I had the best breakfast this morning. Which has been rare as of late, because I got a new job that has me up at 7 am with barely any time to cook myself a hearty meal. My usual breakfast (when I had 15-20 mins to spare in the mornings) was turkey bacon, eggs, and sourdough rye toast, but my routine has now changed.
Say hello to Nature’s Path Optimum Cinnamon Blueberry Flaxseed oatmeal! I wasn’t a fan of instant oatmeal until I started eating it all the time at the boyfriend’s house. That was the Quaker brand, though, and their oatmeal is just so average, in my humble opinion. Nature’s Path has a ton of different flavours that I’m excited to try.
May I also add that I had coffee & vanilla almond milk with my oatmeal this morning? Freaking delicious. Who needs wheat & dairy for a tasty breakfast?
Next to calcium, I believe silica supplements are extremely important in the maintenance of good health. There are many benefits to taking silica - here’s a few examples:
Overall, it slows down the aging process!
The most crucial part of taking silica supplements, however, is to help the body maintain/absorb calcium. Most calcium supplements contain vitamin D, which also aids in the absorption, but adding silica to the mix takes it one step further in the process of maintaining good health.
You can get silica supplements in tablet, gel cap, or liquid form - I buy the gel caps from my local nutritional store. I’ve been taking silica for almost a year now, and I have noticed a bit of difference in my appearance. My nails are definitely stronger and longer, my hair doesn’t break as much, my skin (although not fully clear…boo) seems to have a glow about it, and I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. You only need to take one cap a day, and it’s a relatively inexpensive supplement, so I highly recommend it!
Ahh, French Toast. There is nothing more satisfying then drizzling a giant, fluffy slice of bread in delectable maple syrup. The traditional way to make this breakfast treat is with plain ol’ white bread and dairy milk, but you simply need to swap those two ingredients and you’ve got yourself a wheat and dairy free meal!
Before I list the ingredients, here’s a brief segment of…
Amanda’s Cookin’ Tips
Here’s what you’ll need:
Now, I’m not the most precise cook - use your judgement on the amount of ingredients you mix together. If you’re making the toast just for yourself, 1 egg is ideal, and just a teaspoon of vanilla. Double it for a bigger order. The milk and the flour should be in about equal proportion - maybe a little more milk than flour. You can’t really screw up this recipe, so just try it out yourself! After you’ve made the mixture, soak the slices for a bit, and fry ‘em up!
It seems like I’m always on the hunt for gluten-free pasta. And, being a huge fan of Kraft Dinner (I know, I know, it’s rather embarrassing), I was stoked to see that the Annie’s brand had a version of instant macaroni & cheese…with rice pasta!
However…I gave it a try and it is quite literally tasteless. Plus, it’s double the cost of regular easy mac! “Scored 9 out of 10 for Taste by Gluten-Free users”? Pfft. Don’t believe it for a second.
When I was prescribed to take milk thistle at the beginning of my cleanse, I had absolutely no idea what it was. Turns out it’s an extremely beneficial plant when it comes to detoxifying the liver - and more!
So what exactly are some of the major benefits of taking milk thistle supplements?
There are three ways you can take milk thistle supplements - in capsule, powdered, or liquid form (although it’s also available in its dried herb form). Capsule form is probably the most available and the least expensive, but powdered or liquid will penetrate the body quicker when taken.
I use the liquid form of milk thistle, and when I was first starting out on the diet, I took about 20 drops a day for around two months (I put it in my morning cup of tea - couldn’t even taste it!). Now, I take twenty drops a week (and a little more when I plan to drink alcohol/the morning after). I recommend asking a professional how much you should take everyday, because it can interfere with medications you’re already taking. Also, women that are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take milk thistle.
Basically, if you want to do your liver a favour, look into milk thistle supplements!
As I’ve mentioned previously, Rizopia is my absolute favourite brand of rice pasta (particularly the wild rice kind). My absolute LEAST favourite brand? Tinkyada.
It may be cheaper in price, have a couple of cute bunnies on it, and clearly state “NOT MUSHY” on the label, but it’s actually the mushiest tasting rice pasta I’ve ever ingested. Plus, it leaves a disgusting layer of slime on the bottom of your pot, as well as your strainer. Seriously - look for wild rice pasta! It’s dense and flavourful, unlike pasta made with brown or white rice flour. And it has no fat!!! Miracle of miracles.
Another food that I quite literally cannot live without is pasta. I crave it for dinner every freaking night. Before I started this diet, I ate homemade macaroni & cheese, pasta alfredo, penne & rose sauce…the list goes on and on and on.
Cheese is definitely the one food I cannot cut from my diet…I love it so! Therefore, I’ve literally cut my portions in half when it comes to this dairy delicacy. I use either wild rice pasta or kamut grain pasta instead of wheat. If you’re not a fan of rice pasta, kamut pasta is definitely an option for you - it tastes just like whole wheat! The classic creamy sauce recipe is normally made from good ol’ wheat n’ dairy - butter, milk, and flour. Of course, with a few alternatives, that can be changed!
Before we get started…
Amanda’s Cookin’ Tips
*If you own a miniature whisk, that’ll be the best tool to mix the sauce. A regular-sized whisk is fine too, but the smaller the whisk, the easier it is to grip, so the faster the sauce will mix.
*My favourite flour to use with this recipe is brown rice flour. It’s not grainy, like some alternative flours, and is a little more nutritional than white rice flour - plus it mixes very nicely because it’s so fine. I also use brown rice milk. I’ve tried almond milk as well, and because it has a hint of sweetness, it’s not the best choice. Look for the lowest amount of sugar when using alternative milks for savoury dishes.
*I like to cook the rice or kamut pasta first, leave it in the strainer, and use the same pot to make the sauce in. Keep in mind you can always make the sauce in a separate pot while you boil the pasta (especially since alternative kinds take longer to cook), but I like the fact that it’s one less dish to clean!
*I also make sure that I have all the ingredients in my proximity before I get started so I can simply add them to the sauce and not let it overcook. You can always clean everything up later!
*The last tip I must add: I make this recipe all the time, and it’s always different. Therefore, the amounts I’m going to offer you are just guidelines - you’ll have to experiment with the amounts yourself to see what works for you. If it seems to taste off, you can always try again and attempt to perfect it!
And now, the ingredients:
Set your stove to low heat and begin with melting the Earth Balance in your pot. Then, add the flour and whisk the two ingredients together. Be careful they don’t brown! Add the milk to the pot and continue whisking for a few minutes. You’ll know when it’s turned to a cream sauce - the mixture will start to bubble and thicken. If it seems too watery, try adding a few pinches of flour and whisk the lumps out. Once you think it’s ready, add your other random ingredients (if you’re naughty like me, CHEESE!). A quick tip if you’re adding cheese to the mixture - add a couple drops of lemon juice. Its acidity will keep the cheese from becoming stringy and it will blend nicely. Chuck in your pasta and serve!
You gotta make certain sacrifices when avoiding wheat/dairy in your diet - and one of them is eating a whole lot more rice than you might want to. I mean, I drink/cook with rice milk and use rice flour in a lot of my meals - the last thing I want is a side of rice with my dinner!
A surprisingly yummy alternative to rice at the dinner table is Quinoa seeds. Pronounced “keen-wah”, the seeds are miniature and grain-like, with an interesting look and taste. It’s kind of like a nuttier flavoured/textured version of couscous. It’s prepared just like rice, is high in protein and fibre, and is easy to digest.
Check out your local natural/organic food store for Quinoa - regular supermarkets will probably not carry it. On one box of Quinoa, I did see “Grain of the future!” advertised on the front. Perhaps it will catch on as the newer, trendier version of rice?
Cutting dairy from your diet can help lower your fat intake and is definitely easier on your stomach. However, without dairy, you might not be getting enough calcium throughout your system. Not only does calcium help keep your bones and teeth strong, it helps metabolize your food, keeps blood pressure low, potentially prevents colon and rectum cancer, and lowers the risk of kidney stones. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, enough calcium in the system can lock an open ileocecal valve and prevent harm to your digestive track.
Foods that are sources of calcium, besides dairy, aren’t necessarily my favourite. Broccoli, spinach, kale, even sardines…not my cup of tea. That’s why I’ve taken calcium supplements, in all three of these formats:
I started on the powdered calcium because it’s the quickest way for it to enter your system. I stirred it into tea and drank it every morning for a couple months, but it was kind of annoying because the powder isn’t very fine, can have cheap lemon flavours, and doesn’t seem to mix well.
Next, I tried the liquid calcium. You only need a cap-size every day, and it normally comes peppermint-flavoured so it tastes decent, but one morning I took a little too much on an empty stomach and got sick. You have to make sure you take a very minimal amount after eating a meal.
Now, I’ve stuck to the tablets, and I take three a day with water on a full stomach. They take the longest to penetrate your system, but still offer a great amount of calcium. Try each kind to decide which one is best for you!
Also, here’s how much calcium people should be getting, depending on age:
0-6 Months: 210 milligrams
7-12 Months: 270 mg
1-3 Years: 500 mg
4-8 Years: 800 mg
9-13 Years: 1300 mg
14-18 Years: 1300 mg
19-50 Years: 1000 mg
50+ Years: 1200 mg
The more you age, the more important calcium is to ingest, so it’s important to find a way to get it - especially if you choose not to eat dairy.
I need to get one thing straight:
I. LOVE. PANCAKES.
Not being allowed the joy of pancakes was a tragedy during my cleanse. I did end up finding a way to get rid of the wheat/dairy in pancakes and came up with this twist on a classic recipe. Before we get started, I’d like to present you with…(drumroll)…
Amanda’s Cookin’ Tips
*Personally, I mix the ingredients into a pitcher or some sort of bowl with a spout so I can pour the batter right onto the pan. Of course, you can always use a plain mixing bowl and use a ladel.
*Before I mix the ingredients, I put the pan on the burner so it heats up by the time the batter is ready. That way, when you pour it on, it stays in a perfect circle and doesn’t run all over the pan. Note: make sure it’s on low heat, or the outside will cook too fast and the middle might still be battery.
*I usually just cook one pancake at a time. It may be slower than putting two on one large pan, but I like making sure each pancake is golden to perfection and doesn’t stick to anything else. Feel free to use a large pan and cook two at once.
*If you’re prone to busy mornings and never have time to cook anything (let alone eat anything), make a batch of these pancakes the night before and stick ‘em in the freezer. Heat them up in the morning by popping them in the toaster and you’ve got an instant meal!
Now, I present you with the recipe:
Put the egg in your bowl first and beat it until fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very lightly. You might notice a lot of lumps, but the less you mix the batter, the fluffier the pancakes will be. If you pour the pancakes onto the pan at 4 inches in diameter, you’ll get around nine pancakes in total (if you make them a couple inches bigger in diameter, you’ll get around four - this is normally what I do). Flip the pancakes with a spatula when the edges get bubbly, and once both sides are golden brown, toss ‘em onto a plate and drench them in pure maple syrup. Nom nom nom!