Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tips & Tricks and Snack Ideas for living with Gestational Diabetes while Dairy Free

Well hello there!  

Nothing like a little hiatus hey?   I’ve been busily growing a little human while keeping up with my almost 3 year old kiddo while running my home based business and living life dairy free!! Life is busy but great!

29 weeks

While it’s been forever – I’m still the same ole gal – eating the same ole foods!  Much to my surprised about 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes – I honestly couldn’t believe it.  I mean I’m the girl that actually LOVES kale and quinoa and eats a pretty good diet!  I cried, I was in denial and have had countless days of major frustration over this.    Now let me tell you… I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes… being Dairy Free and having Gestational Diabetes is TOUGH…  even my nurse and dietician are stuck at suggestions for me.   Most of the suggestions for foods and snacks include cheese cheese and more cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and milk and the dairy free alternatives lack in the protein of the dairy full suggestions.

Now it seems that Gestational Diabetes is a bit different for everyone – so these are some tips that have worked for me to keep my numbers in check but you may be different – so just be easy on yourself and remember it’s normal to do everything in your power to keep your numbers in check and still see high numbers due to our beautiful hormones!  Keep in mind – I’m not an expert, it’s just my personal experience – always check with your doctor/midwife!

tips for gestational diabetes

Dairy Free Betty’s Tips & Tricks for living with Gestational Diabetes while Dairy Free.

  • Take a deep breath (this has been hard for me too, trust me) stress can spike numbers big time.
  • EAT.   For the first few days, because I didn’t know what to eat – so I just avoided it.  Not good for you or baby.
  • Exercise.  I know it’s hard when you have a huge ball of baby hanging out in front of you but even a 30 minute walk can make a big difference.  Of course always check with your doctor/midwife before physical activity though!  
  • Don’t think about what you can’t eat – think about what you can!   Time to pull out those cookbooks (or let’s be realistic go on Pintrest) – you’ll need some great protein recipes.  I always cook enough protein to have enough for lunch the next day. 
  • Stick with your gut.  I was personally shocked to find out that it was suggested to use sugar substitutes such as splenda and aspartame.  I’m NOT judging you if you use these, it’s just something I personally don’t consume. So I did a bit of experimenting to find out that I can tolerate a bit of sugar or honey – not a lot but a bit.  There were many other suggestions from the dietician that surprised me as well – but I stuck with my guns and figured out my own alternatives that felt good to me and that kept my blood sugar levels happy.
  • Eat your veggies & get creative!  Celery and Peanut Butter has became a ‘treat” for me – as have kale chips!  I know – weirdo right?  Try making cauliflower buffalo wings, zucchini noodles or roasting broccoli, or a dressed salad on top of a slice of pizza - something a bit different.  Life doesn’t have to be full of raw or soggy veggies.  I’ve personally noticed if my meal is full of veggies  - my numbers are happy!
  • Now I’m still not sure how I feel about this – but for protein reasons I’ve swapped out almond milk for organic unsweetened soy milk. I don’t drink a lot of it – but it has a whopping 9g of protein per cup – which is great to add to a snack or meal that might not have enough protein to make it balanced.  I’ve been making a pot full of roobois chai tea with soy and have it in the fridge for a quick snack (sweetnted with the tiniest bit of maple syrup or stevia)
  • Gestational Diabetes doesn’t mean “no carb” it means balancing your protein with your carbs (unless of course you’ve been told differently), so be sure to include carbs with your diet!
  • Always always have a snack with you.  Trust me you don’t want to be unprepared.

Protein & Carb Snacks that have worked for me.

  • Nut/Seed butter with apples, celery or carrots.  If I’m in the mood for something sweet and carby – I’ll have 2 graham crackers with pumpkin seed butter (so yummy)   Pumpkin seed butter is higher in protein than many other nut/seed butters. Also tahini mixed with a bit of lemon juice and some salt – SO GOOD!!
  • Homemade hummus with whole grain crackers – my fav has been rosemary and olive oil truscuits!  Topped with cucumbers. (Most store bought hummus only has 2g of protein per 2 TBSP which isn’t a lot – homemade has more!)
  • Whole grain toast with pumpkin seed butter and hemp seeds (full of great protein!)
  • Slivered almonds with pumpkin seeds & hempseeds (sort of like a granola) with frozen blueberries and soy milk.  I add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a small handful of honey nut cheerio's for fun. 
  • Canned salmon mixed with some mayo, dijon mustard, pickles, celery served with crackers and veggies
  • Diced cooked chicken with celery, apples, mayo and a sprinkle of curry powder.  Served with crackers/toast, wrap etc.  Best left overnight for the flavors to mix together.
  • Hard boiled eggs – great protein for on the go.   Add in a carb and it’s a perfect snack.
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Edemame is a great protein source.
  • Guacamole and veggies – bump up your protein by adding in a bit of hemp seeds or sprinkle with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • Roasted or raw nuts make a great protein source – just be sure to not eat too much – a small handful is great.  Also a great snack to pack in your purse.  Mix with 1/2 cup – 1 cup fruit and you’re set.
  • 3 cups of air popped popcorn with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and nutritional yeast!  Add in a small handful of nuts or a soy milk chai and you are set!
  • Chia pudding, sweetened with a tiny bit of a low glycemic index sweetener, topped with a small handful of berries, and some seeds or sliced nuts for crunch!  Need to pump up the protein – add in a small scoop of a doctor approved protein powder.

Now I know this isn’t fun or easy but our babies will be healthier for it and so will we!  Keep plugging along and please feel free to add your suggestions below or on facebook or send me a message if I can help at all and of course congrats on your beautiful baby bump! While being pregnant isn’t necessarily glamorous or even fun at times, it’s so great to remember how lucky we are to be carrying & nourishing our little humans before they come into this world!!

Best wishes & much love.

Jessica

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Get Up and Grow Dole Tour + Banana & Shrimp Crepe Recipe

- Disclosure: I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.  Dole provided me with Free Salad and Free Banana coupons for the purpose of this post, as well as compensation for my time.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Calling all fruit and veggie lovers (and even those of you that aren’t – now is the perfect time to try!) I know I love this time of year because produce is at it’s best and there is delicious fresh fruits everywhere you look!  I know as a family, we try to consume as many fruits and veggies as possible – from smoothies, to veggie heavy meals and of course veggies and fruits as our snack! We’ve tried to ensure our kiddo has loved veggies from the start, and you’ll often see him snacking on kale chips or happily eating banana ice cream!   Because I think healthy living is so important,  I am so excited to be apart of this awesome initiative to get North Americans eating more fruits and veg and pledging to make a healthier life for themselves!

photo

WHAT IS THE GET UP AND GROW TOUR?  It’s an 11,700-mile, 115-day journey organized by the Dole Food Company and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze to give North Americans a number of tangible ways to make 2015 their healthiest and happiest summer EVER!  They are directly challenging local residents to eat better this summer to receive some exciting health and wellness rewards. They will be stopping at 480 supermarkets and special events throughout the U.S. and Canada through September.

GREAT REASONS TO JOIN IN ON THE FUN?  The Get Up and Grow Tour Caravan is a wrapped van and trailer with kitchen and sampling tent that offers free recipe samples, a DIY smoothie bar, free giveaways for the kids, expert nutritional advice by our resident RD or produce expert and other surprises. Visitors can also create their own customizable, interactive pledge that gives them the chance to receive wellness rewards like free DOLE fresh produce, Fitbits® and a wellness getaway in California. Visitors can sample a variety of fruit, vegetable and salad recipes created for Get Up and Grow! – ranging from the Banana and Blue, Breakfast Smoothie, Power Punch Smoothie and Spinach-Avocado Hummus to the Grilled Banana Parfait, Southwestern Gazpacho, Caesar’s Bounty Salad and Charred Summer Salad, which has been proclaimed 2015’s “Official Salad of Summer.”

HOPE TO SEE YOU!  This event sounds incredible and will be on Vancouver Island at the Parksville Beach Festival on August 8th & 9th! You can check out the schedule and other locations on their website (make sure to click the locations tab)! I know our family will try to make it, so if you see us – make sure to stop to say HI!!!

CAN’T MAKE IT BUT WANT TO JOIN THE FUN?  I highly recommend checking out their website http://dolegetupandgrow.com/ where you can take your healthy living pledge, find INCREDIBLE recipes (including many dairy free ones), and even register for some great rewards! 

Now of course I can’t leave you hanging without a recipe!   Check out this super fresh, fast and delicious one from the Dole website,  which I can’t wait to make as soon as my new crepe maker arrives!

spicy banana & shrimp crepe.jpeg

Spicy Banana & Shrimp Crepes

Entrees

PREP: 20 MIN
MAKES: 4 SERVINGS

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced DOLE® Green Onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thinly sliced red chili
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 firm DOLE Bananas, peeled and sliced diagonally
6 cups DOLE Spring Mix
16 DOLE Asparagus, cooked
Ginger Dressing (recipe below)
4 store-bought or homemade crepes (try a Dairy Free Betty tried and true recipe here)

  • Heat sesame oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté green onions, garlic and red chili, about 2 minutes or until tender. Add shrimp and banana slices, cook 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Remove and set aside.
  • Toss spring mix and asparagus with ginger dressing, set aside.
  • Place crepes on four serving plates. Position the spring mix and asparagus over half the crepe. Arrange the shrimp-banana mixture on top and fold over the crepe. Serve immediately.

Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette: Combine 3 tablespoons sliced DOLE Green Onions, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons honey, 1-1/2 teaspoons water, 1 teaspoon minced garlic in a small bowl. Makes about 1/3 cup.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Morning!

So I’ve been trying to eat a bit more grain free lately – due to tummy issues!  So I’ve done a ton of research and checked out tons and tons of recipes and cauliflower is basically a grain and dairy free person’s perfect food!    It really meld into anything you want it to be from super creamy alfredo type sauce, to a low carb stand in for mashed potatoes to chicken wings to a grain in salads!    Over the past few months we’ve eaten a lot of cauliflower recipes (and enjoyed them too!)

The other day I wanted a yummy salad but was bored of plain old greens.   I used to make a super yummy bulgur wheat tabbouleh & was totally craving that recipe so I got to thinking and this was created!  You can serve it with any protein you like – I did some leftover grilled salmon but chicken, tofu, tempeh would all be great as well!  Get that protein in to keep your belly full!

This salad is FRESH, bright and crisp and would be an awesome addition to a potatoes salad heavy BBQ!   The longer you let the flavours marinate the better – so make ahead of time if you can!

 

cauliflower tabbouleh by dairy free betty

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

1 head cauliflower – chopped into small pieces – ideally rice sized but totally up to you!

1 bunch fresh parsley – washed, de-stemmed and chopped

1 handful of cherry tomatoes- cut in half

1/4 purple onion – diced

1-2 TBSP sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) ~ for crunch!

Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

2 TBSP olive oil

No-salt added seasoning (I used Epicure sundried tomato) (optional)

Dash of stevia or 1/4-1/2 tsp honey, agave or maple syrup (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Toss chopped cauliflower, chopped parsley, tomatoes, onion & sunflower seeds into a bowl! 

Mix dressing together (my favourite way to mix dressings  is in a mason jar and shake shake shaken) pour dressing over salad and mix together!   Let the salad sit for a bit to let the flavours marinate together – overnight is best but work with what time you have!

NOTES

If you don’t like cauliflower you could easily sub bulgur wheat, quinoa or any grain in this recipe!

Cucumber is a great addition to this salad!

A few pieces of mint can be added for some extra freshness!

Enjoy and please let me know if you give it a try!

xo Jessica

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fast & Easy Sugar Free Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

I’m sure you have all seen posts about all the amazing benefits to coconut oil?  While coconut oil may be the “trendy” thing right now, I’m buying in!  I love it!  Not only do a cook and bake with it, but I also use it to remove my makeup, slather it on my skin and use it as a carrier for essential oils!  This recipe with satisfy a sweet tooth while giving you a healthy dose of coconut oil goodness!

This recipe came to me after making chocolate treats with coconut oil!  I’m SUPER sensitive to caffeine, sensitive so I absolutely cannot have chocolate before bedtime, but I love sweet treats in the evening!     Enter the peanut butter fat bombs!

This recipe is SUPER flexible – so you could easily use any type of nut or seed butter or protein powder!   I choose unsweetened peanut butter (just peanuts – no extra sugars, oils or salts) due to trying to cut out all excess sugars in my diet and my protein powder is stevia sweetened! 

dairy free betty sugar and daiy free fat bombs

Dairy & Sugar Free – Peanut Butter Fat Bombs!

1/4 + 2 TBSP cup coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (my favourites are SunWarrior& LeanFit)*

1 tsp vanilla extract (caramel extract is yummy too!)

3 drops of NuNatural vanilla stevia (optional)

Sprinkle of salt (optional)

Silicone  moulds or you could spread onto parchment paper for a slab piece.

 

While getting ingredients ready, put small pot on the stove on high.  Let the pot get nice and warm and remove from heat.   Add in ingredients and stir until smooth and fully melted together!

Pour into silicone moulds or as an alternative use a cookie sheet with covered parchment paper and pour mixture onto parchment – spreading it out to desired thickness.   Place into freezer and let sit for 3 hours or until it has hardened.   If you used the moulds – pop the fat bombs out and place into a ziplock baggie in the freezer.   If you used the parchment paper – break into pieces and store in a ziplock baggie in the freezer.

dairy free betty peanut butter fat bombs

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My kiddo LOVES these & they are such a great source of fat and protein for their growing bodies! I also find for myself they really satisfy my cravings for sweets and I only need 1 or 2 to get to happily satisfied!

Swaps and Alternatives!

Of course you could use any nut or seed butter you have!  There shouldn’t be any issue with the swap! Tahini is what I’ll be trying next time!

Feel free to add sweetener of your choice ~ honey or maple syrup would be awesome.   The amount will depend on your protein powder’s sweetness!

Don’t have protein powder or want chocolate?   You could easily take out the protein powder and add a tablespoon or 2 of cocoa powder!  Get creative – this recipe is very forgiving!

peanut butter fat bombs - dairy free betty

Did I mention this recipe is FAST and easy to whip together?  If you know where all your ingredients are – I’d guess it will take you less than 5 minutes!  So find that coconut oil and get on it!

Hope you enjoyed this and please let me know what else you’d like to see from Dairy Free Betty!  Red heart

 

*Affiliate links

Monday, March 30, 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie & a Giveaway!





Hello all you lovely Dairy Free Betty followers!   It has truly been FOREVER!   Of course there is always action on my facebook page but as for blogging, I’ve dropped the ball!  But here I am!!  And lucky for you guys – I have a bunch of giveaways lined up!  It’s going to take me a bit to get back into the swing of things & I think my blog deserves a bit of a makeover – so we’ll see what happens!

Moving on…
(EDITED - CONTEST NOW CLOSED - please see my facebook page for the winners!)  I've been lucky enough to get a huge box of goodies from NuNaturals including Cocoa Syrup which is probably my FAVORITE new treat!   

I have created a few yummy things since receiving the box of goodies but this is my favorite!   It’s a super simple and tasty Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie!!  (who doesn't LOVE chocolate covered strawberries?).   

Side note – I've also started following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan – which I will save a review for another day but if you follow the plan this would be a Fuel Pull option!!
 
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
~1 cup frozen strawberries
~1 scoop protein powder (I love Sun Warrior & LeanFit Complete Green – affiliate links)
~1-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (Silk is my favorite)
Drizzle of NuNaturals Cocao Syrup (let’s be honest, I use a bit more than a drizzle – this stuff is amazing)

Blend the first 3 ingredients in your blender until smooth!  Adding more or less almond milk depending on desired thickness!   Pour into an insulated cup, mason jar or cup of choice & drizzle with NuNaturals Cocao Syrup!   Enjoy!   Mmmmmmmmmm 

Why the name Chocolate Covered Strawberry smoothie?  Because that’s what it reminds me of – juicy strawberries with delicious chocolate!  Enjoy!
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Now the lovely Ron (The "SUGAR-FREE POPPA") at NuNaturals have offered up a giveaway for FOUR winners and it can be anyone WORLD WIDE!   This is what you’ll get;

  • 1 one bottle of the   Cherry Vanilla  Stevia Liquids
  • 50 pkt box of our NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets
  • PLUS a bottle of our NEW COCOA SYRUP, and a bottle of the NEW COCOA MINT SYRUP. 

That’s a retail value of $ 54.00 , PLUS A FREE BONUS PRODUCT !
PLEASE NOTE – They cannot ship to PO BOXES.

How to win?
1) Like NuNaturals on facebook 
2) Like Dairy Free Betty on facebook
3) Comment on this post telling me your favourite recipe using Stevia or why you’d love to win this!!

Winners will be announced on my facebook page on Sunday April 5th! If you provided your email address – I will also contact you via email!  You will have 36 hours to get in touch to claim your prize!


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Don’t want to wait but want to make a purchase?  Head to https://www.nunaturals.com/ and use the Discount Code BLG0615  and you will receive - 15% DISCOUNT on your ENTIRE ORDER. This discount remains  EFFECTIVE UNTIL  JUNE 30, 2015 .


Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U. S. on all orders exceeding   $35.00 after discounts.



Please note – I did receive free products to make this post possible – however, my opinion is 100% my own, as always!

















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