scratch & grain cheesecake brownies

Hey, y’all.

I’ve been having a really rough time with all the health stuff. 🙁

Last time we met I told y’all about the bone infection and the 6 months of antibiotics I’ll be taking. They are brutal, y’all. I’m taking 3500mg a day. My stomach and digestive system in general is a complete mess. I can’t keep anything really solid down at all.

Guided injection into my sacroiliac joint. My doctors have been trying to get me seen for several issues while I still have insurance. So in the middle of all of this bone stuff I’ve also been seeing a joint and pain specialist for some ongoing joint issues. They promised me that two guided steroid injections wouldn’t cause the same weight gain issues as ingested steroids.

Yeah, no. 🙁

In the 6 days between injection one and injection two I gained TWENTY pounds. From my face to just below my abdomen I puffed up like a water balloon. Of course a good chunk of that is fluid (that’s already coming off pretty easily) but still it’s so frustrating given how hard I’d been working for the last year.

And then the hits just keep coming. Tuesday of this week I went in for the first follow-up for the bone infection and he gave me some additional bad news. During the diagnosis phase for figuring out the bone stuff they ran so many tests and I had multiple scans and an MRI. Well all of the tests results were finally back in and one of scans found a lesion on my frontal cortex. The ENT thinks it’s probably lupus related (and a former rheumatologist did think I probably had some mild CNS lupus once before).  They’re in the process of getting me back in to see the neurologist and I’m just hopeful that they will be able to see me before the end of the year when I’ll lose my insurance.

I’m so scared, y’all. 🙁

 🙂

If you follow me on insta …and I’m sorry for the lack of posting there too…you know the brightest spot in the last couple months was birthday week trip to my most favorite place. 🙂

Take me back…please. 🙂

Now…the chocolate.

Have y’all seen this? scratch & grain gluten free baking kit.

All ingredients color coded for easy follow instructions.

Y’all this is the best boxed treat I’ve had since having to go gluten-free in 2013. The only place I’ve ever seen them is Target. I don’t know what kind of voodoo they’ve got going on with the flour in the brownie mix but it is perfect. Perfect fudgy texture.

Also…if you go to Target looking for it be careful. scratch & grain has other mixes and not all of them are gluten free.

Now…that brings me to this. Keto and lchf are completely out the window for the foreseeable future. I can’t do it. I tried going back on keto this week and I thought I was going to die. And I’m not being overly dramatic here. What these antibiotics are doing to my stomach…I just can’t fight thru it without some starch to buffer them. If you can do it. Great for you. You’re much stronger than me. But guess what? There’s no prize for that. 😉

My goal now is to get the real steroid gain off and then just maintain my losses from keto. If I can do that I’ll consider it a win.

In the meantime I will enjoy indulging in some gluten-free treats and I’ll share when they’re worthy…like these brownies. 🙂

Today would have been my pappy’s birthday. It was super bittersweet this year. He loved him some ‘stros baseball. I’ve written about this before but for the last 2 years of his life I saw him every single day. Each day when there was a day game we’d sit and watch it. Today was the parade. Papa B and I both cried for him a little more than usual. I also had some crack coke.  An Icee…he always used to call it my crack coke. 🙂

Allrighty…that’s all for today. Y’all have a good weekend and I’ll see you soon-ish. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Mastoid Bone Infection

Hey, y’all.

It’s been a while again.

Just wanted to write a little bit today about what’s been going on.

I’m going through some very serious health stuff.  🙁  Last time I wrote about how I was seeing multiple dr’s and getting a bunch of tests run.

It turns out I have a very serious bone infection.

The mastoid bone.

I’m on a ridiculously high dose of antibiotics to treat it for SIX MONTHS and they are just rough. Rough, rough, rough on the stomach / digestive system.

I’m still eating sugar free / low carb but not strictly keto right now. I’ve raised my daily carb count to 50g / day and am allowing some potatoes to try to buffer the stomach a little bit.

I’m so very glad we got this figured out now since I probably won’t have health care soon.

PSA for the day…

If y’all ever have persistent ear pain with no visible inner ear symptoms please press your doctor to investigate deeper. This has been going on for me for several years. My inner ear always looked fine when doctors would look. I would always been massaging around my ear and you could feel the inflammation (but NOT a huge red spot which would have been an instant clue). Anyway with my SED Rate being sky high all the time all of my doctors thought it was just lupus related temporal joint inflammation. (Which it turns out I actually do have too.)

But the main problem is that I have a chronic mastoid infection not acute. The only way to have seen this would have been with a ct scan or mri. (Which is how this was finally diagnosed.)

So please, if you ever experience anything like this (or especially if your kids do since ear infections are so common with the littles) please press for more testing and maybe it won’t have a chance to get so deeply embedded / infected.

From the very bottom of my heart, thank you so much, President Obama for getting me the health care that allowed this to finally be diagnosed. The testing was long and costly. Without the pre-existing condition coverage mandate that allowed me to get excellent health care this would still be undiagnosed. Thank you, thank you, thank you…and thank you again.  🙂

And to the @sshole who followed you (and those of you who put him there) and are now condemning plenty of us to certain deaths…you are an even worse disgusting piece of garbage than we ever thought you were.

And guess what, y’all…you know what’s gonna happen now? Every single time people need heath care they’re going straight to the ER. Y’all know who’s gonna pay for that? You. You will pay for it in the form of higher priced everything related to health care.  Y’all go ahead and enjoy that.

Always and forever. 🙂

Ok that’s all for today. Sorry no food pics or recipes today but I do have a few in the works…just need to tweak and don’t have the energy right now.

Y’all have a good weekend. 🙂

 

One Year Anniversary

Hey, Y’all. 🙂

It’s been a while again.

Hope your summer ended on a great note. 🙂

If you’re not following along on Insta we’re all safe and dry here from Hurricane Harvey.  We had about 14 inches of rain spread out over 4 days.  Friends and family weren’t so lucky. Please continue to keep Houston and the Texas coast in your thoughts and prayers now that the media attention has died down.

 

Reddit ftw today. #DACA

I mean seriously, y’all take a look around you today at the garbage in your lives who want innocent kids sent to places they’ve never even set foot in…and honestly how many of them are willing to take low paying jobs where they’d actually have to do something? Anything?

GT, doesn’t it seem like you could just roll this quote out every other day now?

Reminder this is my space. If you don’t like it here…don’t let the door hit ya…

Reminder 2:  if you’re disgusted today (and every day)…join us. A lot of people are already putting in the hard work RIGHT NOW. Funnel the anger you’re feeling today (and every day) into meaningful action. 🙂

Let’s see…since we last met I’m loving

Blackened salmon.

Blackened Cajun salmon.

Dump nachos with chichies.

Mug cakes and brownies.

ICE CREAM. 🙂 This is called Bubblegum Bliss and it’s from a book called The Keto Ice Cream Scoop by Carrie Brown.  It is so unbelievably good.  It totally got me thru all the hurricane nerves.

Yeah, Minnesota. Stay in your lane. 😉

SO…

A year ago today I quit sugar and all grains cold turkey. Technically the calendar date was Sept 6th but it was the day after Labor Day and today is the day after Labor Day so I’m calling it year one in the books. 🙂

Those first 2 weeks were pure hell. I seriously thought I was going to die. But then the magic kicked in and my head started to clear.  I spent the first 7 weeks doing pretty much hard-core keto. I lived on hamburger patties, cheese, chicken wings, blue cheese and mayonnaise.

I took the day off for my birthday in late October and then the next day went back to the way I was eating but removed diary.

I spent the next 60 days dairy free and edged more into paleo style eating.

And that’s when this whole thing got harder. Introducing more foods and allowing maple syrup and potatoes really set me back a little. I started jonesing for the next off day and inhaling every potato I ate.

I kept losing weight just fine but mentally I was out of it. I was just going thru the motions and counting down the days til my next off day.

In total from Sept 6, 2016 – April 16, 2017 I had 8 off plan days…on purpose. I planed for them.

On April 16, 2017 I went back to what I was doing in the beginning…Keto (25 net carbs or less) and haven’t looked back. I haven’t had one off plan lick, bite, taste, etc since then and don’t plan to anytime soon.

What changed?

Well I stopped making it harder than it needed to be. I like food. I like cheese. I like sweets. I like to cook.

And now I do. For me I think it’s far better to just go make me something safe and on plan (like a mug cake or brownie or ice cream) than to tough it out and then end up inhaling every real sugar sweet in sight on a planned off day.

Since I stopped making it hard…it’s easy. The other people in the house eat carbs all day long. I eat out with other people…and never flinch. It’s honestly just how I eat now. I don’t have to think about it anymore I just do it.  And that freedom feels amazing.

I’ve lost 73 (point 4) pounds but even more important than that my iron is up for the first time in YEARS. I have energy for the first time in YEARS.

It still hasn’t helped my lupus / inflammation pain as much as I’d hoped it would and I’m going thru some inflammation stuff right now (why I was getting the MRI the other day) but I’m hopeful that eventually I’ll get those benefits too.  Autoimmune stuff is just…hard. 🙁

So here’s the newest before / current pic. Left – shopping for fall 2016 Right – shopping for fall 2017. I didn’t buy the current dress because I don’t pay full price for anything. 😉  I’m having some issues with my vein surgery so that’s why I’m having to wear the black compression stocking again which totally sucks in this heat.

I’m still struggling to see the current me. I still see the left side me a lot of the time.

I’d like to lose 30 more pounds (15 would put me a couple below ‘normal’ and then 15 for a buffer) but if I stay right here I’m just fine with that. I’m going to keep on keeping on and let the weight land where it lands. I don’t plan on restricting my food anymore than I am now so I’m sure things will slow down but I want this to be something I can easily maintain…so I’m not chasing a number or a size. If I get there great if not I’m so far better off now than I was on the left…I’m good. 🙂

Tomorrow is Mama and Papa B’s 48th anniversary.  I say this all the time but in the grand parental lottery we hit the super-duper power ball. 🙂  One number to the left or right on either side and…I shudder. We were so lucky to grow up in a home with two PEOPLE who are still head over heals in love with each other today. (Notice I said people there because…love is love, y’all.) More than anything I want to thank them for raising us in a home that taught us kindness, respect and empathy for those with less than us. Mama B’s a saint and Papa B is our comic relief.  I love you both more than words on this silly blog could ever express. 🙂

Ok that’s enough for today, y’all. 🙂

 

 

 

Christmas In July and Pot Pies

Hey, Y’all. 🙂

(first…WordPress isn’t letting me spell check this right now so apologies for anything I missed)

Merry Christmas in July.

I celebrated twice.

Once on the weekend with the fam. And today with the boo.

Celebration 1: Cute beach Santa plates. Shrimp ‘pasta’ salad (minus the pasta for me) with seasoned Whisps as croutons.

Celebration 2: Carne Guisada with guac and queso. The ‘tortilla’ is the same mix as I used in this post for lasagna. I made them with a mix of cheddar and mozz plus 4 tbsp almond flour in place of the parm.  I also left out the seasonings so they could go with anything. I just tore them up and used them kind of like torn up pieces of tortillas (that’s how I used to eat this meal when I could still eat corn). This was actually really really good.

Plus a half a piece of sugar free cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. This was my first time having the sugar free cheesecake from there and it won’t be my last.

90 would be more accurate. 🙂

This is my new secret ingredient. I’m using it in all my baking now. Right now I’m adding 1/2 tbsp for any amount of ‘flour’ up to a cup and then 1 tbsp for each full cup.

Amen, Anon. Amen.

So first up…a chicken pot pie. The amounts I use here will make two.

I’ve been making a hybrid mayo pancake / 90 second bread. So 4 tbsp almond flour, 2 tbsp mayo, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tbsp collagen peptides, the yellow is some chicken broth powder in place of spices. Plus one egg. Forgot to take the pic after adding the egg. It’s best with an actual egg but I used egg whites for this one because I’m trying to use that carton up. I mix this all up right before topping time.

Now the filling. That’s 1 cup of chicken broth, 1/2 cup cream and 4 tbsp mascarpone (or cream cheese) thickened with a little xanthan gum. Then I added some chopped chicken breast, 2 tbsp peas and a little steamed cauli.

Poured half into each bowl.

Topped each bowl with half of the bread mixture.  You kinda just have to drizzle it over and let it run together to fill it. You don’t want to spread it or shake it. If you do it will just mix in with the filling. Let it do it’s thing by itself. 🙂

Baked at 350* for about 14 minutes in the convection oven.

So unbelievably delicious. This is seriously one of my most favorite things I’ve made gluten free.

😉

I’ll close with my most recent before / current from last week.

Same dress. Summer 2015 vs last week. I can’t believe this is me.  As you can see I’m just plugging along. 25g net carbs / day. It’s working and I’m working it. But it is boring so I don’t have much to post. I still eat so much of the same stuff over and over again because it simple.

I miss blogging but I ya know…how many times can I post the same food pics, anti devil personified (cheeto dust / GOP) memes and beg y’all to go out and get involved in changing this mess?

So I’ll continue to pop in when I have something new to share and in the meantime you can always check out Instagram here for more frequent updates. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see y’all soon. 🙂

 

 

Chiffon Cake

Hey, y’all. 🙂

Happy 4th. Hope it’s been a safe and fun one for you. 🙂

I am so tired of seeing these stories. 🙁  I truly hope there is a special place in hell for these ‘parents’.

Last week I made these homemade maraschino cherries. I used xylitol for the sugar but you can use whatever you like…even real sugar of course.  Heat the water and sugar over medium heat til the sugar is dissolved then cool to room temp and stir in extracts. Then pour over the cherries, seal and put in the icebox. I actually had left over juice and I think I could have used a 1/2 cup each of water and sugar. The longer they sit the better they’ll be.

Made a batch of oopsie bread in my hotdog pan. They didn’t end up being big enough to hold a wiener and ‘fixin’s’ so I decided to deconstruct it. I cut up and pan fried a ‘bun’ in butter then added chopped up wieners, chili and cheese. I’ll definitely make this again.

Ok, y’all this is the best sugar free thing I’ve made yet.  🙂

It’s a single serve cherry chiffon cake.

I took one egg and separated it.

To the yolk I added 1 tbsp Swerve and beat it for 2 minutes then added 1 tbsp coconut oil, splash of vanilla and one tbsp of the homemade maraschino cherry juice.

To the whites I added 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and beat til frothy. Then I added 1 tbsp Swerve and beat to stiff peaks.

Added 1 tbsp coconut flour and a heaping 1/4 tsp baking powder to the yolk mixture.

Then I mixed in about 1/3 of the whites to the yolks.

Then gently folded in the rest of the whites.

Spread into an UNGREASED pan and baked at 300* for about 25 minutes. (My pan was a little too wide for this small amount of batter.)

Y’all this was so moist. That’s right. I said moist. Because it was.

Topped half of it with two small scoops from a fresh batch of sugar free ice cream, 2 of the cherries and a tbsp of the cherry juice.

Best sugar free cake yet and the most perfect finish to 4th of July eating. 🙂

Most recent before / current.

I went to the Dr. last week and I’m officially down 64 pounds. 🙂

Or an elephant’s penis plus an ostrich egg. 😉

If you follow me on Instagram here you’ve already seen this but my blood work was great too.

Y’all know how long I’ve struggled with my iron levels. It’s been years since it’s been this high. 🙂

The only things that are still not improving are my inflammation markers (ya know…the main reason I’m doing this whole weight loss / sugar free thing). But I’m just going to keep on going and hope that it’ll get there soon.  It’s really weird…the more weight I lose the worse some of my pain is. I wonder if some of the fat was creating a cushion or something? I don’t know but it’s kinda annoying to be working so hard and still be in so much physical pain.

Allrighty that’s all for today.  🙂

Y’all stay safe and cool and I’ll see you soon. 🙂