Update

Well, I’ve been avoiding this post for quite awhile, but after checking out my stats, I see that lots of people have been clicking on the “fertility front” tab. I don’t want to keep people hanging, so here goes..

I miscarried again on my last embryo transfer (January), and we are done using my body as an experimental pin cushion. I was getting IVIG infusions every few weeks, doing constant blood tests and monitoring, using experimental Neupogen injection, blood thinners, shitty steroids that made me fat again in short order, and the list goes on…  I’m done. Almost seven years of trying, and I am done trying to get my body to do what seems to be impossible.

I miscarried like a champ.  I even went on vacation while it was happening, and managed to catch the products of conception in the bathroom at ‘In N Out’ burger on the drive home. I had a moment where I just realized that I was handling it like it was any other moment. My “normal” was now traveling with a miscarriage in my purse while on vacation. It’s time to be done. The fantasy of being pregnant needs to be put to rest. I’m tired. Coming up on seven years of trying to get pregnant, and I am done.

Right now, I am focusing on my husband coming home from deployment, our big plans for my son’s 9th birthday gift (trip to Disney World) when his dad is back home, and amazing friends who have been unbelievably supportive.  I have always said that I have the best cheerleaders, and once again they were right there for me even though I didn’t let them in on what was going on until after the miscarriage.  This time around, I chose to tell almost no one about the cycle. Not my best friend, not my family, basically only my husband (who was overseas on deployment) and a couple of people who are currently in similar situations. It’s not that I had a problem with anyone else, but I was just SO sick of talking about it.  When I found out I was pregnant again, there was no point in sharing it. There is no joy in telling someone, “I’m pregnant…for now.”  The disclaimer would always be implied for anyone who knows me. I just got sick and tired of talking about it.  My infertility has totally consumed and defined me, and I’m putting it to rest. My body is now artificial hormone free, and that is how it will stay.  I will still envy pregnant women and those who joyfully announce a pregnancy without fear of loss, but I will get through it.  I will find ways to be happy for them as I have always done.

I will still tout the benefits of paleo, as I have seen what it not only can do for me (weight loss and marked improvement in blood work), but so many others in my infertility paleo group. Many of them are seeing improvements with weight, autoimmune disease, and general well-being. It’s great to see people who thought it would be impossible to actually get out there, do the “impossible”, and love it.

To my amazing infertile warriors, your strength knows no bounds, and I will continue to be a cheerleader for you.

Cabbage Rolls!

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Another of my wonderful infertile paleo friends, Anna, made this the other night, and I HAD to have the recipe. I have thought of making this before, but hadn’t gone the extra step of creating a paleo modification. Hers looks amazing!!!

This is one of my favorite recipes from my childhood. This is a traditional Polish dish that my mom and grandmother used to make. It is normally made with rice, fresh onion and garlic, and homemade tomato sauce. But I have simplified it and changed it to make it Paleo friendly. This is what I make when I’m craving comfort food.

Stuffed Cabbage (Polish Golabki)

1 cauliflower
1 head of cabbage
1 lb. of ground turkey (ground grass fed beef, pork, or bison will work as well)
½ tsp. garlic powder (or use fresh minced garlic instead)
¼ tsp. onion powder (or use fresh chopped onion instead)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used a Paleo friendly spaghetti sauce)
2 tbs. avocado oil or coconut oil

1. In a food processor, process the cauliflower until it has a rice consistency.
2. Sautee the cauliflower in the oil with onion and garlic until slightly softened.
3. Boil a large pot of water and place the whole cabbage inside the pot. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then remove from water.
4. Carefully remove one leaf of cabbage at a time using tongs or a fork and knife. Try not to tear the leaves. If the internal part of the cabbage is not soft and pliable enough, place it back in the hot water to cook it more.
5. Let the cauliflower mixture and cabbage leaves cool.
6. In a bowl, combine the raw ground turkey, riced cauliflower, onion, garlic, salt, pepper until thoroughly mixed.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8. Place a small amount of the meat mixture in the center bottom of a cabbage leaf. Then fold the top and sides around it like an envelope.
9. Place the cabbage rolls in a 9 x 12 glass or ceramic dish with the folded sides down.
10. Add tomato sauce on top, so there is some liquid at the bottom of the dish.
11. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
12. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Snowmageddon Beef Stew

Friend, MJ, is on the east coast and the snow is coming down. I could not resist posting her recipe for this soup. It looks AMAZING!!! She mentioned that it was amazing even without being thickened.

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Ingredients:

2 lbs. beef (stewed beef, or in this case, I used flank)
1.5 cup celery

1.5 cup carrots
3 cups onions
8 cloves garlic (crushed or diced)
1 cup red wine
4 cups water
2 Tbsp tapioca flour (optional)
5 bay leaves (remove when it’s done)
sea salt to taste (I did about 18 turns)
6 turns fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
5 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
Throw all vegetables and meat in a pot and cook until the beef is cooked through and the onions are translucent. Add 4 cups water and all spices and wine. Let cook for about an hour (or until all flavors are blended well and the meat is tender)
To thicken, you can add tapioca flour (I used 2 tbs) Mix 1 part flour, 1 part water until it’s a smooth liquid. Then add a bit of the broth to thicken it out more. Then dump it back into the large pot. (Do this towards the end of cooking for the best texture.)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread—LOVE!

I absolutely LOVE this recipe. My son begs to have a piece at any given moment, and thinks that it is a huge treat to have some in his lunch at school. It is not difficult, and though it is pictured without the parchment paper, it is best to use it for ease and mess.

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Coconut oil, melted
4 large eggs
3 tbsp honey or grade B maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup blanched almond flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (dairy, soy, gluten free–find them at Target)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put a piece of parchment in a 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan.

Place the coconut oil, eggs, honey, vanilla, and vinegar in a bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer and beat on high for 30 seconds.

Combine coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt in a bowl, then add them to the wet ingredients, beating on high until combined.

Place the coconut milk (don’t forget to shake the can) and bananas in a separate bowl and mash.

Add banana mixture to the batter and beat until thoroughly combined.

Mix in the chips, if desired.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and and bake for 40-45 min, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Dutch Comfort Food– Stamppot (kale hash)

My friend, Violet, made this for dinner last week.  It looks SO awesome, and I rarely find anything made with kale that I have a desire to eat. I will be giving this one a shot soon!    
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  • 3 Wellshire turkey Andouille sausages (no sugar!)
  • 1 Tbsp fat (bacon fat, ghee, lard, avocado oil…)
  • 3 parsnips – peeled and sliced thin (Could use potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes)
  • Huge bunch of kale (To make it easy I used Trader J’s organic chopped kale in the bag)
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock (have some additional on hand in case it is needed for steaming) 
  • salt to taste (optional)

Method:

Slice sausage and pan-fry with oil of choice. When browned, add parsnips and cook until parsnips are about ½ cooked (few minutes). Add chicken stock and kale. Put top on pan and steam for about 5 minutes (make sure there is enough stock for steaming – you might need to add more). Season with salt (optional).

It’s a tortilla, it’s an sopapilla, a chimichanga? Or a taco bell taco shell…

I have no clue what I just made.  I initially was trying to make tortillas, but the consistency is SO different. My husband and I cannot put our fingers on it, but we both agree that they are good and have some serious potential. They have a consistency that seems like pie crust to me, but my husband insists that they taste and feel just like those deep fried taco shells that they put taco salads into at Taco Bell.  I think he meant this as a compliment.  I’m trying to figure out what to make that would go well… They are NOT flexible like tortillas. I think it’s something one should try and then decide what foods would accompany. I think I might try to make a breakfast tostada or something of that nature.  I will report back after further experimentation. Pictured below are the breads with guacamole and with some cashew butter and honey.  I REALLY loved them with the honey.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal (I use Honeyville Farms since it is much finer than others)
  • 1 3/8 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp warm water
  • Lard or other fat (I think lard is the best choice here for this great consistency)

Method:

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix olive oil into the dry ingredients with a fork (it will be lumpy). Add the water and mix again. Knead by hand and form into approximately 1.5 inch balls (add more tapioca flour if still sticky). If you have a tortilla press, dust wax paper with tapioca flour and place the ball on top. Put a piece of wax paper over top and press to desired thickness. If you do not have a tortilla press, flatten the ball between two pieces of wax paper that have been dusted with tapioca flour. Over medium-high heat, melt about 1 Tbsp of lard. Make sure that it is up to temperature before adding the dough. Cook for about one minute on each side. Remove tortilla (or whatever it is) to a plate. Before cooking each tortilla, remember to add a bit of lard and get it up to temperature each time.

Tuna Boats!

What a great, simple meal for lunch, dinner or snack! My friend, Suzanne, made these for dinner tonight, and I couldn’t resist sharing them.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can tuna
  • 1/2 cup paleo more (adjust if you like it more dry or more creamy)
  • 1/2 pickle, diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romaine lettuce spears

Combine all ingredients (except for lettuce) and arrange on the lettuce spears.

Paleo Turkey Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mash!

My fellow paleo friend, Megan’s husband made this for her tonight! She considers herself to be a connoisseur of meatloaf, and said that this is the best she’s had! That’s quite an endorsement, and I cannot wait to give it a shot. The original recipe came from Primal Palate, but it was modified a bit. You could also use ground beef or chicken with this as well. The cauliflower mash just makes sense with this dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • coconut oil (for greasing the pan)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 whole green, red, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos

Method:

  • Preheat oven to bake at 375°F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Lightly grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.
  • Pour ground turkey mixture into the loaf pan.
  • Evenly distribute the mixture to get a uniform loaf.
  • Bake at 375°F for one hour.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice, and serve!.

Prosciutto Spinach Egg Bake

A lot of my paleo buddies are making egg bakes this week because they are so easy to have as a quick grab in the morning. This was my own attempt with what I had in the kitchen. It was very easy to throw together, and it tasted AMAZING. If you’re into eggs, this is a good one for you.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 handful spinach and arugula
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 slices prosciutto cut into small pieces
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • dash of cayenne (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • salsa (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish with ghee or other paleo approved fat. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the depth of your dish. Remove from oven when eggs have set.  Top with avocado or salsa (optional).

Paleo Asian Noodles

I was attempting pad thai here, but it just didn’t end up tasting like pad thai. It definitely tasted like a good asian noodle dish, so I deemed it worthy of a post. These noodles are paleo and strangely enough have zero carbs or calories.  I don’t count carbs or calories on paleo; I just find it interesting. The texture is similar to rice noodles, and the key is to boil them before eating them. They would be really good in an a soup or even with spaghetti and meatballs. The Shirataki noodles can be found on Amazon, and I found mine in Sprouts.  I am willing to bet that if I looked at Whole Foods, I would find them there as well.

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Ingredients

16 ounces Shirataki Noodles (make sure they are the white yam ones)

1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 green onion, finely minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

Boil the noodles for 2-3 minutes and drain. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (except for the eggs) and whisk. In a skillet, heat the sauce. Add noodles and stir to combine. Put into bowls and top with egg and extra green onion for garnish.