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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.

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Carmex Makes a New Splash

Caremx Moisture Plus (R)

Caremx Moisture Plus (R)

Winter got your lips all dried out? When lips feel cracked and dry, they need soothing relief and quickly. With a good lip moisturizer you won’t have to worry about the problem. It’s when you forget to drop one in your purse or pocket that the problem starts. I like a lip products that soothe the minute you put them on. But not all do. When lip balms absorb too quickly it leaves me reapplying every 20 minutes which is a total pain. I usually toss those or let them pile up in my make up bag. I recently stumbled on a new version of an old product I’ve used since college. Remember those small white jars of Carmex? Now they’ve come up with some new, hip colorful patterns that add a burst of flare to your make up bag. My fave–the animal print. With the new Carmex Moisture Plus®  formulation your lips will be lovin’ Vitamin E, shea butter and SPF 15.   Want a touch of color?  Use your favorite lip liner then apply Carmex.

Where to eat in Aspen/Snowmass you ask?

Who knew you could get a meal in Snowmass for just 8 bucks? Well, it’s true when you dine at Crazy 8’s, the bar located at Eight K Restaurant.

For a day on the slopes, don’t forget to hit the ski-in ski-out hot dog bar where you can ask for a bun-only version. But seriously, why bother with that? Just eat the dog, hit a few rails and trails and it’s all good. Ride over to Nest where hot dog dreams are made of.

But when your mouth is watering for something more sophisticated, like lobster and kale salad, Eight K has you covered with lots of savory choices.  Don’t forget to mark your calendar for a few important dates. For the wine connoisseur who likes to sip but not spit, sit down to enjoy elegantly arranged wine dinner events planned throughout the entire winter ski season. See Eight K Winter Wine Dinners schedule. $150 per person, includes wines.

All this can be yours when you check in at Viceroy Hotel and Resort, in Snowmass, Colorado.

The Source–Urban Market Shows Off New Digs

Want to try a new hip spot in Denver’s RiNo (River North Art District) urban locale? Grab some friends and experience this casual Source_StoreFrontenvironment where you can sample appetizers at Comida and Mondo Market.
Peruse the blooms at Beet and Yarrow Florist before you leave.

Mixing it upOr round up some friends for happy hour and see what mix-ol-o-gists are shakin’ up  behind the bar at CapRock Farm Bar. Be sure to try their CapRock line of white whisky.

If you’re not as adventurous with the cocktails, just do what I did–order a vodka tonic–straight up.

V&T

Want to add something new to your wine collection? Just check in at Proper Pour and they will help with your selections. I wonder if or when they do wine tastings. Might want to inquire on that one.

Too early for drinks? Then hang out with the folks roasting beans at Boxcar Coffee. Ask about their 1930’s German roaster. With its eclectic mix of shops, it’s fun to walk around this former steel works building and experience its transformation.

Located at 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver.

Traveling no further than your own backyard

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

To travel across the world invigorates the body, mind and soul. And if you’re like me and you love to plant your feet on new ground, then anywhere but home feels like the right place to be–for a specified period of time. But today, I realized, sometimes we rarely have to travel further than our backyard to feel like we’ve entered into a new world or wilderness, in my case. That’s because I noticed the downy woodpecker gnawing away at the suet block I placed on the berry tree in my backyard.

When I noticed the red tuft of feathers crowned atop his head, it brought me instant joy.  And his presence in my backyard, especially during the holidays, transported me to a place way beyond my family room where I voyeuristically shot photos of him–before I conjured up this blog post.

Sure, downy woodpeckers aren’t the most rare species of bird, but then again, it’s not a bird that visits my yard everyday. So, I felt honored and humbled that he chose my yard today. Plus, because of these teen temps in Denver made me feel like he needed my yard as much as I needed a glimpse of his beauty today.

I assume he is a he, though I have no way to know his or her gender.

I encourage everyone to be content in between travels to those far flung destinations–and instead try to enjoy what’s in your own backyard at the moment. Because it may make you feel as if you’ve traveled further than you really have. And that’s the beauty of noticing what’s in the here and now–what’s right beneath your nose.

A little sand and sea

Pristine Beaches in Riviera Maya

Enjoy the powdery sand all along the Riviera Maya Coast.

When you life gets too serious and you can’t keep stop daydreaming about sinking your toes into the cool, powdery beach sand–that can mean only one thing. It’s time to book a flight and find a hotel with a teasing ocean view. But don’t wait until life gets too overwhelming.  Instead, make travel plans with ample time to anticipate the excitement as your trip countdown begins. If you’re like me, you don’t take such advice. Instead, you fly by the seat of your pants and let the wind blow your wings into the next town, villa or deserted beach hut with vacancies.

Foot massage feels oh so good–on the beach makes it even better.

Secluded beach huts along Riviera Maya provide privacy + relaxation.