normalcy???

Have you thought about what your definition of Normalcy is? With all the changes that have taken place in the last few weeks, I can say that my definition has changed for sure.

My day to day of going to work and back hasn’t changed. I continued to work during all the shut downs. For which I am so grateful. But my life after work has definitely changed. Not getting to see my kids, not being able to take off and drive wherever I want, not being able to even go to the park of my choice!

My kids are old enough I didn’t have to teach them from home, but they had to teach from home and work from home. And for the ones of us who are social beings and love to be around people, it is a whole new definition of social media.

Thank goodness for Zoom, and Marco Polo, and Facetime and all those other aps that allow us to see each other.

I’m one of those people who is a hugger and I can say that this has been hard not being able to give hugs or get hugs. I’m waiting for the day that I can hug people again and not worry about where they have been or who’ve they’ve been in contact with. Cause I know where I’ve been!

One more thing that I miss when being in public is giving and getting smiles. It is pretty difficult to have anyone recognize that smile you are giving under that mask.

“A smile is your greatest social asset.” – Zig Ziglar So as we move forward with how our lives have changed, let’s be grateful for what we have, smile every day and pass them around and just be nice to each other.

Our planet has been given a rest from all the negative things that have been affecting it. Now that we’ve had time to give ourselves a rest – let’s remember the little things and live life to the fullest.

Keto blueberry crumble bars

Keto Blueberry Crumble Bars

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Tasty, ooey, gooey blueberry crumble bars


Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup Swerve (confectioners)
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries and water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes, until the berries can be easily mashed. Mash them up a bit.
  3. Whisk in the sweetener, and then sprinkle the surface with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut, sweetener, coconut flour and salt.
  6. Stir in the melted butter and the vanilla extract until the dough begins to clump together. Press half of the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
  7. Spread the crust with the blueberry filling and sprinkle with the remaining crust mixture. Press the top crust into the filling lightly to adhere.
  8. Bake another 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let cool completely before cutting and serving. Store in the refrigerator.

If you decide to use frozen berries for this recipe, you may need to increase the cooking time on the filling.

Disposition vs circumstances!

“I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” Martha Washington

There are a lot of people out there who can’t understand why they are miserable and unhappy. You do know that you are what you think!

Thinking good things and happy thoughts means that you are happy. Thinking about all the negative things and being miserable just leads to more unhappiness and miserableness.

But guess what – you are the only one who can control that! You have to make you happy, and if you think you are a miserable person and unhappy – you can change that. It only takes a second.

I’ve been listening to the book “The Secret” on audible. i listen to it actually for about 15 minutes every morning before I get my day started. It reminds me that I control my own destiny when it comes to happiness and everything else in life.

It also lets me know that I am normal! We have over 60,000 thoughts a day. When you catch yourself thinking something negative or talking bad about someone – you have the choice to change your thinking and you can walk away. Pull yourself away from the conversation if possible. Or change the subject.

I try very hard to have an awesome attitude every day when I get up. About 95% of the time I can stay in that awesome attitude. Life is too short to be miserable and unhappy. An attitude of gratitude also helps. When you’re thankful for what you have in life – even if it’s just $10 extra in your pocket, you will be amazed at how that will help to change your attitude around.

One of the other things that I’ve been trying to do is to give more. Whether it is my time – making masks and donating to a local hospital or $5 to a homeless guy standing along the street or paying for the person’s meal behind me in line – it always makes me feel better that I was able to give something to someone else. You never know when that little bit of kindness can make someone else’s day be brighter.

My daughter once asked me why I gave a homeless person $5. She was concerned that they would use it for something they shouldn’t or that they were just taking advantage of me! My answer back was that – that is on them. I give because I can and because of how it makes me feel. Whatever their circumstances are – I don’t worry about it. I’ve done more for myself by giving than worrying what they are going to use it for.

So as we move through these changing times – stop and smell the roses, look at the things you already have and be grateful, be excited about life and what it has to offer you, bless others with a little gift, and live life to the fullest every day.

“The ultimate source of happiness is our mental attitude.” Dalai Lama

tuna and cheese oven bake

Tuna and Cheese Oven Bake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Easy, Cheesey Tuna Bake


Ingredients

  • 16 oz tuna (tinned in olive oil)
  • 5 oz celery (finely chopped)
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees
  2. In a large frying pan, fry the celery, pepper and onion until soft.
  3. In a bowl, mix together tuna, mayonnaise, parmesan and chili flakes until well combined
  4. Stir inthe cooked vegetables; pour mixture into an ovenproof dish
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Courtesy of the Diet Doctor

Are you too hard on yourself?

As we’ve gone through the last couple of weeks in our new state of “Shelter At Home”, have you been beating up on yourself because you aren’t sticking to your “lifestyle”?

I say don’t be too hard on yourself! We all have special challenges that we’ve been up against during this time. Challenges that we’ve never even thought of before. Home schooling children for the first time in our lives, working from home instead of at our office, dealing with kids that are home all the time, dealing with the hubby that is home all the time!!!!

So take my advice and do the best that you can with your meal prep and plan. I can say that I have done my meal prep, but when the stress has gone up, I’ve eaten pretty much whatever I wanted to. And I’m not beating myself up over it.

We may end up with a new normal after all this is over. So what is your new normal going to be? Let’s just take a few minutes and be grateful for the things we still have – Our ability to smile, our ability to say “thank you” to people who are on the front lines, thanking the truck drivers for risking their lives to make deliveries so we have food to eat.

I challenge you to sit down for 15 minutes in a quiet place and ask yourself what you can do to help out! It may only be to share your food with a family next door who has very little, or maybe it is making masks for the healthcare workers and your friends and family, or maybe it is just giving away a smile so someone else can feel hope.

Please do something for someone else today!!!! And stop beating yourself up for cheating on your lifestyle.

gluten free and keto pecan sticky buns

Gluten Free & Keto Pecan Sticky Buns

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Fluffy, gooey, and ultra sticky and nothing short of dreamy!


Ingredients

    For the caramel-pecan topping
  • 1-1/2 cups pecans roughly chopped
  • 1 batch 15-minute keto caramel (see below)
  • For the gluten free & keto rolls
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or coconut cream + 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water lukewarm between 105-110F
  • 1 tablespoon inulin or maple syrup, honey to fee the yeast
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • pinch ground ginger optional (to help proof the yeast)
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal or 5 tablespoons psyllium husk, finely ground
  • 5 tablespoons whey protein isolate
  • 4-6 tablespoons erytritol or allulose, to taste
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee/coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • For the cinnamon filling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter softened
  • 4-6 tablespoons erythritol or allulose, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • For the Caramel
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed butter salted or unsalted
  • 1/4-1/2 cup alluose or xylitol
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses optional

Directions

    For the Caramel
  1. Add butter to a small saucepan over medium/ow heat and simmer, stirring every so often, until fully browned (about 5 minutes). Add in the sweetener, heavy cream and salt stirring until fully combined. Add in the molasses and stir briefly until just combined.
  2. Simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes (don’t stir at all), taste for seasoning and pour into a glass container of choice. Your caramel should be sticky and thick, but still totally pourable. use warm or allow to cool completely, and can be refrigerated for up to a week.
  3. For the caramel-pecan topping
  4. Line with parchment paper the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Set aside. Prepare a work station for rolling up your buns by placing a 9×9 piece of cling film on the counter. Leave handy a small bowl with water (to wet your fingers) and a touch of oil to spread the dough (avocado works great here).
  5. Scatter pecans onto prepared pan. Pour caramel sauce on top of pecans. Set aside while you make the rolls.
  6. For the sticky buns.
  7. Mix sour cream, water and inulin (maple syrup) to feed the yeast in a small bowl. Heat up over a water bath to 105-110F. And if you don’t have a thermometer it should only feel lightly warm to touch.
  8. Add yeast and a dash of ginger to a large bowl. Pour lightly warm sour cream mixture over yeast, cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 7 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly, if it isn’t start again (too cold water won’t activate the yeast and too hot will kill it.)
  9. Mix your flours while the yeast is proofing. Add almond flour, flaxseed meal, whey protein powder, sweetener, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
  10. Once your yeast is proofed, add int he eggs, lightly cooled melted butter (you don’t want to scramble the eggs or kill the yeast!) and vinegar. Mix with an electric mixer for a minute or so until fully mixed. Add the flour mixture in one go, mixing quickly until thoroughly incorporated. The dough will become very sticky, so you want to work quickly to get it mixed properly. use a wet spatula to gather the dough into a ball.
  11. Divide the dough in 3 so you work in batches, important if you’ve never worked with this dough (you can roll it all in one go after you get some practice!) Lightly oil the piece of cling film and place the dough on top, spreading it with your wet fingertips onto a roughly 7.5×9 ” rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to taste, leaving a 1 inch at the top untouched. using the cling film as an aid, roll the dough as tightly as you can and sealing the edge with your wet fingertips. Carefully we the blade of a sharp knife and cut into three if you divided the dough in thirds. Turn the rolls and lightly press them down with your palm.
  12. Transfer the rolls to prepared pan with caramel-pecan topping. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm draft-free space for 50-60 minutes until the dough has almost doubled in size. How long it takes depends on your altitude, temperature and humidity – so keep an eye out for it every 15 minutes or so.
  13. Preheat oven to 400F while the dough is proofing
  14. Place the pan on top of a baking tray and transfer gently into the oven. Bake for 22-30 minutes until deep golden, covering with a loose foil dome as soon as they begin to brown. Just be sure that the foil isn’t resting directly on them. You can do less baking time for gooey-er rolls and longer for more bready ones.
  15. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and invert onto a serving plate (and ENJOY!)
Recipe Courtesy of Gnom-gnom.com