Kefir Peach Cherry Smoothies

Sometimes it is difficult to live up to your stereotype.. I realize that what I am about to write is so Boulder Hippie that it almost comical….but have you heard of Kefir? Have you had Kefir?  To top that…have you MADE Kefir?

kefir

Kefir can be found in most health food stores and some progressive grocery stores. It comes in two forms, water kefir and dairy kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It has been in use for a very long time and can trace it’s origins to the Baltics and Russia.

My husband decided that he would make his own kefir, as we were buying quite a lot of it pre-made with sugar and low-fat. It is available in full fat, unsweetened but harder to find. So he ordered the grains (you can also buy them in the refrigerator section of your health food store) and embarked on a kefir making extravaganza. I was pregnant at the time and was a little cautious of the bubbling and obviously alive drink my husband drank right out of the jug. In the year that he has been making kefir, I have only had it once.

So let’s talk health benefits. Kefir is unique in that it “eats” all of the lactose sugars in milk, thereby making it digestible to those with lactose issues. It is chock full of essential vitamins, probiotics and protein. Basically a superfood if you will. I am linking you to a site that can better explain the health benefits. I can tell you that this past summer I drank a whole bottle of the store bought kind and it cured my intestinal bug when nothing else did.

Post Pregnancy has not been kind to me. I am losing my hair, I have acne and I have been battling  with my weight since having my baby. I have gained weight quite steadily and am having trouble curbing my hunger, and wielding my will-power. I am eating whole foods for the most part, and working on cutting out the sweets (but that is what this breastfeeding mama really wants). Here I am in all of my post pregnancy glory. It isn’t pretty.

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So I was trying to figure out a quick breakfast that would include whole foods, didn’t involve cooking (or meat or eggs. I hate eggs) that had enough protein to carry me through my first two classes. And I thought about the copious amount of kefir we keep in our fridge. I also have a large amount of peaches and cherries that I froze from the summer. I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. The valley is a perfect place to grow peaches, cherries, apricots and grapes. Every summer I go back home for a quick visit and pick up 20 lbs of peaches to carry me through the cold winter months.

 

 

Kefir Peach Cherry Smoothie

 

2 tree-ripened peaches (or 1 cup frozen)

1/2 cup cherries

1 cup home made kefir

2 tbs flax seeds

1 tbs chia seeds

 

Blend until smooth. Pour in a glass and drink on your way to work.

 

My darling little Miss E. has not had anything besides breastmilk, but today after I made this smoothie she was quite insistant that I share with her. Babies should not consume cows milk or dairy until they are older, but I dipped my finger in the smoothie and offered it to her. She loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chia Seeds

Remember those silly commercials for Chia Pets? The awful terracotta, simply add water-and-watch-it-grow ridiculousness that somehow we all had at one time? Yeah, I had a Garfield Chia Pet that I loved.

Did you know that you can eat the chia seeds? Did you know that they are amazingly good for you? Originally the seed comes from Mexico and Central America. They were consumed as a main staple because of their amazing benefits. So why have we forgotten about them?

A Tablespoon of chia seeds contain about 40 calories, but those calories carry an important nutritional punch. They contain fiber, protein and omega-3’s. You can use them in so many different ways, from adding it to baked goods, smoothies to soups and stews. They quickly absorb water and swell, they are fun in your mouth (almost like tomato seeds) and they fill your belly so you don’t have to eat as often.

Chia seeds also might be beneficial for a PCOS diet because it offers so many good things in such a little package. Of course consult with your dr to decide if it is a good addition to your diet.

Chocolate Chia Seed Energy Bars

These bars are wonderful in so many ways because they contain lots of proteins, fibers and healthy fats. In addition they are perfect for simple take along snacks, and can satisfy that sweet tooth without refined sugar.

Soak the dates ahead of time to help ease the load on your food processor.

Ingredients
1½ cups pitted dates
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds (unsalted)
1/2 cup coconut (unsweetened you can find these at health food stores)
optional: sprinkle of salt

Instructions

Purée dates in food processor until a thick paste forms. Add cocoa powder, chia seeds, vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add the almonds and coconut; pulse until nuts are well incorporated into date mixture.

Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface. Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and press mixture into 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. If desired, you can even out the edges by trimming them with a knife. Wrap tightly in wax paper, and chill overnight.

Unwrap block, and cut into 8 bars. Sprinkle with a bit of salt (if using). Re-wrap each bar in wax paper and refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container.

A little rant:

As a pregnant woman who knows that my body does not effectively process sugars and carbs I try to make sure that what I put in my body is good for me and good for my baby. I occasionally have a soda, or fast food chinese or a piece of cake. I do, I have and I will again. I am not a saint. But I am keenly aware that I have a better chance of developing gestational diabetes. I have chosen not to take the glucose test, as I do not believe that dumping all of that sugar into my body at one time is healthy. I would never put my body or baby through that. My dr. and I have agreed that I will have my glucose monitored for the rest of the pregnancy. The mothers group that I am part of is currently going through their glucose tests, and failing. Which in turn brings my palm to face. Seriously? If you know that you have a greater chance for developing gestational diabetes, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to avoid that? Fast food, sweets and pasta are not good for you and not good for your baby. Stop eating that shit. Now. I started this blog because I wanted to document my struggle to eat right and deal with my body as it pertains to food, weight and PCOS. It has gone the way of a surprising PCOS fertility success story. I started overweight, I admit this and own it. I was 20 pounds over weight, and during this pregnancy (I am 28 weeks now) I have gained a total of 9 pounds, that’s it. I do not use pregnancy to eat whatever I want when I want it, I do not use pregnancy as an excuse. If you are currently a pregnant woman with a history of PCOS and find yourself failing your glucose test, please take responsibility for what food goes into your mouth and the decisions you make.

Paleo Pancakes

In my youth my dad, bless his heart, would get up every morning and make us breakfast before school. As a young girl that did not eat eggs, this generally meant pancakes. And as most children are, I was ungrateful for the kind things that my dad did for us. I grew to hate pancakes. They would appear on the table, steaming and hot with fresh butter and a little bit of syrup, and I hated them.

 

As a grown woman who never has anyone offer to make her anything let alone a stack of fresh pancakes, I have changed my feelings toward pancakes and now cherish them as a symbol of love and devotion. I enjoy them so much and even more so because they are certainly on the ‘do not eat’ plan.

 

My sweet husband knows my love of pancakes and surprised me with a stack of my very own pancakes, made specifically for my no carb plan. They are simple and do not really taste like pancakes…but sort of… enough to curb the craving for sugar and carb laden death pancakes.

 

Paleo Pancakes from (Marks Daily Apple)

2 bananas

1 tbs of almond butter

1 egg

 

Blend the bananas, almond butter and egg in a blender. Heat butter in pan. Pour small pancakes in. Cook on low until set on one side and flip. Cook other side until they are finished. Top with fresh berries or fruit and a little bit of coconut butter.

 

(note: this is a bit high in sugars, as the bananas are sugary naturally, so if your are really really watching the carb intake this may not be for you….but considering the alternative…I think we have a winner)

Mrs. Clemmerbottoms “Almond Joy”

Sometimes it seems like I just can’t satiate my sweet tooth. When I am hooked on carbs I am a sugar junkie. Metformin makes me less inclined to eat sweet treats, but my brain still wants to end a perfect meal with something sweet.  The other night as we were craving our sweets J. say to me….. Almond Joy! I gave him a look as he proceeded to explain…….

Low GI Almond Joy

1-3 small portions of a 70% cocoa chocolate bar (if you can find it with almonds already in it. More power to ya)

1 tsp of Coconut Butter for each portion

1-3 almonds

Warm coconut butter in microwave for a couple of seconds until warm. Scoop out and onto chocolate, top with almond.

Brilliant I say! You don’t want to eat a lot of coconut butter because it has a lot of fat, but coconut butter is kinda like peanut butter. As in, the flesh of the coconut has been pureed until it becomes thick and spreadable. It is nutritional, melts in your mouth and has no sugar. You can buy coconut butter at natural food stores, look over by the other nut spreads. It is a bit expensive so be prepared.

Chocolate has been shown to have some good health attributes, and it seem to me that if you are pairing your chocolate with enough fat and the sugar content is kept low enough, that a few pieces now and then might actually be beneficial.

Hope you enjoy your “almond joy”