Pancakes, ice cream AND energy?!
"For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes." — Luke 12:23
What?! To me, food is life. It is necessary for the body, it is social, it is comfort, it has the ability to hold memories in your taste buds. Food is wonderful! Or so I thought.
Yes, it can be all of those things, but you never want to allow something like food to consume your thoughts. It is not healthy, and it took me 28 years to realize I did not have a healthy outlook on food. I needed a serious break up with food and I held off on doing so for 28 years.
I could read that one short verse from Luke and pull at least 10 relevant thoughts on the truth and balance of food, health and life. Honestly, this is a verse I have read many times but never pulled out the food aspect, I always looked more at the lesson on worry, which I have also always desperately needed.
I struggled with worry and fear most of my life so I was always worried about making sure I had what I thought I "needed". My mom would agree that I probably thought about food a majority of the time throughout the day. As soon as I would be done with one meal, I was already thinking of what I would eat for my next meal, or when I could have a break for a yummy snack. Holidays were always a highlight for me because I would think about all the wonderful food that might possibly be available. Food has always been exciting to me!
Oh the irony.
Discovering what health means to you, and how much your body and mind can benefit from the foods you eat is a journey. One that takes self-control and a release of control all at the same time. I will periodically share bits of my health journey with you in hopes that it will encourage you to find out what health might mean to you.
Thankfully nobody in my family has any severe allergies, but we do have a weird conglomerate of picky meets digestive issues, so trying to find one recipe that all five of us enjoy is a little difficult. Josh and I did Whole30 in March/April of 2015 (meaning, I very reluctantly joined in when Josh really wanted to buckle down and try it) and that was a complete game changer in so many ways, that was my break up with food. It completely affirmed what I had known were trigger ingredients that did not mix well with my body, and it opened up my eyes to see how my body should look and feel when eating whole foods. If I ever have a day where I think, "Oh, it's Friday! A bucket of popcorn, some cashew chicken and my favorite frozen custard is the perfect treat."(I use to say every Friday was Free-day. Meaning I could eat whatever I want.) Now I wake up the next morning and feel drained, bloated, swollen and overall terrible. Why do we do that to ourselves?!
I finally got over my stubborn attitude of, "I do everything in moderation so why would I need to try any thing else?!" because I finally realized the importance of food and how it can effect not only your body, but your mind as well.
All that to say, I would rather put in the time and effort it takes to make sure my family is putting real ingredients in to their bodies, but I am also realistic in saying that I do not want to spend all day, every day in the kitchen cutting, preparing and so on and so forth. I thought I would share some of our go-to staples that are healthy, EASY and that get us through the week. I have several, but here is a little sampler. :)
Breakfast: 20 minutes
Super simple gluten-free Pancakes: a.k.a. Stewart Stacks
- 1 1/2 cups— Gluten-free flour
- 1-2 tbsp— baking powder
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp— honey
- 2 tbsp— flaxseed
- dash of salt
- 2 1/2 cups of almond milk
I am guilty of not following directions and just throwing in what looks good, so I had to work a little harder to get these exact measurements. These are super delicious with almond butter and maple syrup or chocolate chips (I love the enjoy brand) and maple syrup. They are so light and fluffy you can enjoy any of your favorite toppings. I usually make a double batch so I have reserve on hand to help the breakfast routine move a little smoother and quicker.
Midmorning snack: 30 minutes
Energy Balls: a.k.a. Stewart Swagballs
- 1 cup— oats (we do the gluten-free option)
- 3/4 cup— flaxseed
- 1/4 cup— coconut flakes (read the ingredients! Some brands add preservatives.)
- 1/2 cup— mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)
- 1 cup— peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 tsp— pure vanilla
Simply mix the ingredients together, and roll them into little bite sized balls. Then refrigerate. There are a ton of versions of these on pinterest, but this recipe was given to me by a dear friend. I love how the kids all ask for them and if I make a double batch at the beginning of the week they will be gone in 2 days. Even my son who will not eat peanut butter will eat these! Protein, fiber, and yummy goodness ready to grab on the go.
Dessert: 10 minutes
Chocolate "nice" cream
- 2 frozen and chopped bananas
- 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter
- 1 tablespoon special dark cacao powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
Throw everything in the blender and wait until it becomes the consistency you like. I love this in place of any ice cream because my conscience can rest easy knowing I am putting good ingredients in my body, my body does not suffer from any negative side effects and my tongue can lick my lips with sweet satisfaction because it is just that good!
I am constantly looking for more EASY recipes and suggestions. I find it hard these days to find recipes the whole family will enjoy so please share them with me in the comments below if there is one you think we should try. As always, follow me on Instagram, you never know what recipe we will try next!
Happy (healthy) eating!