Okay so...second blog post. I started this blog with my token rant which may have added further clarity to why exactly I am unapologetic. So here's another confession. On January 1st, 2016 I weighed almost 240 lbs. Go ahead...take a moment to take that in, oh and I'm only 5'7". Yeah...So for this particular post I have decided to share a little bit of my story and one of my new favorite recipes, so let's begin.
In December I happened to have Dr. Phil on (sans bonbon) and he was talking about the 20/20 diet that he, along with a slew of other people, developed. It was also on this day that as I bent to retrieve something off of the floor I realized that I actually had to move my legs apart in order to make room for my stomach to get whatever thing off of the floor. From the couch. I will say it again; reaching the floor from the couch took a concerted effort. You ever have one of those, "How did I get here moments?" Yeah well, that was mine. That evening when my husband, who weighed almost 300 lbs, came home I told him that we were doing the 20/20 diet and since I cooked and he didn't, he didn't get a choice. So for your edification I now present to you my before.
So yes. That was me 9 months ago. A lifetime of emotional eating, generalized anxiety disorder, and basic lack of physical activity put me here. I almost couldn't help it. I love food. It was so comforting and celebratory. No matter what else happened good food would never disappoint or let you down, but enough was enough. I bought the book, read it, and we started the year off right. 2016 was the year that I would become my best self. "Today I am better than I was yesterday" became my motto, and it worked! The pounds melted off of both of me and my husband. I found my voice. I found myself, and everyday I became better than I was yesterday. I don't think of it as a diet because that sounds temporary...and has the word die in it. I am fueling my body with good nutrition which in turn makes me feel good. Exercise became a reward for my body instead of punishment or a chore. Yoga worked out all of the kinks and meditation gave me new coping tools. After all of these months I have hit my goal size. (Notice that I said size, and not weight, but I'll talk about that in future posts.) The key thing that I learned in this process was that this isn't about a number on the scale. It is about being healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Making this kind of change has to start in your soul because you almost have to change your world view, and learn how to be your best self. If you make it all about the physical, it won't be successful. You have to find the intrinsic value to being healthy, and here's the rub, you have to be selfish in prioritizing your health. However, in terms of the physical, food is a huge component. What and how much you eat is paramount. You can't out exercise a poor diet, and you can't indulge in the fatty, luxurious, sugar/salt laden foods every day. My husband and I quit the 20/20 diet months ago because I love food, I love to cook, and I wanted more freedom. I began to develop my own recipes to satisfy cravings for fun foods. I can honestly say that I do not feel deprived of the joy that can be food, and that the strategies that I developed for myself really do work, and are worth the time and effort. Throughout future posts I will share my strategies, but for now every before needs an after, so here is mine.
So as reward for sticking with me for two blog posts, and because I love fall, here is my recipe for a family-style pumpkin pancake complete with photos. Photos are after the recipe.
This particular recipe is a recent development on my part. I do love an indulgent and sweet breakfast over a savory breakfast. Sunday morning is our fun food day where we don't worry about what goes into what we're eating, but following the 80/20 rule I wanted something that felt indulgent, but was actually quite light and nutritious. What I also love about this breakfast is the family style method of serving. I'm not a huge fan of making a bunch of small pancakes that take longer to cook in batches than it does to make the batter and eat the food. This recipe is extremely kid friendly. My picky 3 year old daughter actually does almost all of the whisking, and eats these up.
Family Style Pumpkin Pancake.
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of skim or buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree ( I use canned)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
pumpkin pie spice-to taste
2 tsp coconut oil
1. In a 10 inch skillet that has a lid heat the coconut oil on medium heat.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk, pumpkin, vanilla, and pie spice. I use about a teaspoon of pie spice.
3. Whisk in the flour and oats, and gently whisk in the baking powder. Let sit for a few minutes. The batter will be thick.
4. Make sure that the coconut oil evenly covers the bottom of the pan, and pour in all of the batter. Gently shake the pan to spread the batter completely across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top of the pancake with pie spice and cover.
5. After about 5 minutes check to see if the pancake is ready to flip by gently shaking the pan. If it moves freely, then you are ready to flip.
6. To flip, gently slide the pancake onto a plate, and place the skillet upside down over the pancake that is now on the plate.
7. Flip everything over so now the uncooked top becomes the bottom in the pan. Sprinkle with pie spice and cover.
8. Cook for another minute or two. Use the shake test to see if it is done. Cut into 6 or 8 triangle pieces like a pizza and serve from the skillet.
I like to top this with a little peanut butter drizzle and a dollop of nonfat, vanilla greek yogurt. To make the drizzle combine peanut butter, skim milk, and honey until you reach desired consistency. I use a fork and drizzle directly in the skillet. A note about peanut butter, I use natural peanut butter because honestly, you only need two ingredients for peanut butter: peanuts and salt.
The pancake itself isn't sweet. If you would like a little sweetness directly in the pancake, then sprinkle a little brown sugar over the top after you pour the batter from the bowl into the pan. When you flip it over the sugar will caramelize slightly to create a sweet bottom.
If you are feeling special and fancy, then slice half of any sweet apple into thin rounds using a mandolin. Cook in the oil, in a single layer sprinkled with pie spice, and let cook while making the batter. Pour the batter over the apples, and when you flip the pancake the apples will be on top.