diet

Whimsical Wednesday: SAPT's Version of Lembas Bread

Admit it, when you either read or saw lembas bread in Lord of the Rings, you really wanted some.

Yes!

There's several recipes out there for it, but I made up a protein and fiber-rich version for the nerdy-lifter that I am. *Disclaimer* I'm still tweaking the amounts, so this may not be perfect but it'll at least be a platform in which to launch your own version of lembas.

I used coconut flour as my base. Say wha? Yep, coconut flour is merely dried coconut meat ground up into a flour-like consistency. What's so good about coconut flour? I'm so glad you asked!

Tell me about coconut flour.

Benefits of coconut flour:

1. Very high in fiber, about 9 grams for 2 tablespoons, which is fantastic for, well, the whole poop thing. Compare that to the fiber content of wheat flour, which is a dismal 1-2 grams... ick. Perfect for keeping you regular while traipsing through Middle Earth.

2. It's gluten free which is helpful for those who have a gluten intolerance or allergy and still want to eat lembas. Or, even if you don't it's nice to give your system a break from the gluten of bread and other gluten filled treats. (it's everywhere...).

3. Contains the healthy fats of the glorious coconut. However, I'm not sure how much of it is actually retained in the flour version since it goes through a defatting process. Some of that fat is better than none though. This helps fuel those long treks across Mordor. How else do you think Sam and Frodo made it? Not on fat-free Snackwell's cookies!

4. Does not have the power to raise glucose levels like other flours (wheat, oat, etc) so those watching their blood sugar... rejoice! Steady blood sugar bodes well for sustained battles with orcs.

Now, onto the recipe. Sorry I don't have pictures. I didn't think to take any during the process.

- 1-1 1/2 cups coconut flour (depending on how big of a batch you want to make)

- 1-2 scoops protein powder-o-choice

- 1 somewhat-heaped tablespoon of coconut oil, melted

- Roughly 1 cup of almond milk (or regular milk). The amount will vary depending on the consistency of the batter you desire.

- 1 egg or 1 heaping tablespoon of nut butter. Coconut flour can be very dry, so the addition of either one will help cut that down a bit. Just know that the peanut butter will take away from the lembas-y taste. I don't think lembas had peanut butter in it.

- 1-2 tablespoons of agave or honey

- 1 teaspoon of vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 275 and grease a cookie sheet.

2. Combine the dry ingredients, flour and protein powder, and break up any lumps with a spoon.

3. Add the coconut oil, egg (or PB), vanilla, and agave/honey and combine well.

4. Slowly add the milk until the consistency no longer resembles wet sand. It should be more clay-like or maybe slightly watery clay.

5. Spread evenly in pan and bake from 15-25 minutes or until lightly brown on top.

6. Allow it to cool before either gobbling it up or wrapping it in nice big leaves.

There we have it. A LOTR-inspired protein bar for the athlete or hobbit on the go!

Eating During the Holidays: Strategize!

hobbit
hobbit

First off, I saw the Hobbit... Most excellent! The reviewers out there who are saying it's not so great (Rotten Tomatoes) Poop on you. I loved it! Any Tolkein fan will love it, go see it!

Onto the topic for today: eating during the holidays. About this time, there are all kinds of "diet" advice, how to manage the holiday weight gain. Magazine covers are inundated with promises of "melting away" pounds and "avoiding the holiday bulge," with articles listing revamped recipes and (in some cases) "quick" workouts to justify the holiday treats.

I'm all for finding alternative, healthier versions of favorite food and I think it's great if a meal can be concocted that is healthy AND tasty! But, majority of holiday meals will NOT be the "healthy" version (or the "Kelsey" version as my family calls it.) So what is one to do to avoid the pounds that tend to accumulate during the holiday season (thus inspiring many New Year's resolution and influx of gym use.)?

How about this: just don't eat as much; obvious statement, I know. I understand that there is a plethora of delicious food, but hey, if you don't want to gain the extra weight, don't eat too much. Or, strategically eat. Meaning, if you know you're going to have cookies/pie/cake or whatever after dinner, don't eat the extra rolls at dinner. Or, if you want to sample all the food, great! Just have a little bit of each instead of a lotta bit.

I know this sounds harsh, or at best, callus, but a little extra will-power now will save a lot of extra work come January. And, saying "no" to the extra helping is not hard. I used to struggle with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder; I know too well the extreme ends of "will-power" (iron-will and no inhibitions). There's no secret recipe or workout that will magically keep you from gaining extra weight throughout the festivities. Trust me, managing caloric intake around the holidays is NOT complicated and with a little work, can be worth the effort.

I should note, that regular exercise, not just frantic after-the-fact workouts in January, is also an excellent tool in the toolbox of good health. Keeping up with your training through the holidays (or at least some semblance of it) will certainly be beneficial.

Anyway, I know this was short and not particularly informative, but more like food for thought (pun intended). Just be smart with your food choices and you won't have to worry about having to "work" it off later.

Reducing Dietary Salt

I've never been one to worry much about my salt intake, but for this pregnancy I made the decision to really crack down on the added sodium in my diet. Why? Well, two reasons:

1. When pregnant with my daughter, I found that often my blood pressure was very low (this is usual for me). But, about 35% of the time it would inexplicably sky-rocket to a borderline high area. I don't know whether it was stress, anxiety, diet, or weight gain that caused this problem.

2. I also had a tough time with swollen feet/ankles by the last trimester of pregnancy 1, so I'll pretty much do anything to avoid that again.

Something to check out and consider: This morning Fooducate posted a blog called 9 Ways to Reduce Your Salt Intake.

I'm only just now reaching my third trimester of this pregnancy, so I don't know if my approach will be effective for the swelling. But, I do know that my blood pressure readings have been quite a bit more consistent and reasonable up to this point.