Saturday, May 19, 2012

A New Lifestyle and Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

It's not like me to put it all out there on the internet.

But my blog is about health and sticking to a gluten-free lifestyle, so I've got to be real with you. Y'all, I wasn't feeling well. I've been so caught up in my health that the blog, and imaginate, a lot of other things, have been put on the back burner.

Stomachaches, bloating, irregularity, fatigue and exhaustion, headaches, and irritability have been plaguing me for months. First, we thought it was a variety of parasites. I was put on antibiotic after antibiotic to kill those motherf'ers. No change. In December, my doctor discovered I had appendicitis and cut that bad boy out. I was great for a few weeks, and then back to the same painful and exhausting symptoms as before. More antibiotics and still nothing changed. Blood tests, urine tests, sonograms showed that nothing was wrong. A final CT scan showed I had a sad colon and intestine, and by process of elimination, my doc told me to cut out lactose and see what happened.

Magic happened, that's what. The bloating and pain were gone - I could eat without my stomach blowing up to the size of a bowling ball. It turns out that the lactose intolerance was the main culprit. Half of my diet was lactose-based - I ate milk, yogurt, and cheese daily. And a lot of ice cream and froyo. Also, all the antibiotics I took were killing the good bacteria that keep the intestines functioning correctly. On top of that, my diet consisted of other digestion-stoppers - bananas and chocolate being the top two. Pretty much, everything I consumed was preventing my intestines from digesting what I ate.

Say whaaaat?

It's been a shock. I prided myself on how healthy and careful I was about what went into my body while I'd been hurting myself unknowingly. The worst part is that in the last few weeks, I was sticking to my new diet about 70% of the time. It felt like I was in mourning. I was angry about my body reacting this way, so I was still eating some no-no's and not really exercising.

Anyone with a food intolerance knows that this period of "why me?" is typical but that it can't last forever. So enough's enough. I'm lucky that these are issues that I can fix! It will just take a little elbow grease and time. Planning my meals more carefully is a must, and I have to make the time to cook and to exercise just about every single day. Nap time will have to be cut short! Sacrifices, sacrifices.

So, here's what my new lifestyle looks like:

1. Low fat: Fat digests slowly. -

That means tubers, vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, and fish are going to be my go-tos.
I need to stay away from meat (for the fat content), dairy (obvi), and anything fried.
(Aka the delicious guilty pleasures that I splurge on a couple times a week. Sorry world, it's the truth.)

2. High fiber: 30 grams of fiber a day -  Fiber aids digestion, promotes colon health and keeps you fuller longer. Smoothies with added fiber and flaxseed are a great way to sneak it in there, too.

3. Vitamin Supplements: Omega 3/6/9, Vitamin B complex, multivitamin, acidophilus (probiotics for digestive health), and fiber supplements

4. Strengthening my core: Pilates and Yoga mixed with some cardio.

Easy enough, right? And for when I get discouraged....

...The food blogging universe truly picks me back up. So many people out there live this lifestyle, and they are much stronger and healthier than I am. Inspiring and healthy women writers are necessary role models to have.

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef was the first gluten-free blog to steal my heart a little over a year ago. As Shauna shares with us her daily celebrations and struggles, her words seem to dance off the page and into my kitchen.

My favorite Gluten Free Girl recipes are for baking and putting together my own all purpose flour mix. It's wonderful! Check it out.

Elana's Pantry is gluten-free, and much of the time, sugar- and lactose-free as well. Her ingredients and cooking are as natural as it gets. Elana's Pantry also seems to be covering many recipes for the Paleo diet. It's an interesting idea that claims that eating like our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers, brings with it a million and one health benefits. Check out this site, too, for more Paleo diet reading.

Finally, Gluten Free Goddess has been making my mouth water for weeks! I'm learning how to bake gluten- and lactose-free, and this website has been torturing me with it's ridiculous amount of gluten free baked goods and desserts.


Carrot and Pineapple Muffin: The finished product! 

On that note, my first recipe back is a gluten- and lactose-free muffin that is so full of flavor and texture that you won't even notice that it is also incredibly good for you. The fiancé and friends loved them without realizing that they were indulging in a food tolerance friendly nutritional bundle!


3/4 cup organic coconut sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten free flour (King Arthur's All Purpose GF Flour is the best I've found that is store bought)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (don't use this if xanthan gum is already in your GF flour mix)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (toast them if you feel like it for more flavor!)
2 1/4 cup grated carrots (about 1/2 pound)
1/4 cup diced fresh pineapple

So delicious.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease your muffin tin or line it with muffin cups. Beat together the coconut sugar, eggs, and oil, and then add the applesauce and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the flour, xantham gum, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in your raisins and walnuts, and then fold in the grated carrots and diced pineapple. Mix well, but don't over mix!

Bake for around 25 minutes! Enjoy! And don't tell them it's gluten- and lactose-free until after they try them! These are bakery worthy.

P.S. This mix can be used for a cake as well! (8x8 inch square pan or 9 inch round pan)

a buen tiempo!


  1. Your muffins look delicious! I cannot find organic sugar at our grocery. I guess it will have to come from Whole Foods!