Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Must Be Dreaming

Ground pork with organic fresh-pressed garlic & organic ground black pepper. Throw them onto a grill pan & you'll have some irresistible pork meatballs in no time! :)  

Can someone pinch me please? I need to see if this is real

Sauteed mushrooms! :) I used a little ghee to grease the pan.
Huh. Nothin'. So tell me then: is this real? 

Zucchini pasta. Plain & simple. Positively delish. :) 
 It is? Are you sure? I know these photos are a bit of a distraction but please try your best to focus. 

Zucchini pasta with steamed shrimp & basil pesto (the pesto recipe is in the "Presto Pesto" post). :D
Alright, alright. I believe you... I guess. Try to put yourself in my shoes for a moment. If you woke up one morning to discover that you were able to tolerate ripe bananas after MANY fruitless months, wouldn't you need a reality check? I mean, seriously!!!! Breakthroughs of this magnitude don't happen very often! :) 

I'm having difficulty readjusting to a fruitful life. A ripe banana everyday? How can this be??? It's inconceivable! 

As if that wasn't enough excitement, I'm almost finished with school. Only a few class days left! Then I'll be ready to kick back, relax, & make numerous batches of banana ice cream! Oh, & run off to Colorado & Oregon this summer. No big deal... 

Despite all this good news, I cannot let it get me off track. I have to keep myself together until exams are over with. As much as I'd like to just sit around & giggle, I have lots of important stuff to do!!!! An english paper; a sociology paper; research on Naked juices; hot yoga; responses to comments on the SCD support page; be happy! I think that just about covers it. 

I better get to work. Until next time, try cooking up one of the dishes I've photographed above. They're unbelievably easy to make & very gentle on the gut. Be sure to cook the mushrooms & zucchini to MUSH!!!! Easy in, easy through, easy out. :) 

Lots of love & healthy cooking, 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hot Yoga 101!!

Bikram Yoga is incredible; it's the answer to my prayers. When you spend 90 minutes in a 105 degree room, everything becomes clear. It's a remarkable phenomenon. The exercise aspect is secondary to the emotional healing. You must give it a try! :) Lucky for me, I have access to the most wonderful hot yoga studio in the world. If you live in MD, come to Bikram Yoga in Rockville. The yogis are lovely, extremely helpful, supportive, & great inspirations for growing yogis like myself. I hope to see you there! 

SO, how does one prepare for hot yoga you ask? Let me fill you in! :) In order to do it right, there are a few things you should remember. 

  1. First, STAY HYDRATED!!!!!!!!! Drink at least 1 oz. of water per 2 lbs. of body weight everyday. This will keep you constantly hydrated. On class day, drink an extra liter of water but lighten up on your water consumption about 3 hours before class. You wouldn't want to rush to the bathroom during savasana! Be sure to bring a huge bottle of water into class with you. Don't drink too much though or it'll sit uncomfortably in your tummy. Take sips!!
  2. Second, eat properly BEFORE hot yoga!!!! Don't eat anything dense/heavy at least 3 to 4 hours before class. Coming to class on any empty stomach is what you want. BUT if you must eat a little something during this waiting period, have something light like a banana with a few almonds or a protein bar. :)  
  3. Third, eat properly AFTER hot yoga!!!!!! Try to have a lighter meal like a salad or an egg-white omelette with veggies. Stay away from copious amounts of meat. In the days following, lean toward foods/beverages high in potassium such as bananas or coconut water to replace the electrolytes you lost during class. 
  4. Fourth, remember you're there to HAVE FUN!!!! You must not forget why you chose to take hot yoga in the first place. Don't let all these preparation tips scare you off. Let the experienced yogis help you! :) Come to class with your yoga mat, your water, a BIG towel or 2 or 3 (HAHA!), & an open mind. We'll help you with everything else. And don't hesitate to ask your yogi peers about anything you're unsure about. They're there to guide you! 
That wasn't so bad, was it? :) If you take these tips into account, I guarantee your next hot yoga class will be magical!!! 

As for those Naked juices, I'm still researching as to whether they're truly healthy or not. Let's hope they are! :) 

Well believe it or not, I'm getting ready for hot yoga class at 4! It's been a few days since my last class; I've had too many papers for english. I've only got one left then I'll be just about finished with this english course which means more college credits under my belt. YES!!!!! :D Until next time, read this over & give hot yoga a consideration. I promise you will love it! 

p.s. look out for a post tomorrow with some super delish recipes for you to try. YUM!!!! :) And feel free to check out my boards on pinterest! If you type my name, "Allie Brown", you should be able to find me. If not, let me know! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy One-Year Anniversary on the SCD!

Happy One-year anniversary following the
Specific Carbohydrate Diet!!!!!!!!

I made it a whole year without... 
Ice cream; cookies (girl scout, to be specific)
potato chipschewing gumwhipped cream; peppermint patties
junior mintsm&m's; raisins
lunch meats; salad; raw nuts; ketchup
french fries; sour cream
hot sauce; baked beans; refried beans
chocolate; cantaloupe; 
sweet potatoes; chicken nuggets
fish sticks; falafel; tortillas; brownies; cake
granola bars; cereal; dried fruits; 
coconut; peas; lima beans; avocados; apples; 
snickers, three musketeers; butterfingers
reese's pieces; tomatoes; onions; burritos; hummus; chocolate syrup
cinnamon rolls
bagels; bread; crackers; pizza; pasta
soda; baked potatoes; pudding; 
onion rings; lasagna; ravioli; chocolate chips;
orange juice; pickles; cocktail sauce
tartar sauce; pineapple
croissants; biscuits; home-fries
chocolate-covered espresso beans;
biscotti; pretzels; 
scones; muffinsdonuts
maple syrup; cheetos; fritos; durritos (hehe)
cupcakes; macaroni & cheese; pop tarts; 
baked potatoes; chipotle's; gelato
italian ice; refined sugar; sushi; quiche;
croutons; pastries; goldfish
wheat thins; french toast; pringles;
trail mix; lemonade; jelly; pancakes; waffles; smarties; starbursts;
popsicles; fudge; banana peppers
pepperoni; grilled cheese; 
mozzarella sticks; fried chicken
sprinkles; frosting
lifesavers; tic-tacs; sandwiches; cake pops; rice krispie treats; klondike bars;
cheesecake; pie; cannoli; hershey kisses; reese's peanut butter cups; hamburger buns; hotdog buns; rice; alcoholStarbucks frappuccinos
chocolate-covered peanuts; 
chocolate-covered malt balls; nerds candy
twizzlers; DQ; cotton candy...
Did I leave anything out? Now to be honest, I didn't consume a majority of these foods even before I started the SCD. I've been gluten-free since I was 14 years old. As for the rest of these foods, I don't find myself craving them anymore. I have speed-bumps on a super restricted diet. Why on earth would I consciously choose to wreak havoc on my system?? I don't think so! Nowadays, I look forward to eating a baked wild-caught fish fillet with lemon juice & pink himalayan sea salt or sauteed wild-caught scallops with mushrooms. A real treat for me is a bowl of banana ice cream or a serving of zucchini pasta with steamed wild-caught shrimp. I've embraced the changes in my life & have no intention of turning back. :)        

I know this may sound cliche but none of this would have been possible without my new friends & family. I'd like you to meet some of those incredible people; they're from the SCD Support Group I'm admin for.  

Fantastic Apple Applegate-King (& her awesome husband) :) 

Adorable Amber Gerard!! :D 

Amazing Heidrun Schaller!!! :)  

Lovely Natalie Darden (& loving children) :) 

Wonderful Kyli Wolfson (& her loving fiance Dustin!) :) 

Stunning Emily Butler :)

Smashing Reid Kimball :D 

Incredible Tiffany Shipley-Reilly! :) 
Fabulous Rebecca & Rachael Miller (mom & daughter! :)) 
Gorgeous Alexandra Gomez (not pictured: her darling mom Jenny Gomez :))
This does not come close to capturing the number of people on the page (almost 600 total!) but it's a start. I cannot thank you enough! :) I would not have made it this far without your support. I love you with all my heart & will keep you close to me forever. <3
I sit here & wonder what the next year has in store for me. I know I don't have to worry about facing a speed-bump alone. I know I don't have to worry about going without! ;) I have you guys to turn to & that makes all the difference. I know I can hold a job someday, have a family, & live a great life thanks to the SCD & my fellow SCDers. It's been a tough road but I've learned a lot about myself & my body. Every tear was shed for a reason. Every giggle was giggled with a purpose. I know this is just the beginning. Thanks for joining me on this journey to great health. Now I'm off to have a fabulous day! 

Hugs, Allie xoxox


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Presto Pesto!

Why hello there! :) It's been a little while since we spoke last. Things are crazy here lately. I'm extremely busy feeling well. Yes, you heard me... 
I'M FEELING GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Not just 'sort of great'. REALLY great. Something has changed. Ever since I quit chicken, things have continued to improve. Who would've guessed! My mom is convinced that my problems with chicken were not from the chicken per se but from their DIET

If you eat thighs from a chicken that eats corn, you are essentially eating that corn. Let me say that again. A chicken eats corn = YOU eat corn. Now you're probably thinking, "what the heck does that have to do with this?!". Uhhhh folks... It has EVERYTHING to do with it. For a person who struggles with sugar, starchy veggies, & disaccharides, eating corn is not a smart move. However, if that's all you can get your hands on right now, I completely understand. Just do yourself an enormous favor & get organic corn-fed chicken if you have access to it or can afford it (I know; healthy food is expensive!). The best choice would be organic pasture-raised chickens that are at least offered the option of eating grass. Or, if you've got friends in high places, eat strictly grass-fed chicken. The farmer's market we go to every Sunday down in D.C. has a meat vendor that offers grass-fed chicken. It tastes like steak if you catch my drift. ALSO, be sure to eat chicken that's free of probiotics & hormones. YUCK! You don't want to be putting that junk into your system. Another option would be to indulge in more seafood. That's what I'm doing. :D 

Wild-caught flounder fillets with lemon slices, a pinch of sea salt, & a sprinkle of pepper! :) Pop them into the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes per pound. 

Wild-caught scallops cooked on the stovetop with a little organic extra-virgin olive oil.  Just keep an eye on the scallops & flip them when they start to brown. The scallops are finished cooking when they're no longer translucent. SO delicious. :) 

Wild-caught shrimp cooked in a pot of boiling water. Total cooking time? About 3 minutes once the water begins to boil. Could that be any easier? :) 
You cannot sit there & tell me those dishes do not look appetizing. :D And what's even better is how easy they are to prepare!!!! They're basically one-piece (one pot, one pan, one cookie sheet) meals. Name me one SCDer who wouldn't appreciate having to wash only one piece of cookware. ;) Give this a try, guys & gals. I'm telling you seafood is the new buzzword. You will feel BETTER, I promise you. Don't forget to have a veggie, too!! 

If you're feeling really brave, buy a whole fish! :) 
We bought a whole wild-caught red snapper & baked it in the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes (until the thickest part read 145 degrees). SO tasty!!! :) Lots of bones though, just to warn you!
Cooking a whole fish is a great meal. I put a little olive oil (organic e.v.o.o., of course), a smidgen of himalayan sea salt, & a nice pinch of pepper over the entire fish. I'm all about simplicity but if you'd like to kick the spices up a notch or two, feel free! As long as it's incredibly delicious, right? :) 

More seafood and no chicken aren't the only things bringing me relief. Hot yoga is the other missing link. I mentioned it in my last post. IT IS AMAZING. :) I've been going 3-4 times a week & am absolutely loving every second of it. I sweat more than I thought was humanly possible; I stretch beyond my imagination; I am in very little muscle pain! 90 minutes of continuous breathing & relaxation. Doesn't that sound better than going to the gym & killing yourself on the treadmill? And instead of being a gym rat, you're a yogi. MUCH nicer. 

Before I go, I must tell you about my latest invention. :D Frozen basil/spinach pesto!!!!!! I have my dear mom to thank for this.

Frozen Basil/Spinach Pesto
(all ingredients are organic) 
  • Wash fresh basil/spinach
  • Place washed basil/spinach into a food processor 
  • Pour in e.v.o.o. one tbsp. at a time (I added two) 
  • Squeeze fresh lemon over the top for a little kick! 
  • Add some pressed garlic to give it depth 

  • Process until you reach desired consistency

  • Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper & place it in the freezer until hardened

  • Break into pieces

  • Place the pieces into a baggie & date it! VOILA! :) 

And there you have it! :) Now whenever you need pesto for your zucchini pasta, you can just grab a square from the freezer, put it in with your zucchini, cook it, & BAM! You've got yourself a nice bowl of gourmet pesto zucchini pasta! YUM! 

Alright, I believe it's time for me to go. I've got to do some research on hot yoga!!! Look out for tips on what to eat before & after class, how much water you should drink prior to yoga, how to rehydrate afterwards, & much more! :) 

Until next time, BE HAPPY! BE HEALTHY! :D 

p.s. this Sunday is my one-year anniversary on the diet so get ready for a MAJOR post! :)