Wednesday, October 16, 2019

GFCF Quiche with Oat Milk and Almond Cheese

I promise this is delicious, even with no cheese or heavy cream. I created it today and my son ate so much for dinner that there wasn't enough for my husband when he came home from his late board meeting. Next time I will have to make 3 quiche's instead of 2!

Printable Recipe
  • Gluten free pie crusts (Sold at most grocery stores. Also the King Arthur mix is delicious.)
  • Trader Joes Mozzarella Style Shreds (entire bag)
  • Oat milk (1.5 cups). Publix now sells oat milk.
  • Eggs (6)
  • Onion (small to medium sized)
  • Garlic (4 cloves)
  • Bacon (already cooked)
  • Frozen spinach (1 cup)
  • Salt (.5 tsp)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop onion and sauté in olive oil on high heat. After onions are a little browned, add chopped garlic and sauté for 3-4 more minutes or so. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Pop GF ready-made pie crusts in the oven and leave them for 10 minutes while preparing your ingredients.
  4. Heat frozen spinach in the microwave for 1 minute.
  5. Take out spinach and place in a tea towel, strong paper towel or cheese cloth and squeeze the liquid out of it.
  6. Chop or pull the bacon into smallish pieces.
  7. In a large bowl, rapidly whisk together 6 eggs, 1.5 cups of oat milk and 1/2 tsp salt.
  8. Take GF pie crusts out of the oven and in each crust, sprinkle cheese at the bottom. Then add to each pie crust, a layer of spinach, a layer of onions and garlic, and a layer of bacon. Sprinkle one more layer of cheese on top then pour the egg mixture over it all. This should be the perfect amount for two standard sized pie crusts.
  9. Place a tinfoil-covered cookie sheet on the lower rack of you oven to catch any spills from the quiches that will be placed on the rack above it.
  10. Cook quiches for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.
  11. Enjoy!

Managing the Migraines after Going Off The Pill

After feeling great for a while from simply taking the magnesium, I got stopped taking the pill (my doctors advice since I have been on it for 10 years), and promptly fell back into 3 days and nights of migraine hell. So I went back to see my doctor. This is what she said...
"Your brain needs to calm down so do gluten free and dairy free until we get the inflammation under control and we get you headache free. This month I want you to come to weekly visits until your headaches are gone. Take two of the PMS Soothe's a day, not one, and take 4000mg of fish oil. Drink water all day long and put Tri-Salts in it to balance out your electrolytes. Hold off on the MedCaps DPO for now."
When I asked what to do with pain management and what was safe, not addicting and would not cause rebound headaches, she said it was OK to take up to 3 triptans a day and to do that until I saw her again in a week.

Knowing that I was going to go back to see her again every week until I was better...was helpful and it felt like I didn't have to worry so much about it because someone else more qualified was on it. When you are suffering it is hard to be sent home from the doctors office without knowing if anything is going to work or what will happen next. So the fact that this doctor is studying my chart and my history and is working on getting her patient healthy and pain-free rather than just only prescribing medicine simply designed to treat the symptoms but not the problem, well, I am grateful for that. I feel like we are on a path to making it possible to not need pain medicine soon (hopefully).

Also (apparently) going off the pill should help with clearing up brain fog and fatigue. I remember that the keto diet cleared brain fog like the rising sun on a misty morning. But how great would that be to feel clear without having to do keto?

Update: Since my visit two days ago I have taken triptans twice a day along with Tylenol.  I found this article and it made me feel a bit better about taking the triptans:

I hope it all clears soon. I'm curious about how other people manage their headaches. Leave me a comment if you are in the midst of all this too. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

If You Are a Female Who Suffers From Migraines, Fatigue, or Brain Fog...This Post is For You.

Right now I'm at a crossroads because this week I began my brand new health journey to wellness, energy and focus. My new General Practitioner, (Yale Med School/UF grad, and author on multiple books about hormones) prescribes supplements to help her patients. I saw her last week for the first time and she was 100% confident she could "fix" my fatigue, brain fog and migraines. I'm not going to divulge her name in this post or future posts...incase this health journey all goes to (insert expletive here).

Health journeys can be confusing. So I am going to document my experience here in hopes that my sharing will help others who are going through similar issues.

This is what happened last week and the past few days:

Issue: Migraines
What she prescribed: Optimag Neuro (by Xymogen) to mix in my water.
Here is a similar product. The Xymogen products have to be purchased through the website, Wholescripts. I personally purchased it at my doctors office.
Results: 👏👍It tastes like gatorade and after taking it for a week my migraines have gone.

Issue: On the pill for 10 years (to control migraines)

1st Prescription: Stop taking the pill (she said it bad for me) and start taking PMS Soothe because it has chaste berry extract in it which apparently mimics progesterone and should control the migraines caused by monthly hormonal changes.
Results: 🙍Took this last night for the first time and stopped my pill. A bit nervous about potentially going back into Migraine-hell.

2nd Prescription: Liver cleanse: OptiCleanse GHI chocolate shake powder by Xymogen, to clean out my liver after taking a medication for so long.
Results: 😬 Took it for the first time on Friday and I had one scoop and felt fine. Yesterday (Saturday) I took two scoops mixed in with water, (along with the MedCaps DPO).

3rd Prescription: MedCaps DPO capsules. This is also for the kidney cleanse. I took this for the first time yesterday along with the two scoops of OptiCleanse. I kind of felt like I was on speed and saw on my watch that my resting heart rate was just above 100bpm. Which is high. Just saw that this has some green tea extract as there is caffeine in this maybe the accelerated heart rate side effect was due to taking this at the same time as taking the OptiCleanse since they both have green tea extract in them?

Overall results: Migraines are GONE👏. I have more energy, which is amazing. But I have anxiety about the multitude of unregulated but natural ingredients in the OptiCleanse and the weird heart rate side effect I had. I saw it has green tea extract in it which has caffeine in it. But it has a small amount in there and if I have just one scoop today, maybe that will be better since one scoop seemed to be fine on Friday.

I'm trusting my doctor with these supplements. But I have learned over the years that it is important to listen to your body and to adjust dosage to what feels right. If you are making your own adjustments, it is important to stay in close communication with your doctors office (nurses etc).
I will do and updated post each week and we will see how this all works.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Four Favorite Wedding Gifts (Wedding Gift Ideas)

There are some wedding presents that you'll always remember.

My family and I recently moved to a new house and as we were transporting things I got to look at basically everything we owned. What caught my eye the most were our wedding presents from a few years ago. Here are 4 things that we used and enjoyed very much over the years! I hope this helps our readers with registry or wedding gift-giving ideas.

Tennis Raquet - (Thank you Sarah) Yes, I know it is a bit weird and Jeff and I didn't even really play tennis before our wedding. But after our wedding we had a great time going to local courts because we suddenly had nice rackets and tennis balls. This is a super fun present and it is guaranteed to bring some memorable moments into the life of a newly married couple

Crystal Vase - (Thank you Grant and Jan) Ours actually broke when my son was carrying it (not sure why he was doing that), and yes, he dropped it. But we had it for many years and I used it to put flowers in from Trader Joes. Whenever we had a holiday I would put cute dried flowers from Pier1 or acorns...or holly in there because it was so pretty that it made everything look great. It is nice to have one SUPER pretty vase.

Camping Stove - (Thank you Chris and Meredith) This has come in handy so many times. Yes, we took it camping. But we have also used it multiple times when our power has gone out due to hurricanes and also from summer thunder storms. Even when the power goes out for a few hours, you still have to make dinner and so this has been a great gift and so useful over the years.

 Camping Stove

Super Nice Clock - (Thank you Sherri and Garry) Our golden clock is something we never would have bought for ourselves. I was a bit surprised when we opened it because it was obviously very expensive and not something that I had put on my registry. But it is still sitting on our mantel today and I love it more than ever. It also reminds me of my parent's friends who gave it to us.

I can't finish this post without also adding that we got some cherished gifts that were hand made, such as custom photo albums with pictures in there that our friends had taken. We received artistic ways to preserve our invitation and a friend played the guitar for us as we walked down the aisle. We received paintings from talented friends and even pottery (we still have one mug left). Money helped us with our honeymoon and we appreciated our loved ones generosity and felt very blessed. My heart is so full when I write of it now.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Beautiful Things

Recently I have been looking for beauty. Here are a few things I have found. I like having small things around me that strike me as stunning.

 Boho Modern Table Runner

I can imagine walking past my dining room table and my heart gushing over the simple intricacies, calm colors and eclectic textures of this table runner.

Beautiful Flour Jar

Imagine going to the cupboard to get some boring flour for a recipe and putting your hands on this beautiful jar, running fingers over the top and examining the pattern.

 Beautiful Tea/Coffee Mug

There is nothing better than having a cup of tea or coffee in a well made mug that is exactly the right size, shape, and feels good on the hands and especially the lips.

 Fuzzy Wall Art

This shouldn't be hung in a prominent place. This is more like, something to be discovered around the corner, to make the discoverer stand there for a second in surprise...for the first time or for the 100th.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Grocery Shopping for Keto in Gainesville

Note: Im going to be updating this post over time with photos, corrections and information as I think of things! Please comment if you have something to add!!

D'Lites Emporium
Millhopper Plaza
4216 NW 16th Boulevard
Gainesville, FL 32601

What you can get only there:

  • Potato Chips!!! Only 4 carbs a small bag and they taste yummy even though they are not made of potatoes!!
  • Blueberry syrup for pancakes (sweetened with Sucralose so only have a little bit).
  • Ice cream - the chocolate flavor is VERY low (real) sugar and low carbs.
  • Granola cereal - My 10-year-old likes the vanilla flavored kind. Use almond milk with it and put a little bit of heavy cream in to make it taste more like cows milk.
  • Hamburger buns (not gluten free)
  • Bread (not gluten free but only 4 carbs per slice).

Lucky's Market
1459 NW 23 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605
Hours: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM

What you can get only there

  • Pizza crust - Very low carb, soft, and can also be used as a yummy soft taco wrap. Find this next to the frozen food section all the way to the left of the store in the fridge case in the back. 
  • Tiny pizza crusts for sandwiches (tase a bit too strong but OK).
  • Frozen muffins (next to frozen GF bread). Taste better than the tiny pizza crusts. 
  • Veganaise (no soy)
What else you can get there that is keto
  • Frozen cauliflower rice in a bag
  • Frozen organic broccoli
  • Frozen organic blueberries for smoothies (best price).
  • Organic cream cheese (best price). Use this in rolled up organic and humanely raised turkey and chicken slices.
  • Canned organic pizza sauce (lower carbs than regular pasta sauce in a jar)
  • eggs
  • Fresh salmon
  • Fresh organic broccoli not packaged with plastic.
  • Fresh organic and local spinach not packaged with plastic.
  • Canned coconut milk and canned coconut cream
  • Almond flour (but expensive here...more expensive than Publix and Trader Joes).
  • Keto chocolate chip pancake mix (OUR  FAVORITE...and a little cheaper on Amazon so I added the link


What you can get only there

  • Canned heart of palm (sustainable) to replace pasta in the most delicious way (in the pasta aisle)
  • Swerve sweetener (The best tasting sweetener out there and second in line health-wise to stevia. But I don't really like the taste of stevia).
What else you can get there that is keto
  • Fresh organic broccoli (best price but packaged with plastic)
  • Fresh organic spinach (best priced but in plastic). 
  • Fresh organic lettuce
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Fresh blackberries
  • Frozen organic broccoli
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Almond flour (the Greenwise brand is a good price)
  • Fresh salmon (ask Publix seafood staff to steam if for you using Old Bay yummy!)
  • Slimfast keto fat bomb peanut butter cups, sweetened with Stevia. Found in a box by the special diet drinks and Slim Fast stuff. Expensive but pretty nice to have. They taste best cold. 
  • Organic sliced cheese
  • Fresh grass fed beef (best track record for freshness)
  • Fresh organic chicken (best track record for freshness)
  • Bubble caned, fizzy flavored water. We love the orange flavor!
  • LaCroix canned, fizzy flavored water

3724 SW Archer Rd 
Gainesville, FL 32608
Hours: 8AM - 9PM (Mon-Sun)

What you can get only there
  • Grass fed pre-made frozen burgers (4 to a box)
What else you can get there that is keto
  • Canned organic coconut milk and canned coconut cream (BEST price)
  • Fresh spinach in a plastic bag (use right away because it doesn't last)
  • Organic lettuce in a bag
  • Frozen organic fruit for smoothies (mix the smoothies with the coconut milk or cream)
  • Organic fresh chicken, best price
  • Fresh Grass fed beef
  • Frozen wild salmon
  • Organic tomatoes (best price)
Choc Zero (very yummy)
Canned wild salmon I have subscribed to a monthly delivery of this from Amazon for over 5 years. I make "tuna fish" out of it. See this post for the exact recipe. I choose this because it is wild alaskan salmon and the can is BPA free. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Keto Buns

I have been doing the Ketogenic Diet, along with my oldest daughter who is on the autism spectrum and it is working for brain fog...big time. It is more accurately, the Modified Atkins Diet, but people understand what we are trying to do more if we call it Keto.

We started out trying out the diet with the whole family but it didn't seem to work properly for anyone except DD and me.

But now are are in a groove and sticking to the diet has become easier and easier. The hardest part about this diet is that I am a bread person. I like good, yummy bread. Luckily, there is a kind of bread used with this diet known as "fathead" bread (or bagels), because they are introduced through a movie (that I haven' seen yet) about carbs and fat called, Fathead.

Anyhoo, I just call the these cute little guys, Keto Buns. The recipe is very simply,


preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 1 3/4 cups of almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • salt

  1. First  you melt the cream cheese and mozzarella together in a big glass bowl in the microwave for 120 seconds. Stir and then microwave for another minute.
  2. Then stir in the almond flour, salt and two eggs.
  3. After it cools down enough to be able to kneed the "dough", mix it all up with your hands, then pull it in to about 8 or 9 balls and place them on parchment paper in the oven. Bake for 16 minutes.

To make the "brown bread" rolls, I added 1/4 cup of pureed fresh spinach, then let them cook for 26 minutes so that the outside was completely brown and not green. They are a little more substantial and feel very much like bread. The inside is delightfully green but not noticeable with lettuce and mayo added. 

My favorite way to eat these are with mayo, tomato, lettuce and sometimes sliced avocado. Yum!

I made about 20 of them today so that I could freeze them for the week.

When I cheat with the diet I feel awful. I get a headache and a stomach ache. But what motivates me to stick to this, is that I like how I feel and I don't want to give it up. I feel clear-headed and it is amazing. I have noticed that my daughter has much less brain fog too, and she is doing very well in her homeschool classes and is able to help around the house much more. So for us two this diet is working really well, making the effort worth it. I have to be careful that she doesn't loose weight on this and have succeeded. But the weight loss aspect of it has been an added bonus for me. The diet is hard because it is very restrictive with the foods you can eat and the foods you can't eat. It is very weird to avoid carrots and apples (because they are high in carbs). But I am getting used to it now, and after making the Keto Buns about 20 times now, I think I have it perfected and they are quite simply yummy.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Why My Family Tried the Ketogenic Diet

It was 3 years ago when my son was 10, that I learned about the ketogenic diet. He had a seizure when he was sick with the flu. We took him to se a neurologist at UF who said that his EEG looked great and he was healthy, so goodbye.

I knew (and I was right), that something was going on with my brilliant child's brain. It was a type of autoimmune encephalitis and PANS, but I didn't know that yet.  I looked up natural ways to help with seizures. That is when I came across the ketogenic diet and learned that it has just as much affect on stopping seizures as medication does. This fact is proven by scientific studies. The diet was invented after doctors knew that fasting helps seizures. So they created a diet that mimics starvation, without actually robbing the body of healthy foods. It seemed legit. I also read that the keto diet was used as a LAST resort for kids with seizures, meaning that neurologists recommend to give meds to children before trying the keto diet which is basically taking away sugar and carbs. I thought as I read this, that perhaps keto should be the first try, then meds be the second in line of treatment options.

Thankfully my son didn't have anymore seizures so I forgot about the diet for a while. Then I rediscovered it recently when my father-in-law mentioned to us in an email saying that keto is supposed to help with Alzheimer's disease. This made me interested in it again and I looked up more information about it.

So basically the Ketogenic Diet is all about eliminating sugar and also taking away carbs, which turn into sugar. When the body has just absolutely no sugar left in it to burn for energy, it then switches over and begins to burn fat for energy. When this happens the whole body changes how it works. It tells itself that it is starving and creates metachlorines ketones, that are organic compounds in the body that bring down inflammation in the body and in the brain. I looked up ketones on Wikkepedia and didn't understand the complicated medical description. But after searching many different sources googling...what is a ketone? I am left with what I just wrote,..."simple, organic, water-soluble compounds, or, by-products of burning fat rather than sugar".

So I thought to myself, that if ketones bring down inflammation and fuel cells for more brain energy, then why can't that help my kids who have autoimmune issues? We can see with our eyes that the the diet helps seizures, because the seizures stop.  But there haven't been studies on this diet for autoimmune disorders so we don't know if it helps or not. But logically it should if ketones bring down inflammation. And it won't harm if done properly. So I did some MORE research, such as watching an hour-long presentation by Dr. Eric Kossoff, about the Johns Hopkins approach to the diet. Here is the link: The Promise and Challenge of Dietary Therapy for Epilepsy"

He mentions in this video how the keto diet is also used for autism and autoimmune diseases, so I decided to go ahead and try it with myself and my family.

Let me tell you, cutting out sugar is like the meanest and most horrible thing you can do to your child, EVER. BUT, there are sugar substitutes that aren't horrible. The most natural alternative sweetener is Stevia. But Swerve, tastes much better and is thought to be OK and much better than aspartame. My mom has made the most amazing blueberry pies with Swerve AND amazing brownies. So the kids have learned that the world doesn't actually end by cutting out sugar.

We have been doing the diet for a month now. The first week or two was a mish-mosh of still having some carbs and still eating bananas and apples and carrots. It is quite the learning curve and it is shocking to learn you shouldn't eat carrots. I mean...carrots. The healthiest and easiest of snack foods are suddenly gone. So is BREAD. So I started to think about it and this is what I came up with for snacks and lunches :

Turkey slices with cream cheese rolled up in them
Fathead bagels (I used this for bread and sandwiches)
Cereal made of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and shredded coconut...all mixed with butter and toasted for 20 minutes (thank goodness for bulk bins at Wards).
Make-ahead meatballs
Boiled eggs
Banana (flavored) nut muffins

Dinners are easy because it is just meat and veggies. It is a bit daunting to not be able to have rice or pasta. But we are getting used to it now. Also, we have discovered "ramen" and make bowls of chicken broth with, spinach, chicken, mushrooms, and with kelp noodles from the Asian section at Lucky's. The kids love it. We even put a soft boiled egg soaked in coconut aminos (just like soy sauce) in the ramen. It is so yummy.

Pizza is still an option thank goodness Trader Joes has a frozen pizza with cauliflower crust. It still has carbs but not enough to kick one out of ketosis, so that is a good frozen pizza option. Also, Lucky's has very low carb cauliflower frozen pizza crusts that are just perfect and we also use them for soft taco wraps.

So we will see how this diet goes. We have the blessing from our amazing pediatrician to move forward with it. So we will continue on this journey and hope that it helps!

GFCF Quiche with Oat Milk and Almond Cheese

I promise this is delicious, even with no cheese or heavy cream. I created it today and my son ate so much for dinner that there wasn...