treats are dairy and refined-sugar free and are bound to be a crowd pleasure. This recipe is not my own so make sure to check out @keepupwithliv on Instagram and Youtube!
I love this recipe! I came across this recipe the other day as I was craving something cold and sweet but didn’t want to have to go out to the store and buy anything. I love ice cream and it’s actually one of the things I miss the most sense having to cut out dairy and now even more with limiting refined sugar. The great thing is there are amazing brands out there that cater to all my restrictions but, it’s not realistic to have it as a regular in the house with how expensive it is. The nice thing is these don’t take a lot of work or effort, so I’d say they’re just as good if not better!
The other day I brought these over to share with my siblings and they devoured them! I think it’s because the frozen banana just a little bit thawed makes it actually taste like ice cream and the date caramel is so chewy and delightful. Finishing it off with the vegan chocolate and sprinkle of Himalayan Pink salt made forthe perfect flavour combination!
In summer, I know I like to be able to keep food and meals simple and this can be challenging with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Often it is just easier to buy a store-bought premade ready version of something but, then up goes your grocery bill. My hope is to help with that as much as possible and to share recipes that are easy, comforting and soulful. I’m not a penny pincher, but I do try to be mindful of how we (my husband and I) spend our money and make adjustments whenever possible, so without further a do here’s the recipe, the Youtube video and a few personal notes from me!
Recipe: Banana Ice cream Bars.
– 1 bananas – date caramel – paleo chocolate
– 2 tbsp cacao
-1 tsp vanilla
– 2 tbsp coconut oil
* 1 cup dates, soaked
-2 tbsp almond butter
Notes from me:
*For the date caramel, I did a very generous 1 cup measurement of dates so, I was able to make about 2½ bananas worth.
*For the simple vegan Chocolate I added about 1-2 tsp. Of maple syrup to sweeten it!
*Once the treats had been dipped in the chocolate and just started to harden, I sprinkled each one with the Pink salt.
I hope you guys have a great and awesome day! Please feel free to tag me on Instagram @buhler.amber if you try these!
Hey All! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Last week I had started writing this post but had never had a chance to really develop it. I had been at my mums place with my kids because our beach day had been postponed due to the downpour we had experienced the night before, when I had started writing. However, being too caught up the company and conversationaround me, I had to let this one slide and leave it till now.
My mom and I share an equal and adamant love for cooking and trying new flavours, so today I am sharing a recipe of hers that she loves to make for us whenever there’s a need for a healthy, chocolaty treat. These Cocoa Coconut Macaroons are paleo and vegan and to die for! As she was making them, I sat here at her kitchen island, taking pictures of her handmade creations and drank my French pressed coffee, as BOTH of my sweet kids napped at the same time. This is what I call blissful.
It might be weird for some to hear me say this but, I think of my mom as one of my best friends, but maybe it’s because of how much she invests into me and how we can be honest and real and talk about almost everything. Maybe it’s because I am also a mom now and she gets me in ways I don’t always even get myself? Anyways, it wasn’t really until last week that it really sunk in the value that this beautiful person adds to my and my kids life.
I know not everyone will have their biological mother in the picture, but I do pray you have someone investing into you and believes the best in you when no one else does. That you can find a “mother figure” even in the smile of your server at a restaurant or a prof in university who roots for you on graduation for the extra blood, sweat and tears you put into assignments. The coach that pushed you in practice till you perfected every lay-up and route with your eyes closed. Or the nurse that told you everything would be alright when you were sick or in a car accident.
I have had friends who’ve lost their moms and I’ve had a friend pass away, leaving a mother without their daughter. We all need someone to look up to and there’s always someone looking up at us. Maybe you can be that person; a “daughter or son” to someone without or vis versa, but without further a do here’s the recipe:
Hello lovelies and Happy Fourth of July to all of my wonderful friends south of the border – I live in Canada for those that don’t know and I used to live in the States! I’m a duel-citizen actually, so even though I’ve lived in Canada for the last 7ish years, todays the one day of the year I let myself feel more American than Canadian. However, with everything going on in the States, I can’t really say I’m proud of what she’s becoming or all that she’s been, for that matter but I cling to the fact that she can still be beautiful again and that all people should be treated equally.
Regardless of race, gender or religious background, we are all people and have a right to the same freedoms and proper treatments. I hope that today we can love better and each do our individual part to make this world better. Let’s not stay complacent but choose to remember who the real enemy is!Let’s not let this become a modern day “Hunger Games,” where we need retributions and keep alive an eternal war that could fade with forgiveness, and being humans instead of savages amongst humanities witnesses. The children, this next generation… What are we leaving them with when we’re gone?
I have the perfect smoothie recipe to share with you for such a joyous occasion that you could totally serve this up at a party even! This Mojitos mint Berry Smoothie just screams summerand would be great at any pool side occasion. Feel free to add some white rum for a more “adult friendly” beverage; an ounce to two should be perfect! This smoothie is quite filling, so with the added alcohol, it probably could serve two or 3 people.
This year I decided to grow my own Mojito mint knowing it would come in handy for freshening things up! My mom the other day have even cut up some fresh mint to put into a fruit salad and that’s where the idea of this smoothie spawned from. I might even try freezing this recipe into popsicle’s so let me know if you’d like to see that as well! But, without further a do, here’s my delicious recipe! Don’t forget to like, comment, and share it with a friend! If you try it please make sure to tag me on IG @amber.buhler!
Mojito Mint Berry Smoothie
Serves as one large smoothie or 2-3 adult beverages (with added White Rum.)
1.5 Cups mixed frozen berries
1 ripe banana
1/2-3/4 cup plant-based yogurt
1 Cup orange juice
1 cup Almond milk
2 tbsp. Hemp protein powder
3-5 large Mojito mint leaves (to taste) plus a bit more for garnish.
*1-2oz. White Rum (optional.)
Directions: In a blender or food processor, put the frozen berries, peeled banana, orange juice, almond milk, yogurt, hemp protein powderand 3-5 large Mojito mint leaves and blend till smooth. Serve right away and enjoy!
*If adding alcohol, do that last once you have the smoothie to your liking and quickly blend it in. Serve in 2-3 short glasses over ice, with a spring of mint in each as a garnish.
Hey all! Today I would love to share with you TWO amazing muffin recipes, one is a blueberry muffin and the other is a double chocolate one. Both of these recipes are paleo (free from all grains, gluten and refined sugars) and vegan (free from animal products: dairy, eggs, etc.)
As per usual, I will be sharing my experiences with these recipes, what I like and don’t like, if I had to change anything, etc. and so forth. This time however, I will be comparing and the two muffins side by side, as I have now made both recipes two times. But, before we start diving into the recipes, why muffins to begin with?
Well, its quite simple really. I needed a simple and easy go-to for breakfast that was portable, freezable and didn’t require a lot of effort in the morning. I also, prior to giving birth needed to know I had some good options to take with me to the hospital because of the restrictions that COVID1-9 put in place; no visitors or coming and going from the hospital. If you would like to see a post on what food I specifically brought with to the hospital, DM me or leave a comment down below.
Also, I’d like to remind everyone that I am still a novice when it comes to baking. I am not a professional, this is just all based on my personal experiences and preferences. I still have a lot to learn but, my goal is just to encourage and inspire you that you can enjoy the food you eat even if your health dictates what you can and can’t eat.
These muffins are so filling and yet really light at the same time and they definitely make for the perfect, on the run breakfast this busy momma needs. They are great on their own, as they are full of protein and fibre and anti-oxidants, however I usually eat them either with some delicious fruit or some vegan yogurt and paleo granola.
If you’re looking for a paleo, oatmeal free granola, either try this recipe or buy this:
Honestly, there is nothing I don’t like about these muffins, except maybe their consistency. The first time I made them, I remember not getting as many muffins as the second time and that the first batch texture wise did throw me a bit. The only thing I did differently, the 2nd time compared to the first was refrigerate the batter for a few hours because I was all out of muffin liners.
The other thing I did was instead of only two tablespoons of lemon juice, I used the juice of a whole lemon, for a double recipe. My reasoning being, specialty baking like this tends to either get too dense and not bake properly or too dry and end up a crumbly mess. I also wanted the lemon flavour to enunciate the freshness of the blueberries and make the muffin bright and taste like summer.
So, the fact that my results texture wise varied between the two batches, could be due to having known the recipe already the 2ndtime and the refrigeration process, however just know, if it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time maybe try it again. Practice makes perfect! Also, as it is with all vegan and gluten-free baking, make sure to not overmix the batter as this WILL effect the end result.
In the end of the day, this is a great recipe that I will continue to make over and over again! Make sure to tag me on Instagram @buhler.amber if you try one of these recipes!
This is another delicious recipe but as far as muffins goes, this one is more like eating cake than eating breakfast. However, as Marie Antoinette put it, “Let them eat cake!” So, why not eat cake for breakfast, especially if it’s healthy for you?!! Does anyone else remember those big double chocolate muffins from Cosco? Well, this would be it’s healthier alternative.
Rich and indulgent, my almost two year old, thinks of these as a treat, if that gives you any kind of hint with what were dealing with.
The only potential downside to these is they seem to be a little finicky with how long it takes for them to bake. I found that even the added extra minute of bake time, really dries them out so, keep an eye on them when you think they’re almost done. Better to error on less time than more with these.
The Compare and Contrast:
o The blueberry muffins are definitely my overall favourite as a breakfast.
o Both are fairly simple to make and both kinds freeze well.
o The Chocolate muffins tend to dry out faster than the blueberry muffins and the blueberry we’re a bit more inconsistent in texture, however this could’ve just been a novice mistake in my part.
Overall, my experience with both muffins was good. If I could change anything, it would be the chocolate muffin was simply lacking the moisture that the blueberry one had and so I would reevaluate that recipe till I could get it to the consistency I’d want it to have.
At this point I have not done any further recipe testing than these two runs of each recipe, however as I change and try things, specifically with the chocolate ones, I will keep you posted!
So that is all for today and I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, please show me some love by following me and sharing this with your friends! We are a community and I’m so thankful to have you all in the Kale Ko. journey!
Thank you also for your patience as I’m very busy with my son and newborn. We’ve had a bit of a stressful start with Ivy, hence why I was unable to post last week, but I hope you continue to stay engaged and inspired by the content I put out!
Ivy Elizabeth Skye Buhler – May 18th, 2020 @ 11:30am – 8lbs. 5oz. – 18.25in.
Hey all! Thank you for your patience as you’ve been patiently waiting for me to return! In case it’s not safe to assume or you don’t follow me on Instagram (which I would highly recommend), I just gave birth to my beautiful little baby girl Ivy Elizabeth Skye three weeks ago yesterday on May 18th!
The big question I’m sure you have, if you have read my latest post about the fears and apprehensions I had going into labour because of my traumatic experience with my son, is how did it go this time? How are you feeling, how’s recovery been, how’s your mental health etc. and so forth??
Question #1: How was labour this time? (What was it like giving birth during a pandemic?)
Labour this time went incredibly smooth. I progressed naturally and very quickly, however labour stalled and I got stuck at 8 cm dilated so, I opted for an epidural and I gave birth to her Monday morning at 11:30 am.
For myself, labouring during the pandemic wasn’t much different than it typically would be because I delivered in a small city where there’s zero cases of COVID. The main differences more so impacted the nursing staff (ie. Masks and visors, and protective clothing.) The key things that effected us was we weren’t allowed visitors in the hospital, I was only allowed one support person in the room and they were only allowed to leave once every 24 hours.
Question #2: How’s recovery been, mental health, etc. And so on…
Overall recovery also has been a breeze this time compared to last, but again this time around has been a total 180 degree different experience than last. This time it wasn’t traumatic and Ibarely tore at all. I also was eating extremely clean (Paleo Vegan) so this also would have a big impact on the timeliness of my recovery. Last time it took a couple months for my body to feel “normal,” where this time it only 3 weeks and I’m already back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
(Caveat: Just so you know the weight that I was at wasn’t actually healthy on my frame and my unknown food intolerances, at the time, to grain, corn and sugar made me weigh 15-20 pounds at least more than I should. I was severely bloated and always sick.) Pint being I still have a bit of a ways to go before I will be satisfied with my weight.
Question #3: Mental health
I was going to tie my mental health into the previous question onrecovery but, I figured it deserved it’s own space to be explained and dived into properly.
So far, I’d say it hasn’t gotten any worse when it comes to my general anxiety and depression but, I am dealing with some post-partum depression and this is very different for me at leastthan my normal. For me post-partum depression really screwswith my appetite and makes me doubt myself way more than I normally would.
However, this post in particular isn’t about post-partum depression but if you would like to see a whole post specifically on this and how I cope with it, please use the hashtag #postpartumdepression in the comments down below and leave this post a like!
So, what’s next for “The Kale Ko.” You might be wondering? My goal is still to write 1-2 blog posts a week, however to get more details on recipe testing and “day in the life” of yours truly, you’ll really want to head over to my IG account @buhler.amber and especially keep an eye on my story. With just having a second baby, I don’t have a great handle on my schedule yet or tons of extra planning space, but once I know more information to share, I will let you know!
A few other updates in more details will be coming soon – for example, what I’m doing to get back into shape and what kinds of meals I’ve been making sense having Ivy, so stay tuned for that and have an awesome day!
“The Hungry Caterpillar”: a diary of a full-term pregnant momma.
Hey all! Welcome back to the blog! I got a week left till my due date (May 23rd) with baby number two and so I thought I’d quickly share with you some of the slightly humorous predicaments I’ve found myself in lately.
One night I’ll sleep horribly, disgustingly dripping in sweat and the next will be great but I’ll be up at 5:30am unable to fall back asleep (like today.) I only got hit by the lovely “nesting instincts” last week and it’s been nuts sense. The house has to be orderly and tidy! Laundry is always going regardless if it needs to be and every speck or crumb out of place drives me a bit batty! Imagine how well this goes with a toddler in self-isolating..
Last pregnancy I had so much energy, despite working two jobs and my husband being in school while we were working on renovating our house. This time however, not in the slightest. Apparently, I can only nap when I’m basically nine months pregnant. I’ve been nauseous and have been having hip and back pain, but all in all I feel like I’m in essence the “Hungry Caterpillar.”
The “hungry caterpillar” started it’s journey well with leaves and strawberries and oranges but by the end all he’s eating is ice cream and picnic food till his hearts content. For me, my body’s been very sick this pregnancy with all my digestive issues and food intolerances picked up a few notches. I could never cheat without major consequences. The smallest bit of sugar, grain or corn could literally have me sick for at least the whole next day, let alone if it were one of the major ones like dairy, even by accident.
It’s been hard to be pregnant and not be able to eat what I was craving. I did my best to find substitutes and alternatives, but usually this tripled the cost or time of something, if not both.
In the middle of all the hecticness of the last month and a half, God has given me a little bit more freedom with food. I know that this is just a short intermission from my normal, (because I’ve had these short bursts before) but it truly has been a blessing to enjoy some of the foods I normally couldn’t even think about eating without being bedridden.
Psalm 34: 8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Psalm 34: 8, NIV
All of us could benefit from even one little taste of God in our lives. My son, whose nearing on two, has gone from being a very happy and compliant eater to a very picky and peckish one. He used to eat basically anything we’d give him and in abundance (except sweet potatoes and eggs) to not even wanting to taste something without throwing it half way across the room and fervently saying, “no.” If it doesn’t look like something he likes and sometimes even with things he does, than he struggles to accept it.
Aren’t we like this too with God? Maybe you’ve gone through a lot of struggles and trials and have been wounded in really difficult ways. Maybe you were like Bennett, my son, who used to just trust that all food that was given you was good.. and then the worst happened. You got burned. You got misled or cheated on. You lost something important to you and it was very traumatic and so your trust that was so easily placed in God and others got broken and you don’t know what to do.
You know the truth, that He’s knocking on your door with a feast of good things; hope, reassurance, healing etc., but your too afraid of what you might lose again in the process of trusting Him with your heart again. Friends, I’m in the same boat as you right now when it come to prepping and expecting the birth of my daughter.
With my son, I went into the experience with high hopes and lots of unrealistic expectations that I assumed were my right to have – having a natural birth, pain-free breastfeeding, etc. I knew nothing of the world of labour and delivery, like most first time moms and I had a lot of fears but trusted in those who had gone before me and that all the pain would be worth it when I finally got to hold and see my son.
Long story short, it ended up being a very long and hard experience and my son almost died due to his umbilical cord was choking him. He was a “code blue” baby in the hospital and ended up having a bit of an extended stay at the NICU. I was angry, hurting and confused and dealt with PTSD due to the trauma of my birth with my son. I didn’t understand how the hand that I so fervently trusted to feed me, could all of a sudden be willing to take so much away from me.
Sense then, I have received a lot of healing but I honestly still struggle to believe this birthing experience could be any different. Everyone tries to tell me it will be and that no two labours are the same. Some even go on to say second labours are typically a lot easier and that everything will be different this time. I want to believe them, every part of my altruistic self is dying to trust the words of these older and more experienced people, but I can’t! I just can’t put my heart and faith into the words of people to predict how a situation is going to go that hasn’t happened yet!
I’ve often felt this pressure that a “good Christian” has to be overly optimistic even in dire circumstances and that it is more godly to push aside ones feelings than accept reality and trust God to be faithful regardless of the outcome. I’ve felt intimidated by peoples “dismissiveness” to life and unsure of myself when placed into these kind of situations, however I knew this time had to be different despite the outward pressures I felt. I knew I could still trust God with my heart without setting my hopes in peoples opinions and disregarding my past experiences… but how?? How was I supposed to do this practically?
What does it look like to trust God with your whole heart and yet some how still protect and safeguard it from getting trampled by having the wrong expectations?
A taste. Simply saying “yes” to God. Saying yes to believing he’s good and that he does have the best in mind regardless of what happens. Trusting that he can redeem things for you but knowing it’s okay to feel apprehensive when your past hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows. God’s not looking for this huge massive step of returning to trust right away. He’s patient and knows that every step towards Him that you take is massive in terms of eternity spent with him. He’d rather you just put one foot in the crack of the door in your own timing than for you to feel pressured to bite off more than you can chew.
So, what’s one small step you can take towards trusting God today? Let me know in the comments and make sure to like this post for more content like this! I will also be attaching a recipe for Paleo Vegan Pancakes that are absolutely to die for! They are light and fluffy and perfect for any breakfast craving!
Today I needed to start with something grounding, something earthy that could provide me with the support and mental strength to keep going today… Coffee. Coffee and Jesus; deep belly breathes. With my eyes closed I tried to imagine where the tension was that I was carrying in my body and with every exhale, choosing to let it seep out of me. Slowly and quietly, I remind myself that today will not be ruled my anxiety and fear, that I’m strong and that I am enough.
Have you ever been there? Where you can literally feel the pressure and the anxiety rising up within you? For me this happens almost everyday lately usually multiple times a day; so much loss, so much unknown, so many areas of my life that feel out of my control. Sometimes it drives me crazy and I feel like I’m about to burst at any second, but when I’m open, I can hear His still small voice beckoning me to come and rest my fears before Him.
Don’t worry we will get back to coffee in a little bit! ;p Paleo Vegan Whipped Coffee that is!!!
My husband lost his job due to the Corona Virus, something we never could have planned or expected. We thought we we’re set and felt at peace and established in the path we had chosen. As a stay-at-home mom, I finally felt like we had a good routine established with naps, meals and when to do outings. I for the first time really felt like I had a solid grip on what I was doing and then, overnight it fell apart.
My son is the ultimate social butterfly! He loves people so much that sense COVID-19 started we’ve caught him on multiple occasions trying to play with his shadow or reflect ion in a mirror. Once when we were going to the car, he saw a stranger and started bolting towards them waving and yelling, “HI! HI! Hi!!” On another similar occasion, he went to the measure of even blowing kisses to the family in their backyard next door!
The point being made here is, the isolation and social distancing hasn’t been any easier on him than it’s been on you or I. His sleeping and eating have been totally off, he struggles more with listening and needs a TON of extra physical affection and verbal affirmation. He’s looking to know his safe and secure and that everything will be okay, even if the world isn’t. He’s needed more attention and for someone to explain that all these big emotions his feeling are normal.
Honestly, I’ve needed a lot of reminding too and grace from Jesus and others to know it’s all going to be okay. Just this past week my cat also ran away from home or got hit by a car and it has been pricking at my already very broken heart so much. In this last little while, my son has fallen in love with this cat. He always wants to play with him and know where he’s at, chase him down the halls and snuggle him on the couch. He even has started saying his name and every cat now isn’t a “kitty” but is a “Cheeto.”
And so another loss. I know not everyone feels the same about pets, but I’m a BIG animal lover and I’ve always had pets in my life. When our family dog of 15 years passed away last year, I balled so many times. She had been with us in every major transition and move in our lives (literally across the country a couple times and into an entirely new one as well.) You feel like you’ve lost a limb and for me I am now “petless” in one of the worst moments of my life.
So, I have to trust and rely on Jesus even more right now and also allow myself time to grieve. Everyday is different but the more time between the loss and myself the easier it’s becoming. The kids at our church have been challenged to memorize Hebrews 12: 1-2 which says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV.)
These two verses have encouraged me a lot in this time and help me remain calm in the middle of this storm.
So, how has COVID-19 affected your life? What has helped you stay connected to God and others? Leave a comment down below or personally DM me your story!
Paleo Vegan Whipped Coffee.
So now onto the coffee! I know everyone has been raving about the “Whipped Coffee” trend and I might be a little late, but rather late than never I always say! This drink is very fun and almost has this whimsical quality to it that makes for the perfect tag a long for an at home spa night! Trust me I’ve tried it!
I’ve tried it both hot and cold and I think my preference is on ice, however I make a few adjustments. So, normally you put your ice and milk of choice in a cup and then add the whipped coffee to the top, but I like adding some of the whipped coffee to the bottom with the ice and then pour the milk over top. Then, I seal it and shake it to mix it altogether. Once it’s well combined I add more of the whipped coffee to the top, more like a garnish.
My reasoning for doing so is I found it very hard to mix the whipped coffee into the milk and ice without making a huge mess. I also think the whipped coffee could make a great topping on vanilla ice cream, however I have not tried this yet.
Also, I have tried making it now both with coconut sugar and maple syrup and I found maple syrup makes for a fluffier whip than the coconut sugar did. I have not tried monk fruit or stevia though, so if you have tried any other sweeteners, please share your experience in the comments down below!
Today I want to share with you a tasty recipe I just tested out in my home kitchen! We all need treats and desserts in our lives regardless of our bodies’ limitations or our personal desires and motives to eat healthy and live an active lifestyle. As Julia Child once put it, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” There’s an essence in dessert that needed – the sweetness, especially when things are hard!
Lately, with all the stress and overwhelm due to self-isolating and COVID-19, I think we can all admit to a bit of over indulging and trying to eat our feelings so, instead of beating ourselves up, lets just choose something better and also be gracious when we need to. So no Julia, we won’t be stuffing our faces with cake today but these decadent and healthy cookies will suffice.
Like always, I will be going through the pro’s and cons of this recipe, if I made any changes or adjustments (whether do to my own personal needs or due to what was available in my pantry while making them), and my overall opinion coming down to one soul question: Will I be making them again?
So, let’s start with the pros:
These cookies are soft and chewy, just like one would expect a chocolate chip cookie to be! They’re definitely a classic done exceptionally well considering the potential difficult terrain of not being able to contain: dairy, gluten, grain, eggs or ANY refined sugar! Let’s just say if Santa were a Millennial, he’d definitely be sitting back and eating a huge plate of these while sipping on a cold glass of Almond milk… probably listening to some Chill Lofi vibe music!
The other major pro to this recipe is it’s simple and easy to follow and I ended up with a yield of a dozen and a half cookies just from one recipe! Most other bake good recipes I’ve tried so far in the last 4ish years have always produced a small batch, which gets costly both of your time and money really quick. Another amazing thing is that these cookies actually grew to a proper size again, unlike most of the things I’ve baked since going vegan and gluten-free (and now also Paleo.)
So the conclusion to the pros is: these cookies are delicious, soft and chewy, they produce a decent yield per batch, they rose to the proper size and the recipe is quick and easy to follow.
Now, moving on the cons:
There are only two major cons I found in making these cookies. 1. Was there are quite a few costly ingredients in this recipe! Most people expect chocolate chip cookies to not only be delicious and easy to make but also on the cheaper side when it comes to baking. Unfortunately, when baking with dietary restrictions there is really no way around this, but it is something to keep in mind if you would typically double or even triple a batch of cookies while baking.
The most expensive ingredient would be the Paleo Vegan Chocolate Chips. The only ones I could find ran around $11 CND for about 2.5 cups. Lily’s Stevia dairy-free chocolate chips were the only ones I could find and I had to buy them at the health foods store. They are delicious however and have a bit more of a dark chocolate taste. They still do melt, for those who are curious before buying them.
Other alternatives could be raw Cocoa nibs or a vegan dark chocolate bar broken up into pieces however, I don’t know how much of a difference it would make dollar to dollar. If anyone wants to try it and test it out, feel free to let me and everyone else know in the comments.
The second and final con would be that due to how soft they are, they actually fell apart on me pretty easily, however this could’ve been reduced if I would’ve stored them differently. Next time, I will store them flat in an airtight container and freeze them so they hold their shape better.
This time I had no need to adjust any of the ingredients as I had everything I needed and the recipe worked perfectly for my needs. I would love to test out this recipe to make it also Nut-free, because I have some people in my life who could benefit from this. All in all, it’s an amazing recipe and they were super easy to make! My toddler loved mixing in the dry ingredients and eating them with me afterwards, so I will definitely be making them again with the hope of also sharing them with some friends and family!
If you try this or any of the other recipes I share, please make sure to leave a comment and let me know how it turned out and also make sure to share your experience with others on social media, using the hashtag #thekaleko and also the food too whenever possible! Have a great day!!
French Toast, Grapes and breakfast Beyond Sausage.
Hey all! Today I’d like to update you on the last two weeks of meals and how the application of this plan worked for our family. In this post I will be sharing all the standout favourites, what we’ve been learning, what still has room for improvement and so on. I’m also excited to share that I will be testing out a recipe for Paleo Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, so make sure you stay tuned-in on my Instagram story for any blog updates and food inspiration. (You can follow me @buhler.amber)
For the purpose of this post, I will be only highlighting the food I ate and not my son and husband. Lots of the food does overlap but the main purpose is to give advice and inspiration for those with food allergies or dietary restraints.
I will break up the food into categories: breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks/treats and emergencies and then spend sometime talking about my favourites and the other details after.
Homemade green detox juice (Celery, Cucumber, Green Apples and Ginger.)
So, these are my top favourites:
Having brunch every Saturday as a family! This has been so fun and bonding for us and has even got my toddler wanting to help in the kitchen. He will stir the Vegan “egg” mixture and throw the bread into it! It’s very cute to see him stirring away with a big grin on his face as he proudly helps his mommy in the kitchen.
If you don’t know what “faspa” is it’s a Mennonite term for basically pulling out all your easy stuff from the fridge and making a meal of it. This is typically buns, cheese, lunchmeat, pickles etc. I love doing this for lunch because it’s light and easy and doesn’t have a ton of prep involved.
So, if you want to try this the next time your feeling lazy or are in a bit of a crunch to get lunch on the table, all you need is to pull out some of your easy go-to favourites. It’s not about having this perfectly put together dish; it’s just about simplicity and time efficiency.
3. Supper: Mexican Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Guacamole: This was actually one of the first suppers we made in this two week time frame but it still has remained a top favourite for my whole family! It’s super filling, nutritious and satisfying and my guacamole recipe takes it to a whole other level!
Also, I didn’t follow a specific recipe when it came to making these so I will attach a recipe that would be similar down below. However, I plan on posting in the next little while a few more posts giving detailed descriptions on some of the recipes I’ve tested out in the last few weeks and I plan on this being one of them!
The honest truth is basically everything on this list is was a favourite because; I went into this time of meal planning solely relying off of old favourite recipes and tried and true ideas. A priority of mine was to actually be enjoying what I would have to be eating and having good substitutes in place for specific cravings (mainly salty and sweet.) This is where I ended up making Kale chips for the first time and baking a little more than normal, so I’d have options in place when pregnancy cravings arrived.
I also wanted to have some go-to’s in case of an emergency (aka. My body flares up and I am sick for a few days.) I have noticed increasing my liquids on these days to be very crucial to help flush and detox my system but that herbal and fermented teas like Kombucha are extremely helpful in speeding up the process. The same goes with making Green Juice. Other non-food related things that help me ease my symptoms are hot baths, rest and anti-acid tablets (ie. Tums.)
The main thing that is still in need of improvement is that we planned on more food than we needed for two weeks. This hasn’t actually caused us any problems as none of our produce or perishables has gone bad. In fact with all the changes going on with COVID-19 it’s actually made it easier to not have to leave and go get groceries as soon.
So that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed reading this two-week meal planning update and that it inspires you to try one of these recipes or ideas! If you do then please make sure to tag me and use the hash tag #thekaleko. I look forward to hearing from you!
This week as I promised in my last post, I will be sharing my personal tips and tricks for how you can turn your “Why” into an actual food plan and how to pick delicious recipes that accommodate your needs. Though I am not a registered dietician, doctor or nutritionist, I have been personally adapting and researching and including professionals in my life (in regards to my diet and gut health) for the last 4 years and have come away knowledgeable and very competent to be sharing advice and my experiences. (Please make sure though that you do still include a professional when it comes to making any major changes to your diet and health.)
This will be a bit of a longer post so make sure your comfortable with a cup of coffee or tea and we’ll be getting into it right away!
So, in this post we will be tackling to two main questions: How do I meal plan and how do I pick meals??
How do I make a meal plan?
Know how long I’m planning for and if there are any special events coming up in that time.
This might seem pretty straightforward but if your budget doesn’t line up with the length of the meal plan you created (ie. Budgeted for a week but planned for two or vis versa) you are going to run into problems. I typically meal plan for two weeks with a little bit of a buffer but this is just my preference.
When it comes to special events, this could be anything from a wedding to a family gathering or even just a relaxing movie night with friends. These times are supposed to be restful and enjoyable envelopes of time but when your dealing with food restrictions, they can often loom over you and limit your ability to be relational when you don’t know if there will be anything for you to eat. Planning ahead takes the pressure off and returns your attention to what’s most important, connecting with those around you.
I will at some point soon do a whole post specifically on how to handle social settings and events with food intolerances/dietary restrictions but for now we’ll leave it at that!
Review what’s worked and what hasn’t. (Know your “yes” and “no” foods.)
Because everyone’s going to have a different starting point and different why, this point will be very individually based and so how you answer it will probably look very different than me, especially if you’ve never meal planned before. If this is your first time, than starting with making sure your well acquainted with you “yes” and “no” foods is a great place to start.
A great tool for this is creating a food diary where you write down what you ate and drank at what times and what your symptoms were. You can do this in any journal, computer or device, but I will attach a basic document for you to use for free here as a guide.
The more acquainted you get with yourself and how your body responds to certain foods the easier it will get to identify and be able to make a change. Remember though that this is a process and it is not wrong to seek medical or holistic advice when it comes to your health, regardless of the reason.
Do research. (Pinterest is your new best friend!)
No matter what your needs or preferences are when in comes to food, diet, gut health, etc. Pinterest is FULL of recipes and ideas! When I first decided to become vegan for my health, I was so at a loss for what I could eat that I literally spent hours on Pinterest sifting through content till I found recipes I could tolerate. I was scared and a bit overwhelmed probably, but I chose to search out the truth because my health was worth it!
If I could go back, I wish I could’ve told myself how many foods I was already eating that could’ve worked or been adapted to make work but that’s just not where my brain was at that time. Ultimately, try to breathe, trust the process knowing you’re a worthwhile investment and even though many things might not work you will eventually find out what does.
How do I pick recipes?
Review old go to, favourite recipes.
If this is your first time meal planning or you recently found out you have to change your diet drastically, you might be wondering how this is even applicable. Let me put it this way: You know what foods you do like and which ones you don’t and in fact the possibility of not being able to have a particular favourite food feels like it’s going to be the death of you but, it doesn’t have to.
Maybe your looking at your list of yes and no foods and feel flustered and overwhelmed at the thought of not knowing what you can eat and having to make a ton of new recipes like I did when I first started.
Here’s my biggest secret: Focus on making the “no foods” into “yes’s.”
Focusing on turning your “no” foods into “yes’s” will actually simplify the whole process, even mentally and emotionally. If you don’t like a specific food on your “yes” list why would you force yourself to eat it? As it stands, that wouldn’t be sustainable in the long term or an efficient use of your budget. You’ll end up frustrated and wanting to go back to what’s safe and comfortable.
Yes, you might be allergic to dairy but that doesn’t mean there aren’t delicious alternatives to things like ice cream. There’s plenty of simple ways to make it yourself at home but there’s also brands like “Haagen Daaz” and “Ben & Jerry’s” among many others that make divine dairy-free options.
Another example would be if you love bread and you can’t eat gluten, you’re going to want to make it a priority to find the best most amazing gluten-free bread (recipe or store-bought version) you can find! Yes. You can have a lettuce wrap and it will be healthy and gluten-free, but what about your soul??
*A simple step you can take is writing a list of your favourite foods, meals, and cuisine styles and then researching ideas on Pinterest those specific things with your personal dietary needs included. (ie. Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs.)
Have a few key things you want to try or focus on based on your personal priorities.
These things should be fun and get you excited and feeling positive about the obstacles you’re trying to overcome. This should be experimental, like maybe trying a new recipe. It should take the focus off of the stress and potential feelings of overwhelm and make it into a positive and uplifting experience.
For myself, I used to think baking (specifically just for me) wasn’t necessary or important because it’s expensive and there’s no guarantee it will turn out but, I’ve learned that it is important to not just be productive but have fun in the kitchen. Baking has taught me a lot about letting go and not taking life too seriously and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
As a side note, it is important to realize that eating healthy and what a lot of people call “special diet food” will cost more, but the longevity of your health and living life to the fullest is in fact worth the financial sacrifices that come from it.
So a step might be trying one new recipe just for fun like making Chocolate Chip cookies within your restrictions or needs!
Also, another way to look at this is just finding ways for you to personally take steps that motivate you towards accomplishing your why. So how can you take ownership of your health and what can you do to improve it?
The final step after coming up with a few specific things you know you want to try is going on Pinterest and starting to look for recipes. Make a “board” of all the recipes you find so you don’t have to relook for them when it comes to making them.
When I’m looking at a recipe I’ve never tried before, I tend to only pick ones that other people have tried and posted good reviews on. Now, that I’ve done this for a little while I sometimes will try something regardless just because I love experimenting in the kitchen, but the safest bet is sticking to what I previously stated.
So, that’s all for this post! Here’s a quick summary of what we just talked about:
How to make a meal plan:
Know how long I’m planning for and if there are any special events coming up in that time.
Review what has and hasn’t worked/ become well acquainted with your “yes” and “no” foods. (Tool: Food diary.)
Do Research – aka Pinterest
How do I pick recipes:
Review old go to recipes – turn “no foods” into “yes’s.”
Have a few key things you want to try based on your personal priorities. (ie. Trying one new recipe just for fun.)
Pinterest recipes to add to your meal plan.
I hope you found this helpful and informative! If you made it to the end then well done! I know my posts aren’t typically this long but I wanted to make sure you could benefit from all this information sooner than later. Also, let me know in the comments any of your personal tips and tricks when it comes to meal planning and deciding which meals your going to choose so others and myself can also benefit from it!
I’m writing to you guys today for the first time in my mini home office. It’s nothing fancy yet, just a very old desk I once got at the thrift store five years ago for max two dollars and an equally old chair, but at least I finally have my very own dedicated space for this. I usually would either sit at my kitchen table or go to my favourite coffee shop, but no one is doing Dine-in anymore. I’m trying to be okay with all the necessary changes that are being made but my extraverted self is just dying to sit and people watch.
As weird as this might sound to some this is actually one of my favourite ways to unwind; working on my own project or task and just watching as the world goes buzzing by. I honestly could just sit in an airport for hours alone watching all the people come and go, as long as I also had something to do.
But today, this screen has to be my window to look through and to see the world and so, I thought I’d share how I went about meal planning for the next two weeks, my process and a few key things that I’ve learned to include to maximize success.
Whenever you start a task or revaluate a current goal, project, etc. you need to know you “why” and be very specific about it. Every time I have to buy groceries and meal plan I have to revaluate, because of my health. However, this time there was more to it. To name a few, we felt like we were always running short or missing key ingredients and so our budget was always fluctuating, food felt more like a burden than an enjoyment for me, and my husband also wanted to start eating better.
I also had some major personal obstacles, mental and emotional pressures (stresses, expectations, fears, etc.) that I was carrying. For example, I sometimes struggle with the costs of what it takes to feed my sick body and so, I skimp out on what I need to make sure my family is taken care of but then it effects them later, when I’m fatigued and sick.
So, this time my husband and I sat down together, worked through the barriers that were keeping us from our why and went from there. This first bit of time was also spent identifying what has and hasn’t been working and what needed to change.
For example, caffeine has been bothering me and making me jittery for the first time ever and so I’ve been monitoring it and reducing the amount I was taking in – so from two cups of regular coffee to one but most days it’s decaffeinated. 😦
I’ve also noticed beans potentially bothering me so, the next two weeks I will be testing to see if it’s the Lectin that was bothering me and if pressure cooking them reduces the negative symptoms they were causing me.
Yes, our main why is my health, but what is and isn’t included in health? Is health just physical or is it also mental, emotional, relational and spiritual? To my husband and myself, we’ve realized health and being whole is multi-faceted and so how do we navigate that reality?
Two words: self-awareness. When it comes to anything that’s worth fighting and wrestling through, you need to know what’ s going to drive you to solving the problem and what’s going to hinder your progress. For example, my health is the number one priority of why we spend the time and resources that we do however, not being able to enjoy food or have shared experiences with others, has hindered me from staying the course. The pressure of having such a limited and restricted diet sometimes feels like too much and so it’s hard to not want to give in to cravings.
So, the personal takeaway is: Yes I need to eat and want to eat healthy BUT I also need to be able to enjoy it and have things in place so that when I’m craving something, I don’t cheat.
So practically, how did this self-awareness effect meal planning for me personally?
There’s the general; what food and meals are we going to eat on a daily basis that align with my personal health needs? These should include your go to safe tested foods. For me a few mains are: smoothies, fruit, veggies and nuts.
Identify cravings and come up with substitutes and include those in your meal plan. (ie. Chips/salty snacks can be replaced with homemade kale chips or lightly salted nuts.)
Make food enjoyable: look through recipes and maybe resurface old ones you haven’t had for a while. Take the pressure of, rely on your safe foods and looks up ways to be more creative with what you can eat. I’ve never tried it but I know there are websites online where if you type in the ingredients you have, it can help you come up with a meal. Try this sight to turn any ingredients into a meal: https://www.supercook.com/#/recipes
(Side note: If this is something that overwhelms you or you would like some help, let me know! I love helping people find what works for them.)
Another way I like making food more enjoyable is having a special brunch on the weekend with my family. Because I eat a smoothie basically everyday for breakfast, this is the one day I deviate and make something else. (ie. Paleo Vegan French toast and vegan sausage.)
Emergencies: what helps you feel better when you have a flare up or are sick? (Again, make sure to include these things in your meal plan/grocery list to have on stand-by.)
For me these include: Kombucha (fermented tea), Chamomile tea, Green juice (celery cucumber, green apples and ginger) hot showers, rest, acid and gas blockers like Tums and Beano, etc.
So, in conclusion, what can you take out of this and how can you make sure to have success with meal planning??
Know your why. (Be specific.)
Practice self-awareness and identify what will motivate and keep you from succeeding.
Make a list of priorities based on your why.
Make a plan of action so all of those priorities are included in your plan. (ie. Healthy substitutes for cravings, staying budget conscious, etc.)
And there you have it! These four points are all you need to get started. My next post will specifically be more on my process for what meals I choose and how my list of priorities affects that. If you would like more one-on-one help with meal planning or working around dietary needs let me know and I’d love to help! DM me any personal questions you have and also make sure your following me on Instagram @buhler.amber!
Hey all welcome back to the blog! Today I wanted to share with you a fun recipe I recently came across that has been hitting the spot for those mid-afternoon sugary and carb-filled cravings I’ve been dealing with sense cutting out grains and processed sugar. This is one of the first Paleo and Vegan bake-goods I’ve made that really turned out (even with some personal modifications) and I can’t wait for you to also dig in! If you try this recipe, please make sure to tag me @buhler.amber on IG and also use the hashtag #thekaleko.
Also, if you’re not already following me on Instagram and make sure to do that so you never miss any updates from me. I almost daily post something extra on my story so make sure to keep an eye on that for what’s coming next!
I am just sharing how they turned out for me and what modifications I made to make them work for my diet and with what I had in the pantry!
So, this recipe doesn’t really have any strange ingredients, if you’re already used to cooking and baking this way. The only things newbies might not know is where they can buy Dates and oat flour (and in my case Almond flour.) There are a few different kinds of Dates but the best would be pitted Medjool Dates, which you should be able to find at any grocery store, usually near the produce section or in the bulk bins.
When it comes to specialty flours, most grocery stores now a days have a Gluten-free/Natural section, so typically this is where I find them. However, you could also always check out your local health foods store or a place like Bulk Barn. Also, if you don’t have an oatmeal sensitivity, you can also take your regular oats (or certified gluten-free if needed) and blend them into a powder in a blender or food processor. This would be the exact thing you’d be buying in the store; you’re just making it yourself.
The truth though is, oats are not a Paleo approved food because they’re a grain, so if you indeed are needing to avoid grain then oatmeal is also off the list, in which case I would recommend almond flour, due to the authors advice.
So, What other substitutions did I make?? (Besides the already given Almond flour.)
So, the first thing I didn’t have in the house, odd as it might sound was Chia seeds. Chia seeds are what the recipe called for as the egg substitute but because there are many other amazing vegan substitutes for eggs in baking, I just used what I had on hand which was Psyllium husk. I recently had been given some from my mother-in-law and because I haven’t tested it out yet, I decided to give it a go. Using Psyllium husk in the recipe made no difference in the taste or quality of the muffins and I was quite pleased with the results.
The only difference is the ratio- for Psyllium husk it is 1 tbsps. Psyllium husk to 2 tbsps. Water where chia is 1:3.
The third and final adjustment I had to make was I didn’t have quite enough dates, so I saved the dates I did have for the crumble and used pure Maple Syrup in the batter instead. The amount I used equalled out to 4 tablespoons.
And there you have it! So simple, healthy and delicious and I’d say they taste basically identical to the original coffee cake we’ve all experienced. The only bad thing I’d say is it didn’t make a full dozen and I only got 9 small ones, so next time I’d probably have to double to batch to make a sufficient amount. Next time I make these because there WILL be a next time, I plan to add some vegan chocolate chips and make it into a loaf with a bit more of the crumble topping, so stay tuned for that!
I’m looking forward to hearing from you and reading your comments! Let me know if you have any questions and if you’d ever want to see more posts of substitutions (and which ones) or even what a grocery hall looks like with me!
Hey all it’s me! I hope you are all having a great week so far. Life feels so different with COVID-19 dominating not just the headlines and our thoughts, but in our daily routines. I don’t know how everyone else is handling things, but where I live in Canada, schools are closing and churches are now faced with having to operate in totally new ways (not being able to congregate as a body but use modern-day technology like Live-Stream to stay connected).
The lines at the grocery stores have been worse than Christmas and Black Friday combined! People are found arguing over toilet paper and hand sanitizer and even some to the extreme of stealing these sorts of hygiene products from restaurants or trying to sell them online for ridiculous amounts.
We, my husband, our son and myself had just gone to the States and then they both ended up with colds and flues, so we have had to self-isolate the last little while. As an extravert this has been incredibly hard. I’ve missed my mom community that usually meets every Thursday but has been postponed TBA and lots of scheduled play dates and coffees with friends.
Even though it’s been trying and there’s days where the isolation pulls me to be negative, there’s been a few major blessings that have been really eye opening out of this difficult time.
Time to rest and refresh.
1. Has been my husband has finally gotten to rest and refresh fully in a season that’s been very full and demanding. Even though he loves people, his job as a children’s pastor, and spending time with us, he also is introverted and really enjoys his quiet afternoons alone to read and rest and think.
It has been amazing to have him home the last 4 or so days and get some amazing family time and personal time to connect with him as my husband, but what’s been the best gift God could give is to see him thriving and refreshed!
Time to reprioritize and get creative.
The second major thing is this time of extra quiet and isolation has allowed me time to contemplate life and rediscover what’s important to me. Three of the main things I’ve rediscovered is I want to be making and creating art, I want to be actively learning something new regularly, and I want to be exercising and moving my body.
I am absolutely in love with learning and desperate to be creating and moving my body to get a release from the pent up passion and emotions I’ve been feeling.
When it comes to learning, I love listening to TEDtalks, podcasts or watching even YouTube videos… books are also good too; I just haven’t stumbled across a good one worth recommending in a while. Lately the topics that interest me are: Diet, nutrition, the brain in relation to food as well as its effects on the rest of the body. I spend a decent amount of time listening to talks of mental health and the effects of early childhood trauma. I also enjoy learning about ways to be more productive and I enjoy videos on natural beauty and self-care.
When it comes to art, the main ways I express this are through bullet journaling and designing and decorating my home, however I do plan on looking into taking some online classes through Skill Share to invest into myself as well as further develop my skills.
Exercise hasn’t really been addressed yet. I have done prenatal yoga at home but I want to find something I can be consistent in and make a regular part of myself again. With drawing near to the end of my pregnancy (9.5 WEEKS TO GO!!!) I’ve been very exhausted and fatigued, but I do hope to really get the ball moving again for sure once baby’s arrived.
I’ve also been experimenting with different recipes and having a blast in the kitchen. Something’s have worked and others have had their mishaps but all in all it’s been good; lots of smoothies, coffees and tea lattes. I’ve also done some baking, but I had a few pitfalls along the way due to some technical difficulties and trying to make them work anyways.
For example, I found a recipe for paleo vegan cinnamon buns so I had to try it! Everything was going smoothly until while I was trying to steam them (for this is what the recipe called to do) the boiling water flooded them. Honestly, I was a bit crushed by it, but I decided to bake them the rest of the way and they still turned out great lol just not very pretty. Due to this I have no pictures worth sharing but I will share the source in case you want to give this recipe a go for yourself. For myself, I’d definitely try them again!
Because I’ve been in an experimental mood, I decided to take a risk and try to turn a gluten-free pancake recipe I previously enjoyed into a grain-free one. However, the batters consistency with the changes that I made ended up better as a cake batter, so I deviated and got cupcakes instead. Sure I was bummed that it wasn’t a Paleo pancake success on the first try, but we ordered take-out and found ourselves enjoying a delicious dessert after.
The Church gets to be the Church.
It’s the same with the rest of life. Just because you failed to achieve something on the first try, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the risk or worth risking it again. Fear often keeps us from achieving and chasing after our dreams and it can also affect how we behave and treat others.
With COVID-19 we can use this as a time to see what were made of and what we believe is worth living for. We can live in fear and argue over toilet paper or we can smile at the cashier and take the Klinex instead. We can help others by staying home and having a positive attitude around our kids and spouses or those we live with, even if that’s just your pet cat. We can be creative and call or Facetime a friend, reach out to our grandparents or those that we know that might be immune-compromised.
We can pray for people to have peace, wisdom and patience with school-aged kids and that very few people would lose their jobs or businesses because of this. And we can have hope in Jesus that he will carry us through it, no matter how dreary or dismal it gets.
The main thing I’m struggling with is that it’s my birthday this week and I want to still be celebrated and have some fun. I was going to plan a party but realized that with everything going on that’s probably not the best idea and I wanted to go out on a date with my husband to one of my favourite vegan and gluten-free bakeshops but their hours don’t align with our schedule. This has been the main sore spot for me but we’ll probably just order something in and call it a day.
Even though it’s kind of sucky timing and is very easy for me to feel a bit bitter and even angry, I can choose to still have fun and be creative with this situation. I can see this as a historical event that I’ll get to live through and maybe one day will be in our schools textbooks?…That could be a bit dramatic but regardless, I can see it as me playing my part in history that’s still in the making and that it matters how I respond to it.
The third and final thing I’ve really been appreciating is how my local church has been responding to the current situation. They are being positive, wise and creative with running church services online and trying to find ways for small groups to connect though video chats. They’re actively working on how to keep the kids also involved and make sure everyone is taken care of. They are still doing online prayer meetings and it has actually been so refreshing to see how connected we all still feel even without a building.
So, in conclusion, despite all the negativity and pulls towards fear let us rise up to the challenge and be better humans because of COVID-19. If you’re having to self-isolate for whatever reason, use it as a time to get to know yourself better and those you live with. Help where you can but also don’t be afraid to ask for help. And remember, even though you might not be able to go to school, work, the gym or church, or wherever else you like to spend your time, that doesn’t mean you can’t still teach yourself something or workout from home.
Be encouraged and know the Lord is with you! If you or a loved one struggles with mental health this isn’t a time to burry it. Make sure your getting the help and support you need and be proactive in caring for your mind, body and soul.
We all fall apart all that matters is how we put ourselves back together in the aftermath. Mosaic tile, as broken as it is, is still stunningly beautiful and powerful. It’s rawness and realness – it doesn’t hide. She’s vulnerable and yet fearless, not afraid to show her scars from all the times she’s tried. She accepts her failures not as defeat but simply as an experience, that she will find the answers she seeks, these just weren’t the missing link.
The last month has been full of highs and lows, moments of desperation, hopelessness and weakness and contrarily moments of celebration, strength and outrageous joy. We all fall apart all that matters is how we put ourselves back together in the aftermath. Mosaic tile, as broken as it is, is still stunningly beautiful and powerful. It’s rawness and realness – it doesn’t hide. She’s vulnerable and yet fearless, not afraid to show her scars from all the times she’s tried. She accepts her failures not as defeat but simply as an experience, that she will find the answers she seeks, these just weren’t the missing link.
The honest truth is my brokenness and desperation have kept my hands tide the last while and I do apologize but, my journey is still mine and human to a fault I will try to preserve whatever’s left of myself when I falter… even if sometimes it’s just my pride. But, I’m ready now to accept that I still don’t have the answers I seek and failure can be expected.
The last 3 or so weeks I lost hope that I’d ever feel better and that anything I did or could do could make a difference. I got short-sighted and I wanted to fix the emotional turmoil I was in by comfort eating, which long story short meant cheating. I had some other reasons too, one being that my body seemed to not be getting enough to support a growing baby and the strong sense like I had last time with my son, that my body needed animal proteins.
I struggled and felt confused knowing my body can’t handle what it was asking for but tried to trust it knew better in this case – even if it was more for the babies benefit than mine. It didn’t seem to matter what I ate, I was fatigued and exhausted and usually after eating supper, I still felt empty and in need of a second meal.
I tried free-run organic eggs again first, but eventually caved to less healthy options, as the emotional side worsened. I was trying to burry emotions I didn’t know how to deal with but as I became aware of this I knew this wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to have a healthy relationship with food, but I felt the more I had to restrict the bigger the temptation was becoming to binge.
I struggled with the fact that “normal” people could have a lifestyle run by moderation and even most of my friends with food sensitivities could cheat without huge repercussions and here was I now with an ever growing list of things to avoid and was drowning in it. Eating felt and feels like a game of “Russian Roulette,” spin the gun and I might get a slug between the eyes. Spin it again and phew nothing happened.
So, I kept playing the game but this weekend everything blew up. My gut and my body were done. I had to come to grips with it and the reality that I don’t actually have that option to keep risking my health and putting my body on the line. I needed to simplify however and figure out what I actually needed to be avoiding and leave the rest alone for now.
So for now, I am not going to worry too much about lectin containing vegetables and so on. I’m just going to be targeting “The Big 6:” Animal products (meat, dairy, eggs), gluten and all grain (except basmati rice which was approved by my doctor), all refined sugar and basically all processed foods and Corn. Soy is undecided but for now limited. This now leaves me with: fruit and veg, beans and legumes, seeds and nuts and basmati rice. I will be revaluating how beans need to be cooked and prepared in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.
Now, I’m just praying that once my baby girl is here, the doctors can get testing done quickly and that will find the answers we need. The stress and burden related to food is becoming unbearable but, I continue to run and leap to finish the race so Christ can have the glory!
The last two days have been a breath of fresh air: hope, joy, passion, and excitement – goodness. What’s changed? I’m not exactly sure… all I know is that’s how at least my mental illness works. I can go months upon months in the dark and then finally out of nowhere it lifts, like a heavy stage curtain lifting to reveal the new and anticipated theatrics to come!
One thing that I do know has helped me however, is finally getting to connect with a trusted mentor/friend again. Her spouse has been battling cancer so, I haven’t been able to connect with her for some time, but just seeing her has made such a difference.
The thing I’m seeing in myself is there will always be dark times some darker and longer than others, BUT they don’t go on forever and fighting to survive through them is worth it, regardless of how hellish they may seem. Do we feel this in the moment? No, of course not but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Everyday we fight to get out of bed we prove to ourselves that we are in fact stronger than we thought we were.
Another big thing that’s helped me has been identifying what’s been triggering me into a state of overwhelm, depression, anxiety, anger, etc. After I started identifying these things, one of the biggest reoccurring ones was: feeling a, “Lack of control over my life.”
Everything was against me, nothing went my way and on and on till I was crippled by this overwhelming anger and frustration no matter how hard I worked on it. I thought the “good” response was to supress it but in reality this did a ton of damage to my soul. When I couldn’t hold it together anymore, I would feel SHAME for expressing it and try to clam up again.
My mentor helped me identify that I was believing a lie and that just because I can’t control everything that doesn’t mean I can’t control anything. Ultimately, I can control what I believe and my actions and responses and I can’t control others or all my circumstances. I can control though how I let them affect me and sadly, I was not doing either of these well.
I was getting lividly angry inside that I couldn’t “make my son take his nap” when I wanted him to. I was angry about my health and all my restrictions, and finances – literally anything and everything took me over the edge. That could be stubbing my toe to people driving below speed limit or wanting to go to a specific restaurant and it being closed.
It was getting a bit ridiculous but now I’m learning to stop and not just try to “breath and push away my stress and emotion,” but identify what’s actually bothering me and if it’s something I can actually control AND when it’s something I can’t trying to redirect that feeling to something better and more positive.
SO, I guess what’s worked for me is:
Meeting with a trusted mentor/friend to come up with new perspective and tools.
Identifying triggers (ei. Feeling not in control.)
Practicing self-awareness by staging questions like, “Is this in my control or not?”
Taking action and/or redirecting the negative to a positive.
This has been such a freeing (2-3 days) process and has turned the passion and zest I get for life back on for me! Has it fixed everything no there’s still lots of work to be done but it’s been moving me in the right direction again and that’s literally been amazing! I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you would like to see more content like this! Thanks!
Hey, hey all! Welcome back! I hope you all had a great weekend. We had a quieter weekend, mainly spent resting and recovering from being sick. However, I promised y’all that I would dedicate a post specifically to my new found favourite dip so without further a do, let’s get to it!!
This sauce could probably be considered the vegan equivalent to “Monty Pythons” Holy Grail. I literally am not kidding when I say it’s that good. I have tried some store bought versions of vegan ranch and Caesar dressing and they have always been disappointing and sub par at best. The longer I’ve been eating this way however, I have seen more brands on the shelves, I just haven’t yet tried them all yet.
I also must say I’ve never bought a vegan version of mayonnaise, mainly because of the price and my scepticism. I didn’t see how a tiny jar of a substitute I never really ate beforehand was worth investing in when I most likely would be disappointed. My usual role of thumb too is if I have an alternative at home already, I’m not going to buy “one-off” ingredients I don’t know if I’ll use again.
I admit though that I did do this once and I still regret it but at least I learned a few valuable lessons along the way, mainly how strongly I dislike tahini. If you enjoy it, have at er but that is why you will never see me post a recipe that includes it. Lol
Anyways the only thing else there’s really left to say is that if I ever own a restaurant this dip will be on the menu. It’s magical and addictive and I can’t get enough of it! Some of my favourite ways of using it are as a dip for veggie sticks or sweet potato fries. Or I’ll add it to a veggie burger or mix it in to a burrito bowl. However, the skies the limit with this fast, quick and easy dip! Let me know in the comments how you dip it!
Hello All and welcome back to my blog! It’s so good to be writing again and feel the computer keys under my fingers. I know, it’s been a long time – a long, long time but I wasn’t sure how else to do it. Being so incredibly sick all the time took a lot out of me not just physically but emotionally.
It all seemed kind of pointless really. Write? Why? What would I write about?!! Would people actually be interested in reading about how my body seems to reject all good food and how depressing that is to still have NO ANSWERS? How could I write anything when nothing worked and I was barely able to function most days? How would this be encouraging, and it’s risky to be vulnerable on the Internet about anything but I think especially mental health and ones personal health story in general.
I felt trapped and lost and angry and confused. How was I supposed to share my love of cooking let alone really cook at all when no recipe seemed to work and all I had tried in the last month or so left me after Christmas barely able to eat anything at all for about a week and a half?
The honest truth is that I still don’t know. I still don’t know really what I have to say or what I have to offer that’s really worth sharing except that I’m still trying and I’m not giving up. I’m still choosing to believe that this beautiful life of mine that the loving Creator God has given me is still worth fighting for and that even though I may never be able to have the food my soul desires, I will trust my soul and spirit to be satisfied by the Lord in other ways.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away and it’s all for our good and fulfils a specific purpose. We need to be living our lives to make him greater not ourselves or our own agendas and plans. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “To live is Christ, to DIE is GAIN!” (Phil. 1: 21) The purpose of living life now is to do it for Christ and when we die we gain because we who have confessed him as Lord and repented of our sins get to spend eternity with him.
“To live is Christ, to die is GAIN!!!)
The same though is true with when Christ asks us to die to ourselves; we actually gain a deeper closeness and intimacy with him through our sacrifice and obedience. So, maybe this is why I write because he’s asked me to despite my own hindrances and myself. Maybe there’s some valuable lessons for me to learn that just because something doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it might not work for someone else. Perhaps, just maybe, he has a greater work in mind than I could ever have come up with on my own??
I guess we’ll find out.
To conclude this post I will just share my experience with the Lectin-free diet and where I am at now.
So, the biggest conclusion is that regardless of how meat and ALL animal products are produced, I still cannot digest them properlyand they cause a lot of havoc on my body. Severe constipation despite resorting to laxatives, stomach and back pain, and flare ups just to name a few of my main symptoms. Dairy is still the worst but all the others; even things like eggs and wild caught fish do these things to me.
Therefore, I will be remaining a vegan.
I will be remaining vegan!!
Two other big conclusions my husband I have settled on is that I am going to have to ditch corn and refined sugars completely. Corn is a really hard one for me because I love things like popcorn and corn tortilla chips, but sadly after having 2-3 major reactions to corn, I know this one will have to go. It seems to be really hard to monitor and regulate how much of these foods are too much and so because they have been triggers we will be eliminating them from my diet. Forever, I don’t know but at this point saying that’s just been easier.
As mentioned in the past, grain even gluten-free grains don’t seem to abide well for me so I will be eliminating them entirely and using things like: nut flours and Cassava flour instead.
Potatoes and tomatoes (or “nightshade vegetables”) seem to be very “grey area” foods right now, so I will continue to monitor my reactions to them before deciding if they can stay or not.
And so, the final question… what am I eating then?
So, I will be eating in essence a Paleo Vegan diet that relies heavily off of fresh fruits, veg and nuts. At this point it won’t be entirely raw, but the mindset I’ll carry is going to be as natural and as clean as possible. I’m excited to take these hard steps towards bettering my health and I hope it encourages you to do the same – to be willing to do the hard things I mean not necessarily copy my eating habits. I am not a dietician or nutritionist and I don’t claim to be, so talk to your doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, etc. before drastically changing your diet.
I’m writing to you all as an update on my health and how the Lectin-free diet has transpired for me over the last few days and some of the recipes I have tried. I feel like todays post will be more like a diary entry, because it will entail all sorts of real that would come in that sort of package. The tear runs and coffee stains that make the ink bleed. If you can maybe grab yourself a cup of coffee and get cozy with me as we “chat” or gush about food, digestive health and all else that comes with it.
Up until Sunday evening, I felt like I was floating on a cloud and maybe I had found the “end all be all” answer to all my digestive and gut problems. I had more energy, wasn’t painfully bloated and actually hadn’t had a migraine that whole week (I normally have them to some sort of degree everyday.) It felt like a miracle had occurred and I was feeling the best I had in months.
Sunday afternoon we were with family celebrating my dads birthday and my sweet mom had made me an “apple unpie” as she called it, because it had no crust and even made some coconut whip cream to go on top to replace ice cream. Every bite was delicious and I couldn’t get enough of it and yet my body decided it was done. Right there, right then.
Energy wise I crashed hard, like being at the top of a roller coaster and now plummeting down the steep hill way too fast. And then the bloating followed shortly by the indigestion. My body was enraged, stomach pain high due to the excess gas and inflammation. I was out and unable to function and dead asleep by 8:30pm.
The frustrating and perplexing question of this all is, was it actually the dessert that caused this reaction to occur OR was it the accumulation of the passed week that when the sugar in the desert came, that small amount was still enough to tip me over the edge?
It is now Tuesday night and I still don’t feel even normal let alone even close to how good I felt last week. By supper this evening, I was only able to eat half the sandwich I had made because my stomach was too upset to handle the rest. So, discouraged and a bit disheartened I am going to try to keep proceeding to figure this out, but I’m not sure what the end result will be.
I miss my baseline and knowing how to restart my body, but that seems to have disappeared in the wind a long time ago, despite effort on my part. And with specific restrictions of this diet (ei. Eating in season fruit and only SPARINGLY as a treat) I’ve been trying not to make meals out of fruit like a smoothie, for example.
I’m thinking my best bet right now it to just keep doing what I’m doing, make a diary of what I’m eating and the symptoms and hopefully be able to have a better idea of what caused me to flare up or not next time… that’s all I really can do. Lol especially sense I just bought groceries on Saturday and I’m not just made of money! ;p
Hey Hey! What’s this?! Two posts in one day??? Yeah, it needed to happen! Haha!! I realized I never posted the vegan Christmas baking I did or the rest of the Christmas DIY’s I did so buckle your seatbelts for a load of Christmas fun!
When it comes to baking, I don’t really feel a big need for it in my life except around Christmas so I wanted to go crazy. I made Vegan, refined sugar free soft caramels and Peppermint fudge as well as the classic gut out cookies. The sad thing is though, in the middle of eating it and sharing it with friends and family and bringing it along to Christmas parties… somehow, I didn’t manage to get a single picture.
The realization of this still hasn’t quite hit me but, at least what you can take from it is that they were soooo good that I forgot to stop and capture it for everyone else! There were a Ton of other amazing recipes that I really wanted to try, however with having to change my diet there really didn’t seem to be a point in the matter. I will share a few of the ones I was considering in case anyone else wants to give them a go. Feel to tag me on social media and/or comment down below which ones you tried!
When It comes to Christmas, I really wanted to go for a Minimalist/Nordic/Bohemian vibe and so I decided to make some of my own décor instead of buying a bunch of new things (anti-Minimalism.) I decided to do a lot of things with wooded beads, yarn and twine and dried fruit. I was hoping to do more but, I’ve kind of run out of time.
The Nordic style is very earthy and natural and not overly shiny and in your face. This appealed not just to my aesthetic but also because I have a curious little boy who LOVES the tree and every morning goes to it because he wants to plug in the lights. So cute! ;p Because I knew he would touch the tree having ornaments at his level that were safe for him to touch and discover made me very happy and him also.
I’m sitting here snacking on some French Brie, real Italian Salami and a few of my homemade Almond flour crackers and I am feeling so boujee. I am not really a “fancy” person and in fact, I’m sitting in my kitchen, with Christmas socks on and yoga pants and just a basic tee but this “Lectin-free” inspired snack is to die for.
To me this is the kind of food you bring to an evening event, where everyone’s EXPECTED to be white collar and black cocktail dresses. This lectin-free diet is definitely not cheap but it definitely makes one value what one has and I believe, in my 4 days of experience more mindful of ones consumption.
So far, I have tried locally caught wild fish from the Winnipeg Lake region, grass-fed Omega-3 eggs, high fat French cheese and Italian imported prosciutto/salami. So far it seems my body is handling these new foods quite well and I have been happy eating them. This diet reminds me of a combination of Paleo and Keto except elevated in a way.
When introducing new foods in an “elimination diet” way, you’re supposed to wait three days before trying something new, however, because of the extremes of where I am at (not able to function, always bloated and indigested, etc. among others), I am taking it slow just not that slow. I’m eating small amounts when introducing something new and waiting an hour or so before having something else.
My goal is to really learn to listen to my body and see what I can do to improve things that are in my per-say “control.”
So far, I think the most beautiful thing I can say about this diet is I feel like it aligns with my core values and deeper inner self. Through the past couple years being vegan, I have learned a ton about the inhumane treatment of animals as well as the agricultural system and so forth that my views have changed drastically. Being educated keeps you from being ignorant and all that knowledge grew my love for animals, the environment, people and myself.
I love that now, even though it seems a vegan diet doesn’t work for my body anymore (because it containing high lectin foods: beans, grains, legumes, soy, etc.) I can still take what I learned and choose better when I try eating animal products. I can consume things that support local farms and businesses trying to treat animals and people in a more ethical way and by choosing these places to shop from I always will know exactly what’s in what I’m buying.
I’m not saying that everyone needs to do this, but it’s definitely something to consider if these beliefs also align with your values and just maybe if you are also desperate like me to see something with your health turn around.
Anyways, I hope you have a great day and I’ll see you here next time!! Stay tuned for more recipes and implementations I make along the way!
“The Plant Paradox – The Lectin-free Diet” Experiment.
Hello my happy readers! I thank you all so much for your encouragement and support through my health journey. I love sharing my life and experiences with you all and I hope that if you haven’t yet, you would choose to follow me and like this post! J
After my last post, a dear friend of mine reached out to me and shared some amazing information with me, that after reading it, I was blown away and knew I had to do some further research for myself. It’s called the “Lectin-free diet” and was founded by Dr. Steven R. Gundry MD.
In short, lectin is a plant-based protein that can be found in, beans, legumes, nightshade vegetables, conventional raised meat and dairy and grains. Many people now have chosen to cut out gluten (like myself) but, Dr. Gundry sees gluten as the “tip of the iceberg,” because gluten is just one of many lectins that can be found in grains.
So instead of writing verbatim what’s on Dr. Gundry’s website, I will just leave some links below as well as a few informative videos to help speed up the process. However, you still might be wondering what’s the big deal? I thought all these foods were good for me and they can be IF you’re not sensitive to lectin.
Lectin is basically a plants defence system so bugs don’t eat them and in fact in some cases can paralyse the bug! Not all lectins are toxic but many are and can cause a lot of havoc on the body – anywhere from leaky gut and digestive issues to autoimmune diseases. How does it do this?
Well, scientifically speaking, “lectin is a protein (susceptable to various diseases, bacteria, and viruses) that forces carbs (sugars, starches, and fibers) to clump together and even attach to certain cells in your body when you eat them.” [Dr.Gundry.com]
So, the implications of this are huge and all the symptoms that I have had have been mentioned multiple times in many different articles I have read. These lectins actually interfere with our body’s normal ability to function and can cause migraines, arthritis like conditions, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, inflammation and the list goes on and on.
So, what am I doing and what are the implications for me?
Here I will include the list of yes and no foods.
So, you could say I’m doing a bit of an experiment to see how my body responds to these changes. My theory is the reason I couldn’t eat meat and animal products is because the conventional diet for animals is high is lectins (corn, grains, soy.) My idea based on Dr. Gundrys study and practice is that if I were to eat traditional pasture-raised, grass-fed and wild caught animals, my digestive system just might not have a problem working the way it’s supposed to.
Again, at this point, I have nothing to lose and because I’m also pregnant, I need to make sure not just myself but my baby is also getting the proper nutrition that it needs. As much as I love animals, my goal is to get healthy and if by eating an animal that was raised ethically and had a happy life helps than I’m thankful for that.
I will be documenting my journey and am looking forward to sharing more with you! The diet is supposed to be over a 90 day period, but I think it will take longer for me so my body has time to adapt to eating animal products again. If for some reason it doesn’t seem to be working I will stop and revaluate from there. For now I will just be taking it a day at a time- wish me luck!!
Hey Guys! Happy almost New Years! I can’t believe we finally made it to the end of 2020! I don’t know about the rest of you but this year has kind of felt like it would never end! With so many highs and lows, I thought it would be good to end the year with an epic dessert recipe: “New Year’s Cookies,” (aka. Oliebollen/Portzelky.) Don’t worry if you don’t know what this is because by the end your mouth will literally be watering! If you want to stay more up to date with my life and the recipe testing and tasting process than please make sure to follow my Instagram @buhler.amber!!
So, what is a “New Years Cookie” and how on EARTH did I make it taste so good both vegan and gluten-free??? Well, to put in simply, a New Years cookie is kind of like a doughnut but to be much more specific, it’s a fritter filled with raisins and typically covered in powered sugar. Now, from what I understand, this is generally speaking a very Mennonite dessert and wasn’t something I grew up with in sunny California and Nashville, TN.
The first time I actually had one of these was at my church here in Southern Manitoba. New Years Eve tradition at our church is to have a large worship service, where we prayer for the upcoming year. Then, once our hearts are full we fill our stomachs with these delicious fried dough balls. Sense going vegan and gluten-free and eventually Paleo and then Keto and then, well you get the point, I haven’t been able to partake in this tradition but, overall it didn’t bother me too much.
However, with it being a slightly different kind of year, I thought it was appropriate to see if I could find a recipe or something worth tweaking to share with all of you. This is the recipe I tweaked and adjusted and I am very happy with the results and I hope you are too. If you end up trying it, please comment down below and tag me on IG @buhler.amber!! And now for the recipe!!