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Low carb eating travels well-a muffin recipe to love

Low carb muffin with sugar free frosting

Low carb muffin with sugar free frosting

When traveling, it’s easy to make the road your buffet. And let’s face it–eating good food is half the fun–as well it should be. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to enjoy soda bread in Ireland or mounds of pasta in Rome and delicious tacos in Cancun.

But then you eventually come home to the bathroom scale–and discover the damage. Unless you pace your eating and make wise choices.

As an experiment, I decided to cut carbs and ramp up my protein, veggies and healthy fats, (like olive oil and coconut oil). I’m doing this for an upcoming magazine article I’m writing. So this eating is very new to me.

While it’s true–eating fewer carbs goes in and out of style quicker than a teenager’s hunger cycles. As soon as you feed them–their want another helping.

But when you embrace a way of eating that works for your body, usually you know it right away. In my experiment that removed most carbs except for some fruit–including bananas–some beans– I found out baguettes and fettuccini act more like frenemies. I love them–they hate me–I hate them-they love me back.

I recently discovered that removing breads, grains and starchy vegetables improved my energy, focused my thinking and nudged my mood into joyful spaces. I’m not on the Paleo path, but close to it. I will borrow from it once I learn the ins and outs. I will soon interview Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind-Beyond the Paleo Diet.

When traveling-I find this way of eating is pretty easy. That’s because it’s not hard to find meat and cheese — or other sources of protein. Seems like you have lots of fruit and veggie options too. At breakfast, skip the Danish and opt for bacon and eggs. At lunch–try a grilled chicken salad. For dinner–how about a bunless burger or chicken breast with cole slaw. In a pinch-I will just order something gluten-free.

I would describe my eating as low carb–but not as radical as Atkins–not even South Beach. So I bring you one of my favorite morning breakfasts. Elise’s Fave Breakfast Muffin.

If you wanted to take this on the road with you–it’s entirely possible. Just eliminate the eggs and travel with the dry ingredients. Could even substitute dried eggs for the real thing and mix it when you arrive. I hope you enjoy.

Elise’s Fave Breakfast Muffin

1 T. oat flour (optional)
2 T. coconut flour
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 T. flax meal
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t xantham gum (a must when cooking with coconut flour)
2 T of Splenda (or sub this for Stevia)
3 packets of Stevia + half dropper of liquid stevia (vanilla cream)
2 T. olive oil
3 eggs

*Makes 4-5 servings.

Basic recipe–Mix together and store in fridge so you can enjoy a piping hot muffin each morning with your coffee. Add berries or other fruit just before popping it into the microwave. See frosting option below.

Scoop out about a half cup or so, into a mug, ramekin or silicone cupcake liner. Pop it into the microwave for about 1 min or 1 min 10 sec (depending on your machine). Before microwaving it, I like to yum it up by tossing in a few blueberries and maybe a few drops of orange oil (extract). Cranberries with orange oil also yummy.

Sometimes I add cinnamon with a tablespoon of fresh cooked apple sauce. I change it up each day so I don’t tire of it.

Frosting Option-
Scoop out 1-2 T of cream softened cheese, add 1-2 packets of Splenda—and smear it on top for an extraordinary–and delightful breakfast.

Mountain Pose Medicine and Yoga Symposium–When east meets west

“Whether you’re a yoga or fitness instructor, a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, doctor or naturopath rooted in Chinese medicine, when these disciplines come together, a certain synergy swirls around like a health cloud.”

At this year’s Mountain Pose Medicine and Yoga Symposium in Copper Mountain, Colorado, (Aug. 22-26) healthcare leaders and wellness leaders gathered to share ideas. I watched as M.D.s and Naturopathic Doctors offered insight to deeper questions.  I mostly observed respect and tolerance of each other’s differences—but not always.

I watched theories of traditional western medicine converge with eastern and complimentary approaches in medicine and health.  As I was reminded once again—prevention is better than a pill.  (Unless it’s fish oil.)

Yoga Instructor twists her back while sitting on her mat.

Yoga Instructor twists her back while sitting on her mat.

Breath is life.  In between speaker sessions about heart health, palliative care, and optimal nutrition, we took short “breathing breaks” by closing our eyes and counting breaths.  One yoga instructor slash M.D.(Satkirin Khalsa) challenged us to breathe deeply, engage the diaphragm and decrease our number of breaths—which lowers your blood pressure.  She’s the same doctor who breathes with her patients before an exam.

The key—to fully expand lungs on the inhale, expand the belly on the exhale to fully deflate lungs—as if to squeeze all the juice out of a lemon.

The idea of “Yoga as Medicine”isn’t new but it wove a

Satkirin Khalsa, MD talks to audience about the importance of deep breathing and its effect on health.

Satkirin Khalsa, MD talks to audience about the importance of deep breathing and its effect on health.

thread throughout workshop sessions.  With plenty of yoga sessions during the day, we literally unrolled our yoga mats, focused on breath and synthesized what we learned from previous speaker sessions related to yoga’s benefits.Well trained and highly educated yoga instructors taught us about proper form and how to prevent injuries of the spine and rotator cuff, for example.  We practiced on each other as instructors showed us what to do—and what NOT to do.

 

 

 

Yoga helpers

Each helper supports the other by pulling back with a scarf while the person in pose stretches in a down dog position.