I miss potatoes

The various efforts for improving my mental health have been starting to pay off, I think. Nothing transformational, but small improvements in overall mood and ability to motivate myself to do things that aren’t sitting + something to distract my brain.

I’ve been officially eating what I would call a Whole30 + AIP elements diet for a week now and realized several things:

  • I had let way more sugar back into my diet than I realized. The sugar cravings are hitting me hard. HARD. I haven’t struggled this much since we first started following the paleo diet back in 2011.
  • Combining elements of Whole30 + AIP is making this far more challenging than doing either one alone. Doing that PLUS trying to aim for more omega 3’s versus omega 6’s is not happening. I’ve decided to focus on the Whole30 + AIP thing for 30 days and then we’ll try reincorporating some of the eliminated foods and see how I do. Once that process is finished and I have a better handle on cravings, and a wider base of things to eat, I’ll refocus on the omega 3’s versus omega 6’s. 
  • I need to find some low-sugar carbs that I actually like that are easier to make. My favorite low-sugar carb is the potato and I’m currently avoiding nightshades so that means no potatoes for now; they will be the first (or maybe second) thing I reintroduce when my 30 days are up – dark chocolate  is the alternative option for first reintroduction. My other preferred non-sugar carbs are plantains and cassava (yucca) but they are not as easy or convenient (at least for me) as things like squash or pumpkin or sweet potatoes that you can find peeled, sliced, canned, frozen, etc.
  • I am having a hard time eating enough at meals to actually stay full until the next meal. Mostly because I get sick of veggies real fast and I limit my protein servings because protein things cost too much money. If I can get a handle on finding low-sugar carbs that should help with this one.

I have found a few preparations for those other low-sugar carbs that I have actually enjoyed, at least more than I have enjoyed previous efforts. They were inspired by a cran-apple slaw we made. The pre-cut bags of slaw veggies (regular coleslaw veggies, broccoli slaw, kale slaw, etc.) are super convenient and there is a pre-made slaw dressing (Sweet and Sassy dressing by Salad Girl) that both Nate and I really like and together they make for a very easy side-dish. That being said anything gets boring after a while, so in an effort to change things up I tried adding thawed frozen cranberries and sliced apples (it was very tasty and nice change of pace). I had some extra of each afterwards as well as leftover cooked diced sweet potato from breakfast and decided to try combining them all and heating them up and it was actually pretty tasty. I was then inspired to try that same cran-apple combo with frozen diced butternut squash and shallot. Again good, though I liked the sweet potato version better. Here is my not very well thought out “recipe”

Cran-Apple Sweet Potatoes

  • Cooked diced sweet potato (1/2 cup ish)
  • Chopped up apple (1/4 to 1/2 an apple depending on size of said apple)
  • An amount of fresh or frozen cranberries – I really should measure things – maybe 1/3 cup?
  • Dice up small shallot
  • Grass-fed ghee or butter (an amount – start with ½ tablespoon… maybe)
  • Salt (an amount)

Heat everything up in a pan until everything is the temperature and texture you want it to be.

I did warn you it wasn’t very well thought out.

If you want to try the version with the frozen butternut squash I would recommend heating the apples, cranberries, shallots, ghee, and some salt for a while first to let them caramelize and brown a bit before adding the squash.

One other thing I tried that I kind of liked was combining leftover canned pumpkin with no-sugar-added applesauce – it was… good is a stretch, let’s go with not bad.

Pumpkin Applesauce “Pie Filling” Treat

  • Equal parts canned pumpkin and no-sugar-added applesauce
  • Cinnamon (an amount – be a little careful, cinnamon is one of the few spices I have actually managed to add too much of so I tend to add some, taste it, add some more taste it, until I’m happy. You can always add more, you can’t take it out!)
  • Nutmeg or mace (an amount – again add some, taste, add some more)
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Salt

Heat everything in a pan until you are happy with the temperature and then eat it and try to tell yourself this is like eating pumpkin pie.

Clearly this will never be a recipe blog – to really hammer that home, enjoy a video of Leeloo doing this weird thing with her tongue at breakfast.

She does this every few days but it doesn’t ever stop her from finishing her meal. I’ll be asking the vet about it the next time I have need to contact them, but everything else about her behavior is normal and we had her teeth checked this fall so I don’t feel compelled to pay a vet bill just yet. 

Here she is letting me know that if Juniper doesn’t want to finish her breakfast, she would be happy to finish it for her.

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