Welcome do day 26 of 30 Days to a Food Revolution. Today’s guest blogger is Amy. Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and gluten, and maintaining a healthy weight. She has been living free from refined sugars and wheat since 2004 and, as a result, is maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss. Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation. A former elementary teacher and small business owner, Amy is currently a full time culinary arts student. She lives with her husband and four dogs in Dallas, TX where she teaches local sugar-free, gluten-free cooking classes.
Amy’s Recipe: Apple & Carrot Breakfast Cake
Amy’s Tip: Progress, Not Perfection
I’ve heard so many people tell me that they give up eating healthier because they can’t do it perfectly. Progress is so much more important. And, believe me, after six and a half years I’m still making progress.
When I had to eliminate wheat and white sugar from my diet in early 2004, I was not only devastated but had no idea what or how to eat. Everything, it seemed, included sugar and wheat. I remember coming out of the grocery store with my head spinning, a few apples, cottage cheese, and nuts. I bought 4 premade salads from a local restaurant so I wouldn’t have to think about lunch or dinner for a couple of days.
Eventually I could deftly shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Gluten-free wasn’t a hot topic nor did our local grocer carry any gluten-free products. It might have made my transition easier, but I’m grateful I was forced to take what I think was a more difficult road.
Quinoa, Black Bean, & Butternut Squash Salad
I learned to nourish my body with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean meats.
It’s taken a long time for my diet to get where it is today. For the first few years, I still ate artificial sweeteners and drank diet sodas. I tried ‘giving them up’ many times and failed. Eventually my body no longer wanted them.
Along the way, I’ve learned to love the flavor of fresh spinach, taste the slight sweetness in swiss chard, and enjoy the natural tones of coffee and tea with nothing added.
Processed gluten-free food isn’t a part of my regular diet today, either. I’ve been eating whole foods for so long that I don’t care about store-bought pretzels, crackers, or candy. Six years ago I couldn’t have said that.
Someone wise once said to me, “I try every day to be perfect, but, oh, how I pray for progress.”
I’ve made immense progress over the last 6 years. My diet still isn’t perfect. Instead, it’s evolving and growing along with me. I celebrate my progress along the way.
My favorite Progress, Not Perfection Tips:
- Start with what you know. If you are familiar with broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower then start there. Buying a cart full of unfamiliar products will only leave you feeling defeated and most of it will probably go to waste. I know from experience.
- Try one new dish or food at a time. Failure is guaranteed if you try to make three entirely new dishes for dinner. Even professionals struggle with this. Instead, pick a new recipe or food and give it your full attention.
- Find ways to make familiar foods healthier without sacrificing flavor or texture. Add fruits, veggies, reduce the sugar, or add whole grains. Replace up to half the oil or butter with yogurt or unsweetened applesauce in baked goods.
- Don’t compare your diet to anyone else’s. You are the only one who knows what works for your body.
- Celebrate your progress. You are bound find improvements to celebrate if you keep moving in the direction of a diet with more whole foods.
This is one of my favorite recipes to use when we have company for breakfast. There’s no oil or butter and it’s filled with carrots and apples. This cake stays moist for days and is so much healthier than most breakfast cakes.
Apple and Carrot Breakfast Cake
serves 6 – 9
adapted from The VitaMix Cookbook
2 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup palm sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 cup egg white substitute or 6 egg whites or 3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 apples, quartered (leave the peels on)
1 cup of carrots, peeled and chopped (about 3 medium carrots)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
Whisk together sorhgum flour, palm sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and xanthan gum until evenly combined.
Place egg whites, vanilla, apples, and carrots into the VitaMix. Start on low and quickly increase to Variable 10 while using the tamper to push the apples and carrots into the blades. Switch to High and blend for 20-30 seconds until thoroughly mixed. It will be thick.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by hand. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean.
For more recipes today visit Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free.
In order to be entered to win one of 7 cookbooks, here’s what you need to do to gather entries into the drawing. The more you do, the more chances you have to win!
- Leave a comment on this blog on as many of the 30 guest food bloggers as you like. Each comment is an entry.
- Sign up for The W.H.O.L.E. Gang newsletter.
- Visit that guest blogger’s site and leave a comment there too.
- Tweet about this project using both of these in your tweet so I’ll find you #30days2 #foodrevolution
When the initial 30 days of guest posts are over on June 4th, we’ll pick the winners.