I’m not big into fad diets or anything but in recent months I guess you could say I’ve been watching what I eat. Upon discovering my husband had super high blood pressure and cholestrol issues late last year, he was advised by his doctor to cut out all refined sugar, dairy and wheat. Within 2-3 months of doing this, we noticed a rapid weight loss in him. He looked healthier, felt healthier and upon updating his blood work it was a massive improvement – the doctor was thrilled. He had gone from exhausted, slightly over-weight, low energy with high blood pressure and cholesterol to healthy, slimmer and energetic within a few short months. Everyone around us couldn’t believe it.
With me being a natural skeptic and wanting to hold onto my cake and pasta for dear life, I avoided it like the plague. Sure I knew I was overweight and felt tired during the day, but isn’t that how everyone feels? If there was an excuse I could make, I made it. On a total whim though, I decided at Christmas time last year that I was going to try this. I would rid my diet of refined sugar and wheat. Mostly just to prove to my hubby that I COULD 😉 But what I didn’t know was how this change in eating would literally change my life.
Shortly after cutting out refined sugar and wheat, I noticed it. I dropped a jean size almost immediately (wheat had unknowingly caused me to bloat), I had bounds of energy, my blood sugar levels evened out which caused me to feel less moody and my skin became completely clear and smooth. Probably one of the greatest benefits though was the anxiety that had been so debilitating to me early in in 2012, had improved in ways that were truly immeasurable. These changes, both physical and mental, started happening in less than 6 weeks. At almost 4 months in now, I feel better than I have…probably in my whole life.
Now before you think I am getting all preachy and infomercial on you, I have to say that I have absolutely zero to gain by telling anyone about this. I’m sharing this here because I feel like this made such a difference in my own life that I hope others can be inspired to make similar changes for themselves. I wish more people knew. I wish more people knew how refined sugar and wheat/gluten could potentially be effecting them in ways they don’t even know. I wish people knew what they could potentially be gaining by replacing some of those processed, sugary and carb filled foods with actual real vegetables, fruits and lean meats – even a bit of dairy now and then! These things all seem like such a no-brainer, but it’s shocking to think what we consume, thinking it’s healthy, and so often we don’t even know what’s in it. Do you KNOW how many forms/names for sugar are out there
?! Neither did I.
I’m looking forward to sharing more recipes here that fit into this lifestyle of healthy but still decadent eating. Like I mentioned above, I don’t subscribe to any one type of diet. I don’t like to put labels on what I’m doing. I know it doesn’t quite fit into any one category and I like that…because I DO like to treat myself to the odd sandwich or bit of junk food every now and then 😉 and I don’t need to feel guilty for that!
This past weekend we experimented with one of my favorite foods – home made Macaroni and Cheese. Because I’ve never been satisfied by the taste of wheat-free pasta, I decided I would skip the pasta completely and replace it with something I love even more – cauliflower. Cauliflower is one of my favorite things EVER. I like it raw, with or without dip, roasted, mashed, boiled and now…baked into a bowl of warm, comforting, cheesy deliciousness. This recipe is adapted from a Dr. Oz recipe
. I reduced some of the cheese and used a lower fat cream to make it slightly less fatty. Though I don’t have cholesterol or blood pressure issues, I do like to make things with hubby in mind since things like this are a total treat for him!
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3/4 cup 10% (half and half) cream
- 4 tablespoons of cream cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of parmesan for topping
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Spray cast iron skillet with vegetable oil.
- Cook the cut cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Transfer the cauliflower to the skillet and set aside.
- Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and then whisk in the cream cheese and mustard, continuously whisking until smooth. Stir in the 1 1/2 cups of cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir all to combine.
Top with parmesan cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Do you have any recipes that you are loving right now? I’d love to hear about them in the comments – especially if they are wheat and refined sugar free! You never know – I may feature them here!