5 PCOS-friendly Burgers to Grill

Summer is here and it’s time to fire up your grill! Here are five PCOS-friendly burgers to enjoy! Remember, gluten-free is the best option. Put your burger on a full bed of lettuce and enjoy with a fork or spoon. If you need to have something for a bun experience, check out the sprouted grain version of the Ezekiel Bread Hamburger Buns!

Healthy Salmon-Quinoa Burgers

Salmon Quinoa Kale Burgers

by Skinny Taste | click to view recipe

 

Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders

Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders

by Emilie Eats |  click to view recipe

 

Prosciutto Olive and Sundried Tomato Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burger

by The Healthy GF Life | click to view recipe

 

Chicken Caprese Burger
chicken_caprese_burger

by Chef Robert Irvine | click to view recipe

 

Mediterranean Chickpea Burger

Mediterranean-Burgers

by Roboot with Joe | click to view recipe

 

Use Ezekiel Bread as a Sprouted Grain Burger Bun or a large Portobello Mushroom

ezekielbreadbuns

click to view more details

 

Dinner: Lemon-Basil Salmon + Quinoa + Green Beans


Dinner: Wild Caught Pacific Salmon! We seasoned ours with a little bit of garlic rub, chopped up fresh basil and German basil from the garden, then lemon slices and lemon juice squeezed on top. Takes only 15-20 min to bake depending on size. Yum!

PCOSbites Salmon seasoned with basil and lemon
Sides: Cooked green beans and Quinoa seasoned with garlic salt, onion salt, parsley bits, and soy sauce.

PCOSbitesSalmon seasoned with lemon and basil

Season your salmon (we buy ours frozen so we defrost in hot water for about ten minutes before we apply a basic garlic rub.) Dice up fresh basil (we also had German basil in the garden) to release the oils and flavors of the herbs while the salmon cooks. Slice lemons and place on top. Take the ends of your lemon and squeeze lemon juice onto seasoned meat. Put your salmon on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven at 425* for 20 min.

Basil

Above: Basil / Below: German Basil  – the smells of cooking with your own fresh herbs is heavenly and heightens the flavors in your dish.

Tip: About once a week I trim the heads on my basil leaves down to just above the last two leaves on each stem and the plant grows even fuller. I put my cut leaves from my weekly pruning in an ice bath to clean and then pat dry with a paper towel.

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Once your salmon is in the oven, grab a saucepan and put 2 cups of quinoa in it and add four cups of water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to medium heat. set timer for 15-minutes. Do not lift the lid off of it for the next 15 min!

While the quinoa is cooking, chop up your fresh green beans (you can save time by buying frozen green beans, too). Heat up a sauce pan with water and toss green beans in for about 10-15 min. Our green beans and salmon finished at about the same time.

When timer goes off for the quinoa, take a fork and make a hole in the center of your quinoa and see if there is any water at the bottom. If there’s no more water, kill the heat and season as desired. I added some chopped bits of parsley to mine from the garden as well as onion powder, garlic powder and some finely ground pink Himalayan salt.

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Check the widest part of your salmon for doneness. The smaller more narrow end may cook faster so feel free to cut off that portion and return the rest to the oven for an additional five minutes if needed.

Serve all food nice and hot and pile on the greens. Your salmon portion size should be between 4-6 oz. – visually about the size of your cell phone. Your quinoa should be about 1/2 cup – visually about the size of a computer mouse.

Enjoy this healthy dinner and knowing that you are feeding your body healthy omega-3 fatty acids and gluten-free healthy eats. If you can eat salmon once a week, that is ideal to help your body fight inflammation.

#salmon #omega3 #onebiteatatime #pcos #pcosdiet #pcosfood #pcosdiva #pcostips #pcosweightloss #pcosfighter #pcoscysters #pcosfriendly #pcosbites #thm #trimhealthymama #ww #weightwatchers #eatclean #paleo #paleodiet #paleofood #eatgood #glutenfree

Breakfast or Snack: 2 Carrot Muffin Recipes Face-off

imageWhen I saw that I could get a big ‘ol bag of carrots at Sams for around $3, my mind instantly began turning thinking up ways to make my crew (and me) something tasty in the baking department. Introducing gluten-free carrot cake muffins.

I quickly learned that there are a lot of recipes out there.  So, I decided to test two options that I found online and ended up adapting both after trying them out on my crew.  Turns out that half of my crew liked version one and the other half liked my second version. Win-win!

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So, I thought I’d include both options here on the blog, so that you could try either or both options based on whatever was in your pantry for supplies. I also wanted to taste-test the difference between a muffin made with almond flour and compare it against a muffin made with gluten-free oat flour.

I preferred the second recipe, as did my hubby, my 3 year old daughter, my six year old son, and one of my 15 year olds. My other 15 year old son (I have identical twin sons) liked the first recipe as did my 11 year old son. Had we not done a side by side comparison, I think either would have been quickly devoured.

You can store in a ziplock freezer bag and toss into the freezer as a grab-n-go breakfast or snack option.

Make both and tell us which one you like best in the comments below!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins - Option 1

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
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PCOSbites Carrot Muffin Gluten-Free with almond flour

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 ¼ cups of blanched Almond Flour
• 2 TBSP Coconut Flour
• ½ tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
• ¼ tsp Iodized Salt
• 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon, Ground
• ½ tsp Ginger, Ground
• ¼ tsp Allspice Organic Powder
• 2 large eggs, room temp and beaten
• 1/3 cup Pure Canola Oil
• 1/3 cup Honey
• 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, Certified Organic
• 1 very ripe banana (if you want your muffin to be more moist)
• ½ cup finely grated carrots
• 1/3 cup of finely grated Pecan Chips
• ½ cup of Organic Sun Dried Raisins

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix first seven ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Combine egg, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix. Add to dry ingredients.
  3. Add honey, carrots, raisins, and nuts to bowl and mix with a hand mixer until incorporated.
  4. Scoop into a greased muffin tin or into paper cupcake liners. Fill batter to the top of each liner.
  5. Bake at 350° degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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This recipe is Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Corn-free, and Refined Sugar-Free

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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins - Option 2

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbites Gluten Free Carrot Muffin using oat flour

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 ½ cups of Organic Oat Flour, 24 oz.
• 1 tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
• 1 tsp Baking Soda
• 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon, Ground
• ½ tsp Allspice Organic Powder
• ½ tsp Ginger, Ground
• 1 very ripe banana
• ¾ cup Honey
• 1 egg, brought to room temp and beaten
• 3 TBSP of Pure Canola Oil
• 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, Certified Organic
• 1 ½ cups of finely grated carrots
• ½ cup of Organic Sun Dried Raisins
• ½ cup of Pecan Chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix first seven ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Combine egg, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix. Add to dry ingredients.
  3. Add banana, carrots, raisins, and nuts to bowl and mix with a hand mixer until incorporated.
  4. Scoop into a greased muffin tin or into paper cupcake liners. Fill batter to the top of each liner.
  5. Bake at 350° degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note: Most people can tolerate oat flour if they have a gluten sensitivity. If you have celiac disease, be sure you get a gluten-free oat flour as it will not have been milled at a facility where wheat, barley, and rye are processed.

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This recipe is Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Corn-free, and Refined Sugar-Free

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EAT THIS INSTEAD OF THIS: Quinoa vs. White Rice

It’s time for our next “Eat THIS instead of THIS”!

Check out the following infographic on why you should be swapping out that white rice for quinoa! And that includes reading those supposedly “gluten-free” ingredients on boxes… Remember, every day you can change your life one bite at a time!

THISinsteadofTHIS-full-quinoa-vs-whiterice

BREAKFAST: Gluten-free Waffles

Gluten-free Waffles

My guys love waffles. I enjoy them too, but I don’t like making them for a large crew, because they are painfully slow to crank out. I stand there for about 40 minutes slowly feeding child after child. Pancakes are more my speed for feeding a hungry crew fast. So waffles are an exercise in patience for me.

But, today, for some strange reason, they just sounded better than pancakes. I was determined to feed my hungry crew some gluten-free waffles. I adapted a recipe I found online by Gina Matsoukas.  First off, when I followed the recipe I had found (I was doubling it), it would stick to my waffle iron, even though it seemed fully cooked through. My solution was to add some tapioca flour and that seemed to help it release. I also felt like it needed something more and added some raisens for a little bit of sweetness in every bite. You could also use carob chips or blueberries to mix in — whatever you fancy!

Gluten free waffles

Kids had one each and there was enough to feed all seven of us a 6″-7″ size waffle. I served peaches with it and my littlest gobbled hers up and the crumbs her big brother (age 6) had left. Definitely a kid-friendly recipe.  As a Mama with PCOS, I would go lightly with the toppings as maple syrup can create an insulin response.

Tip: If you don’t have as large of a family to feed, make the whole batch and throw the extras in the freezer for a quick breakfast on another day!

Gluten-free Waffles

  • Servings: 7-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbitesimage
INGREDIENTS:
• 2 cups almond flour
• 4 TBSP coconut flour
• 1 1/2 tsp of finely ground pink Himalayan sea salt
• 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
• 4 small to medium sweet potatoes, cooked, skin removed
• 4 eggs
• 3 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 TBSP pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp of canola oil or avocado oil
• 2/3 cup of almond milk
• 1 tsp of tapioca flour
• 3/4 cups of raisins (other mix-in ideas: blueberries, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or carob chips)

OTHER THINGS YOU MIGHT NEED:
• Waffle Iron
• A non-stick spray
• Spoon (to scoop out sweet potato from skins)
• Mixing bowls (one for dry and one for wet ingredients)
• Whisk (for wet ingredients)
• Spatula (to scrap the bowl and scoop onto the waffle iron gluten-free waffle batter)
• Cookie sheet (for cooking your sweet potatoes on)
• Parchment paper (for cooking your sweet potatoes on)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Place 4 small to medium sized sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Poke the sweet potatoes with a knife towards the center about 5-7 times in various spots throughout each sweet potato. Bake for about 40 min or until soft in the center. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Take a spoon and scoop out all cooked sweet potato and place into your blender. Once you’ve emptied all the sweet potatoes from their outer skin, blend until a smooth puree. Set aside.
3. When sweet potatoes are finished cooking, plug in your waffle iron to preheat while you mix the ingredients.
4. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Whisk together all the other (wet) ingredients in a medium bowl.
6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold in your pureed sweet potatoes into your bowl of mixed ingredients. Combine until fully incorporated.
7. Open up your waffle iron and spray upper and lower sections with a non-stick spray. Add a small scoop of gluten-free waffle batter to the center and spread. It should only cover about 1/2 of the bottom. When you press down, it will expand to make a larger waffle.
8. Set your timer for about 7 minutes.
9. When timer goes off, take a fork and gently pry around edges all the way around until it lifts out of the waffle mold.
10. Top with your choice of fruit and/or maple syrup. Enjoy!

 

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and lactose-free.

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Breakfast: Sweet Potato Hashbrowns & Egg

This morning, I tried a recipe that I’d seen floating around Facebook. I had never tried making sweet potato hash browns and I loved the idea of doing a whole pan full to feed my crew of 5 + my hubby. It took about 10 minutes to prep the sweet potato hash browns.

I used to eat white and red potatoes and loved the hash browns from Waffle House. But, here’s the deal — sweet potatoes are such a better choice if you’re going to eat a potato. Here’s a quick infographic comparing the two. Which is better to put in your body? (Hint: Check out those Vitamin A numbers!) I disagree with one thing on their infographic — where they say not to forget about white potatoes (towards the bottom)… if you have PCOS, forget the white potatoes. They will make your pancreas work harder to produce more insulin which then if unused turns to fat. Steer clear of those white and red potatoes.

sweet potato vs white potato

Vitamin A is GREAT for kids especially, because they are GROWING! It is an essential vitamin needed for growth and development, cell recognition, vision, immune function and reproduction.

The recommended intake of vitamin A varies according to age and sex. Because vitamin A is available in several forms, the vitamin A content in foods is often measured as retinol activity equivalents (RAEs). One RAE is equal to 1 microgram of retinol, 12 micrograms of beta-carotene or 3.33 IU of vitamin A. The recommended intake of RAEs for people of different ages according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH) are as follows:

  • 0-6 months*: 400 mcg/day
  • 7-12 months*: 500 mcg/day
  • 1-3 years: 300 mcg/day
  • 4-8 years: 400 mcg/day
  • 9-13 years: 600 mcg/day
  • 14+ years (male): 900 mcg/day
  • 14+ years (female): 700 mcg/day
  • 14-18 years (pregnancy): 750 mcg/day
  • 14-18 years (lactation): 1,200 mcg/day
  • 19-50 years (pregnancy): 770 mcg/day
  • 19-50 years (lactation): 1,300 mcg/day.

* Adequate Intake (AI), equivalent to the mean intake of vitamin A in healthy, breastfed infants.

My kids (ages 3, 6, 11, and two 15-year-olds) all ate this for breakfast — even my picky six year old son! I like how this sort of portion-controls the sweet potato for the insulin response. I encourage you to give it a try and see what YOU think! Once you make it, be sure to leave your review in the comments below! 🙂

Sweet Potato and Egg Cups

Sweet Potato Cup and Egg

Sweet Potato and Egg Cups

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbitesSweet Potato and Egg Cups

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 medium sweet potato, shredded
• 2 TBSP Coconut Oil or Canola Oil or melted Ghee
• 12 large eggs
• Kelp Seasoning
• Fresh Parsley
• Pink Himalayan Salt
• Pepper

NON-FOOD ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:
• Cupcake Tin
• Grater
• Bowl
• Peeler
• Pair of kitchen shears (to cut up your parsley)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Grease a muffin pan with a TBSP of oil of choice or ghee.
3. Peel your sweet potato and then grate the sweet potato into a bowl, so you have a little over one cup.
4. Mix in 1 TBSP of oil of choice, salt, and pepper with the sweet potato and even coat the shredded potato with mixture.
5. Evenly divide the grated sweet potato into each muffin hole (however many you wish to make) and press the grated sweet potato down the bottom and sides so they form cups.

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Tip: If you don’t have a large crew you’re needing to make these for, just fill in the number of cups you need and put the remainder in a Ziplock bag and place in the fridge to use in another dish or the next day.

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6. Bake sweet potato cups for 15 minutes.
7. When the sweet potato cups are done baking, crack an egg into each cup carefully without breaking the yolk.

Egg in partially baked sweet potato cup

egg in sweet potato cups

8. Return the pan to the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until the egg whites are set.

Hint: You want it to be a little glossy on top when it comes out as it will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat.

9. Let it cool for 10 minutes before taking them out of the tin.
10. Top with some freshly chopped parsley (simple fold the parsley together and cut with your kitchen shears), sprinkle on some kelp seasoning for iodine benefits, and ground Pink Himalayan Salt and ground Pepper.

Tip: Add some sort of protein to this as well on the side, like a chicken or turkey sausage.

 

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and lactose-free.

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Source: Medical News Today and Cleveland Health Clinic.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Lemon Water

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Get in the habit of buying a big ol’ bag of lemons from the grocery store. I get mine from Sams or Costco. Lemon offers a lot of nutritional bang for the buck.

Here’s a short list of what lemon will do for you…

  1. IT FIGHTS CANCER. Lemons are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C and fights the formation of free radials known to cause cancer.
  2.  HAPPY SKIN. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen. Collagen is the support system for your skin. Adding lemon to what you eat/drink each day will help fight wrinkles, reduce acne flares, and improve overall skin texture.
  3. INCREASES IRON ABSORPTION. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in developed countries and the leading cause of anemia. Choosing foods that are high in Vitamin C with foods that are iron-rich will help your body’s ability to absorb iron. So if you’re drinking lemon water, whatever else you eat with iron (like spinach or chickpeas) will nourish your body.
  4. BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. Vitamin C will help your immune system fight germs that cause a cold or flu. Making this a daily habit — especially during the winter months — will give you the healthy edge against infections.
  5. HELPS YOUR DIGESTION.
  6. FLUSHES YOUR LIVER OF TOXINS. A happy liver means a happy lymph system. The liver is very active while you sleep as it is the body’s time to restore and regenerate. So, drinking enough water, especially first thing in the morning, will help stimulate proper stomach acid and bile production.
  7. INCREASES YOUR METOBOLISM. If you have PCOS, I don’t need to tell you how difficult it can be to move weight off your body. Researchers in Germany found that drinking enough water increased metabolism. “After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water, the subjects’ metabolic rates — or the rate at which calories are burned — increased by 30% for both men and women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached a maximum after about 30 to 40 minutes. (source)” It provides your body with plenty of hydrating electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  8. HELP REDUCE BOTH JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN. If you’ve got high uric acid, you may have gout symptoms. One way to lower uric acid is to add lemons to your cup or plates.
  9. REDUCE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY SYMPTOMS. It is not uncommon for women with PCOS to fight depression as you battle the symptoms of PCOS. Depression and anxiety are often linked to not having enough potassium in your blood. Lemon water has a high potassium content so you may find your mood is happier as you fuel your body with lemon water.

According to the USDA National nutrient database, one raw lemon, without peel (about 58 grams) provides 17 calories, 0.6 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, 5.4 grams of carbohydrate(including 1.6 grams of fiber and 1.5 grams of sugar, 51% of daily vitamin C needs as well as small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

One fluid ounce of lemon juice provides 7 calories, 0.1 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, 2.1 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.1 grams of fiber and 0.1 grams of sugar) and 23% of daily vitamin C needs.

Be advised, that when I first started adding lemon to my water, I started out slow… it takes awhile to get used to the tart taste. Now, if I drink water without it, I taste all of the metals in the water. (Not kidding!)

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Drink lemon water for a week and then do this one thing… add a 1/2 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar. When I first started this, my nose argued with my taste buds. I didn’t really taste it, but I could smell it. Enter the magnificent 30 oz. Yeti. Filled my Yeti up with ice and put a lid on it with a straw. The straw helped me get it down fast and the lid kept my smeller happy. What I noticed is that after a couple of days, I became more accustomed to the taste.  You can gradually work up to add 1 tsp over a period of time.

If you have done “Trim Healthy Mama” then you’ve heard of Good Girl Moonshine. Same concept, but they don’t explain the medical reason why this is so important for your body. Here’s why Apple Cider Vinegar is so great to add to your water:

Here’s a short list of what organic apple cider vinegar will do for you…

  1. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL. One Japanese study found that a half an ounce of apple cider vinegar a day, lowered cholesterol in those who participated in the panel. A 2006 study also found that the acetic acid in the vinegar lowered bad cholesterol in rats.If you are not familiar with what cholesterol is — it’s a fatty substance that is made in the liver from certain fats in your diet. It acts as a crucial building block and is used to make healthy cell membranes, hormones such as cortisol, oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone, Vitamin D, bile acids and Coenzyme Q10 – a vitamin-like substance essential for processing oxygen and generating energy within cells. If you have too much cholesterol in your body that is unused, it will begin to coat the inside of your arteries — often referred to as plaque. Over time, this is what leads to the hardening of arteries.If your liver has been working overtime on a high fat/highly processed foods/sugary food diets, you will want to have your cholesterol levels checked. In the meantime, add some organic apple cider vinegar to your water and you’ll be fighting that bad cholesterol with every sip. Your liver will thank you.  Your arteries will thank you. Your heart will thank you. Need I go on?
  2. HELPS DIGESTION. Another great reason is it aids the body in digestion and stimulates the cardiovascular circulation while also helping to detoxify the liver. Look for the cloudy kind of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, where you can see a blob in the bottle — the blob is known as “the mother” and it’s full of probiotics and other beneficial bacteria that can help support immune function — and even aid in constipation.
  3. REGULATES THE PH-LEVEL OF YOUR SKIN & BODY. Research has shown that higher acid levels (lower pH level) lead to a lack of energy and higher occurrences of infection. Sipping apple cider vinegar throughout the day will bring a natural boost of energy and help your body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level.
  4. AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS. 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar sipped throughout the day can improve weight-loss according to a 2009 study by Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. It was found that those who had acetic acid over a period of 12-weeks experienced declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides (the bad cholesterol that you want to avoid.)
  5. KICKS CANDIDA TO THE CURB. Because apple cider vinegar is rich in natural enzymes, it has the ability to assist your body in getting rid of candida — yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida is also blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.
  6. HELPS STABILIZE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS. According to Arizona State University, apple cider vinegar blocks some of the digestion starch and prevents at least some of that starch from being digested and raising your blood sugar. This is great news for those suffering with PCOS, because insulin is often over produced by the pancreas.

Be advised though… according to Tufts University’s director, if you have gastroparesis, a common problem with diabetes that slows stomach emptying, be careful. Early research has shown that apple cider vinegar may make this problem worse. If you have diabetes and want to try apple cider vinegar, let your doctor know and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.

And never drink apple cider vinegar straight — it’s so acidic that it could harm your tooth enamel and your esophagus. Just dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons in water with a meal a couple of times over the course of the day. Start out slow. Take baby steps and ease into it and your body will thank you. Remember, one change a day, making better choices one bite — or drink — at a time.

— Erin

Sources: Medical News Today, WebMD, Wellness Mama, Dr Eric Berg, dailymail.co.uk, webMD, 

LUNCH | DINNER: Gluten-free bread-less “breaded” Chicken Strips & Sweet-Potato Fries

My Kindergartner has been a trouper coming off of gluten, sugar, dairy, and corn. I didn’t realize how much he relied on foods that had a higher insulin response until I changed what we ate. So I made tonight’s dinner with my littles in mind. As I stared at my chicken thawing out on the counter I wondered, “What should I do with this chicken tonight?” And then I thought, something “breaded” but not breaded as a treat for the kids.

Tip: When I make almond milk, I take the left over almond bits and dry them on a sheet rack on a piece of parchment paper for several days. When the almond bits are good and dry, I run them thru my Cuisanart to make “flour” out of my almonds and then I store it in an airtight container for such an occasion as this. I share all that, not to burden you with more tasks, but to help you realize how when you make almond milk, you can also use the bits that are not utilized in almond milk for other things — like this great lunch or dinner! If you are short on time, a package of almond flour works perfectly fine, too!

Gluten-Free Chicken Strips

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I like to cut the chicken into strips when it is still slightly frozen in the center. It holds it shape and you just slice right thru it easy peasy. Try and cut your chicken fingers into equally-sized strips so they will cook uniformly. The sweet potato fries were from the freezer section at our grocery store and took about the same time it took to cook the chicken strips. If you don’t want your chicken strips a yellow-tinge, just skip the tumeric in your coating mix. I added it, because I like to sneak in beneficial herbs, spices (and even some iodine with the kelp) where possible. Every little bit helps as you change your life for the better, one bite at a time.

— Erin

PS: Here’s my son’s seal of approval …

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Gluten Free Breaded-but-without-bread Chicken Strips

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbites
Gluten-Free Chicken Strips

INGREDIENTS:
Coating Mix:
• 2 c almond flour
• 1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
• 1 TBSP garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 TBSP kelp granules
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 TBSP ground flax
• 2 TBSP freshly chopped parsley


 

Note: If you want to make this dairy-free, just skip the parmesan cheese and add a 1/2 cup of almond flour.


 

Main Ingredient:
• 7 pcs Chicken breasts, skinless (frozen)

Egg Bath:
• 2 Eggs

Other kitchen tools:
• Bowl for egg bath
• Larger bowl for coating mix
• Cookie sheet
• Parchment baking paper
• Tongs

DIRECTIONS:
1. You’ll want to cut your chicken into strips when it is thawed on the outside and still slightly frozen (not rock solid but partly thawed) in the center. It will cut easily and clean thru. Try and keep pieces uniform in size so that they cook at equal rates.

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2. Take 2 eggs and whip them in a bowl and set aside.

3. In another larger bowl, combine all the ingredients for the coating mix and combine well with a whisk until everything looks incorporated.

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4. Finally, take your cooking sheet and line it with parchment paper.

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

6. Create an assembly line order, left to right, with your chicken strips near your egg bath. Your coating mix next to the egg bath. And finally, your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper next to the coating mix.

7. Using a set on tongs, pick up several strips of cut raw chicken and put them into the egg bath. One-by-one, coat each piece of raw chicken with raw egg and transfer into the coating mix. Coat entire strip of chicken and using the tongs, transfer the coated chicken to the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue process, leaving space between each chicken finger until cookie sheet is full.
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8. Place in heated oven and set timer for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked.

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9. Remove from heat and serve with your choice of sides (like sweet potato fries).

 

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, and corn-free.

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Breakfast: 2 Eggs, Kelp Granules, Spinach Asiago Chicken Sausage

When you are starting to make changes to heal your body, the key to making those changes stick is to make it simple and make it easy whenever possible.

First thing in the morning, I make a hot cup of water with lemon and steep some green tea. You can check out my post on why this is so beneficial for your body. I also take my probiotic at this time as well.

After your cup of tea has been enjoyed, time to make your easy peasy breakfast.

      1. Take a small sauce pan, turn to medium heat and put some ghee in the middle to melt. Be sure to use farm fresh grain-fed free-range eggs whenever you can afford to as they are definitely better nutritionally.

2. If you are the only one eating, crack two eggs into the pan and cover with a lid. If you are making eggs for you and a friend/spouse, you can cook up to four eggs in the same small pan and cover with a lid.  Set your timer immediately for 3 minutes for easy sunny-side up eggs.

3. While your eggs are simmering away, take a Spinach Asiago Chicken Sausage* and pop it in the microwave, cover with a paper towel (sometimes the meat and cheese can simmer and pop) and set for one-minute. Once the timer goes off, remove from microwave, place on plate and cut.  About this time, your eggs will be finishing up.

*I like the Daily Chef Chicken Sausage from Sams Club since we purchase bulk whenever possible. I think I spent about $16 for one package of 15 sausages — coming out to a little over $1 a sausage. If you don’t have a large family like ours (I have five children), you can separate the three pack and put two in the freezer while you use one during the week. Click on the images below to see cost and details if you’re interested in getting this…

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Photo Credit: SamsClub.com

Eggs, Kelp Granules, and Chicken Sausage

4. Finally, when the timer goes off for the eggs, remove lid and slide your eggs onto your plate. Add a dash of kelp* granules for seasoning. If you like salt and pepper, throw it on there as well. Enjoy!

*Why kelp granules? Well kelp is full of iodine (among other beneficial minerals) and many are iodine deficient. The US recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 micrograms (mcg) per day for most adults, and about twice that for pregnant and nursing women. Iodine helps your entire body and especially your thyroid function well. You can learn more on how it can even help your kids grow their cognitive abilities — read about it here.

 

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and low in lactose.

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How I got off gluten with the help of “Life Changing Crackers”

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I had read on many a PCOS group that gluten was not beneficial to those who struggled with PCOS. I would read that and say to myself, “Sure — that might be the case for you, but not me. I’m just fine eating gluten.” Why would I say this knowing that others with the same struggles were nearly screaming the need to get off of gluten?

Y’all, I come from a looooooooong line of wheat farmers. I even own land that produces WHEAT! Every summer, my family would help bring in the wheat harvest. Some of my favorite memories of those hot summers included riding in the dusty cab with my mom in the wheat truck and the times where she would let me crawl into the back of the wheat truck and play in the wheat with my brother while we waited for a wheat combine harvester to be full. (In fact, if you want to learn more about how wheat is harvested, you can check out this video which some might find interesting…) So, you can imagine why I was in denial thinking that even though my PCOS was flaring with cystic breakouts, weight gain, and hair loss, I thought that I only needed to get off of dairy and that would help. Can you say denial? That was me. Fully, 100 percent denial.

A little bit about my struggle with PCOS

I had come to the point where my joints hurt so bad, it was excruciatingly painful to walk the 15 paces from my bed to my bathroom each morning. I would grip the end of my bed frame, using it as a sort of crutch to help stabilize me and aid me in walking four paces as the pain shot up throughout my body. It got so bad, that my feet even began to hurt. I would comment to my husband about the pain and he wondered if I might have broken something in my feet – perhaps fissures. (Looking back, it was a major flare up for gout — I learned of this after reviewing my blood test results.)  So, every morning, after I fought thru the initial getting-out-of-bed pain, I would grab some Ibuprofen (thinking this would help my inflammation and reduce the pain). I would pop three of these pain pills in my mouth (not realizing this was hard on my liver and adding harmful metals to my body) along with two allergy pills and all my daily vitamins. Then, I would make my way to my chair where I would sit until the pain subsided as I sipped on tea (I use to sit and sip coffee before I got off caffeine) at least enough for me to get up and do a few things. I would avoid stairs. I would avoid getting up and ask for my kids to run and get me things. This. Was. Not. Living.

I felt horrible. And it just wasn’t a week or so of this, it was month after month. (And I write this not for you to have pity, but simply as a reminder to myself just how far I’ve come.) After fighting off three bad rounds of illness and feeling like I was constantly getting sick from November to February and tired of the pain, my frustration level with my health hit an all time high and I finally made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor my friend and recommended and it took her testing me and me seeing the results for me to come to terms that I was not only lactose intolerant, but intolerant to gluten, corn, and even rice. My doctor put me on the Blood Type Diet and gave me a list of foods that were beneficial and those to avoid based on how the lectins in each food interacted in my body based on blood type. She also adjusted my vitamins and helped me with a plan on when to take these nutrients throughout the day.

How I came across this recipe

I remember coming home that day and knowing that in order to make this transition and survive, I needed something that would resemble bread to me. I needed something to replace what I was taking away. I knew if I could find at least one thing, I could make it work in the short term. So I hopped onto Pinterest and began to deep dive into research mode, hoping to find something that would work for me. By the grace of God, I came across a post that featured a recipe that intrigued me on mynewroots.org and when I began poking around on her web site and looking at her recipes, my eye was drawn to her “Life Changing Cracker” recipe.  My eyes quickly scanned the ingredients. For the most part, I could have everything in it! Eureka! I found my bread replacement! I needed only to swap out the sunflower seeds (I chose to chop up some pecans) and instead of dividing the dough into two different kinds of crackers like she recommends, I added a mix of the two different cracker ingredients and loved the outcome.

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Did my tribe go for these “Life Changing Crackers”?

My husband, who is diabetic, really likes these Life Changing Crackers as a snack. We take some goat cheese and/or some sun-dried tomato spread and 2-3 crackers would hold us over until meal time and it truly does satisfy. They are tasty with a dried fig on the side, too if we are craving something sweet. What’s more, my kids like them. This is huge! My kids are some of the biggest food critics out there and if they eat it, that says something to y’all! We even like smoothing some almond butter on it if we were missing peanut butter (yes, that was on the avoid list as well.)

Great for on “the go” or as a snack

I make a batch once a week (sometimes a double-batch because I have a crew of seven to feed). I keep them in a Zip-lock gallon size bag in the fridge and the kids know they can go to this as a snack resource (and that they should only eat a few). These also are a great grab and go item if you know you’ll be out and about running errands. They will be a life-saver if you find your blood sugar levels crashing (you often feel nausea if you’re pre-diabetic or diabetic when this happens.) I sent a bag of these with my hubby when he took the boys out fishing and it (along with a few other healthy snacks) helped him manage his blood sugar levels throughout the day until they had a meal.

Here’s how I made them (a few changes from her recipe):

Life Changing Crackers Recipe created by Sarah Britton BFA, CNP and of mynewroots.org

  • Servings: 2 baking sheets of crispbread
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
• 1 cup pecans, diced into small bits
• ½ cup flax seeds
• 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
• ¼ cup sesame seeds
• 1 ½ cups rolled oats
• 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
• 4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks powder
• 1 ½ tsp. fine grain sea salt
• 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
• 3 Tbsp. melted ghee
• 1 ½ cups water
• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
• ¼ tsp. garlic powder (depending on how strong you like it)
• 6 large dried figs (approx. 140g), diced
• 1 tsp. anise seed
• 1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Directions:
1. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Divide the dough roughly in half, and set aside one half.

2. Place one half of the dough back into the bowl and add any flavouring you like. Gather into a ball and place it between two sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, firmly roll out into a thin sheet. Remove top layer of baking paper and using the tip of a knife, score the dough into shapes you like (I chose large rectangles but it’s up to you). Repeat with remaining half of dough. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight.

3. She recommends setting your oven to 350°F and and baking for 20 minutes and flipping the dough on the cookie sheet (peel the baking paper off of the back and remove before placing back into the oven) and baking for another 10 minutes. Mine always came out a little chewy this way, so I found to make it more crisp (without burning them) if I set my oven to 270°F, and baked for 30 minutes one side, then remove cookie sheet from oven, flip the whole cracker over and return to oven to bake for another 20 minutes, until fully dry, crisp, and golden around the edges.

4. Let cool completely, then break crackers along their scored lines and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

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Coming across this recipe was truly a boost in my faith and gave me the tools I needed to take a monumental step in saying goodbye to gluten as I sought to change my life. She did not stretch the truth when she named these crackers.

— Erin
PS: The wheat farmer’s granddaughter (that would be me) is gluten-free. And as a wheat grower, I may be looking into growing canola instead. Stay tuned on that one. 😉