Sweet Tooth

Dairy Free Birthday Brunch French Toast

This may not be the healthiest of our Sunday brunch in bed, but it sure is delicious! 


It is pretty easy to whip up. Grab a bowl and throw in an egg, which if you are wanting to go vegan then you can skip the egg and add some banana. I also use Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla instead of milk and add carob, cinnamon and a little dash of pure vanilla extra. I also added peanut powder in the batch for an extra kick. 



I also cook with Earth Balance for a tastey buttery alternative. I cut dairy out of my diet and this is a perfect substitute. 


I also recommend using 100% pure maple syrup or even honey. Please never use the alternative. When you buy “pancake syrup” it is mostly just high fructose corn syrup. Yuck! So, splurge a few bucks more. Your body and taste buds will thank you. 

I also had to whip up a smoothie! Banana, cherries, carob, flax seed, chia seeds, cinnamon, almond milk and ice. Now, get back in bed and enjoy! 

Health

What is normal?

Throughout my entire life, I have been living with chronic ailments. I remember being in  grade school screaming in pain from stomach issues. 


I remember when I was 7 years old, running around and my heart felt like it a hummingbird and I would get dizzy. The adults said that it was normal to have your heart rate increase when you run around. My softball coach in 4th grade would tell me to keep going. What they did not know is that my heart was in the 250 beats per minute range. When I was 15, the school nurse finally caught on. Supraventricular Tachycardia. They said I would outgrow it but it got worse and more frequent. It would happen 20 times a day. It was exhausting. But, this was my normal. 


I have always suffered from migraines, chronic pain, depression and fatigue. Every day I had a complaint and after years of being told I was just a hypochondriac, I stopped bitching about it. This was my normal. Normal was insomnia. Normal was waking up at 4am every morning in pain. Normal hurts. I’m normal. Suck it up, Misti! 

I discovered CBD Oil after a recent two month long streak in and out of ambulance rides, ERs and hospital admissions. “Everything is fine”, they said. “This is anxiety”, they laughed. I never felt worse and I thought my life was coming to an end. I went back to the hospitals I had been to, down to the the medical records department and got copies of every single record from the last two months. No, I was not having anxiety attacks. My neutrophils were dangerously low, lymphocytes high, my bun/creatinine was very elevated… to name a few. My 30 day heart rhythm monitor was a scary mess. The nurses and doctor mocked me out the door, dismissing my concerns. “Everything is normal.” Needless to say, my third electrophysiologist is the one. Third one is a charm, I guess. Everything was not normal. My body was giving up on me. I was withering away and living in fear of each day being my last day on Earth. I have three amazing children and the love of my life by my side to fight for. 


*Photo by Arlene Jacobs

After countless hours of research and second and third opinions, I demanded to get my ANA tested, which determines if you have an autoimmune disease. Though, they thought it was excessive and unnecessary, they placed the lab orders anyway. It was positive. 


Had I known this 15 years ago, before 4 cardiac ablations, one open heart surgery, preterm pregnancies, endometrial ablation, hysterectomy consults, years of self medicating with marijuana and wine, chronic episodes of depression, decades of minimal sleep to the point where I had sleep paralysis, endless pain and so on…. I could have gotten the right treatment and care and changed my diet and learned how to manage my health conditions. 



I should not be here. If I listened to my doctors and did not put up a fight, I could be dead. If I did not take aspirin each time I began heart attack symptoms, I may have not made it. I was having vasospasms, spasms of the arteries and vascular system, which was constricting blood flow to my heart and extremities. I was going into circulatory shock from sinus node did function. And to think, they suggested Xanax and sent me out the door!

I have not been back to the ER in a month, since my last hospital admission, which lasted 5 days of no answers. I imagine it is a number of reasons: new heart medications, CBD oil, bedside essential oil diffuser, removing sugar and preservatives from my diet, finding  out my allergies and triggers. CBD is a huge anti-inflammatory and helps with pain, nauseous, spasms, and sleep disorders, which are a few of my medical issues. I sleep so much better! I can keep my heart rate down and blood pressure lowered and stay calm and relaxed. My menstrual cycle is no big deal now. Leg cramps and pain throughout my body is now managed and I am in much better spirits! CBD oil is such an important alternative to the slew of pharmaceutical drugs that have been pushed my way. 

Every day is a new day. I take each day at a time, treat my body right and eat healthy. I still have a lot of pain and now need a pacemaker but at least I am getting answer. I even got genetic testing for Elhers Danlos Syndrome which is also something I pushed during my endless research since I fit the criteria very well. 

Doctors look and me and say I look great. I look healthy. I look fine. 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to be your own advocate and educate yourself. Put up a fight! Take care of your body. 

Healthy Food, Sweet Tooth

Chia Pudding!

I have had chia seeds galore but did not know how to use them. Chia pudding sounded a little scary to me, for whatever reason. While browsing Instagram healthy food porn, I stumbled upon some delicious looking treats using chia pudding so I thought, why not give it a shot? And damn! It was super simple!

I poured two cups of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of carob powder, 1 teaspoon of macca root, and I also sprinkled in some flax seed and cinnamon. If you want it to be sweeter you can put some honey in the recipe or even drizzle it on top later.  Mix it all together, cover and set in the fridge overnight! 

I topped mine with raspberries and chocolate coconut chips. I am sold! What a great breakfast, snack or dessert.

Healthy Food, Sweet Tooth

Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream

I could not take it anymore! I miss ice cream and I refuse to eat any of the very few selections of dairy free ice cream available, because they are loaded with sugar. Well, guess what? I made my own!

My mom got me a $5 old school ice cream maker from the thrift store that was still in the plastic. I felt like my Easy Bake Oven childhood dreams had come true! In the blender, I poured in a can of coconut milk and about a half cup or so of almond milk. Maybe a cup and a half, actually…. my kitchen style is pretty similar to Thug Kitchen. Anyway, I got about 6 mejooled dates soaking in hot water, by the way. I sprink in a little macca root because I love the flavor and it is loaded with antioxidants. Who says icecream can’t be healthy(ish)? I also am soaking 1 cup of delicious pistachios. After you strain the pistachios, put half of them in the blender with the dates and set the other half aside. Oh! I also sprinkled a healthy teaspoon of carob powder too, because I love chocolate and this is caffeine free and also loaded with antioxidants. Blend! 

I like to taste the mix before I pour it in the ice cream mixer. You may want to put in a few more dates based on taste. Make sure it is to your preference. Chop up the other half of the pistachios and toss them in the mix and watch that glorious cream freeze. 

I sprinkled some low glycemic dark chocolate chunks on top and then died and when to heaven. You’re welcome.

Healthy Food

Sunday Brunch Favorites 

Sunday breakfast in bed is my favorite! It is the only day that we actually have time to make something fun, relax and enjoy it without rushing off to work. Today was an acai berry bowl with local honey and So Delicious coconut milk yogurt (only 1 gram of sugar!!) and lots of fresh fruits, sliced almonds, flax seed, granola, carob, cinnamon, chia seeds and chocolate coconut chips. Yum!