Tag Archives: Photos

killer bacon broccoli salad.

Hello everyone!

I seem to have a penchant for obnoxiously long domain names, as I have purchased TheInformedHealthNut.com as the new home for this blog!

So much has happened in the last month, I can’t even fathom it. I have now been working in the doctor office for almost two months and have really been enjoying it. Although, I definitely need to go work attire shopping. But with what time?!

Those work flats are not happening anymore, though. I was beginning to experience some foot pain (eek!), so I went to see a new orthopedic doctor here in the city. We determined that it was walking around the city in my work flats and lugging my laptop that was causing the pain. Thus, tennis shoes are now being worn with my work outfits when in public. So fashionable..

Speaking of work clothes, I now get to get paid to wear spandex and knee socks to work! Last night was my first shift at Crunch Fitness on New Montgomery. I will be working there part time as a personal trainer. The vibe is awesome. It is not too frou frou like some gyms in the city, but it is still a nice facility and very high energy. People go there to work out and make changes, not merely see and be seen. I am excited to fill up my schedule with clients and work with them on their fitness and nutrition! If you live in the Bay Area, come see me for a free hour evaluation and work out! One of the trainers asked me to give him a CrossFit style workout for him last night between clients, so I put him through this wretched little number:

5 Rounds For Time

  • 22 wall balls, 20# ball
  • 30 dumbbell snatches (15 per hand), 50# DB
  • 22 box jumps, 24 inches

As far as San Fran living, I have been doing as much as possible. My logic is that if I am going to pay enough in rent to sustain a family of 4 in the Midwest, than I better live the life of four people each month. Activities have included:

attending my first Giant’s game (going to the World Series!!!!) and watching the Blue Angels fly overhead

 Hardly Strictly bluegrass festival

hiking to the beach + exploring the Mission and most of the other ‘hoods

going to the flea market with Natalie + exploring several food and cultural festivals

I have surely bored you all to tears with all my talk of stress fractures, so I am going to sum this up as quickly as possible. At the beginning of October, I got the OK to lifting weights again. Have been loving it. Started to get a bit of foot pain, but not during workouts. Saw a doc and figured it out. Am currently lifting and being cautious. Get to add in some running in November. Get to add in CrossFit style workouts/ lifts in December. Done.

Endurance Focused Lifting Workout

5 sets of:

  • 20 backsquats, 95#
  • 12 military presses, 45#

4 sets of: 

  • 20 deadlifts, 115#
  • 15 lateral DB raises, 10#

Between my two jobs, I now work from 10:3o am to 9 pm with a break to work out in there. Thus, I have to bring both my lunch and dinner with me each day. This is going to make recipe posts more difficult, but hopefully it will be a great way to learn how to make portable meals that are suitable for work  that are actually tasty and healthy. Expect that in the near future! A recent fave…

Addictive Bacon Broccoli Salad

Recipe: Serves 2 as a side

  • 3 cups raw broccoli, chopped
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • 3 tbsp sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Cook the bacon in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes, until very crispy. Lay on a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, crumble into bits. Combine the broccoli, bacon bits, diced onion, mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, apple cider vinegar, raisins, and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Enjoy!

I love brussel sprouts.

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by bizarre cravings and hangovers.

Nowadays in my old age, I typically limit myself to a drink or two when I go out – if I am even drinking. This is for a plethora of reasons:

  • To not feel like shiz the next day.
  • To avoid the dreaded “brain cloud” that makes studying, or really any intellectual activity impossible.
  • To be able to have an effective workout, if desired.
  • To remember the people I meet and conversations I have at parties, bars, etc.
  • Too keep my cool while everyone else acts a fool.
  • To not partake in any cringe, tear, or Emergency Room-inducing activities.
Despite all that, last night I had a couple extra and I paid the price for it today. The brain cloud only lifted an hour or so ago and I was able to work on my 10 page lab report – which is due every. single. week. On the bright side, I had a  great time with my friends and got a cute photo out of it: 
Carlyn, Shelby, me, Cassi, Annemieke

When I am hungover, the last thing I ever want to eat is lettuce. For some reason, the mere  thought of my gut trying to digest cellulose is almost enough to send me running to the porcelain throne. I was craving vegetables tonight though, and it made sense to me that cooked vegetables would be more tolerable. That, in combination with my current obsession with Alexia’s frozen sweet potato waffle fries and the desire to get back into my egg and feta cheese phase, was the catalyst to a highly unexpected and extremely delicious dinner.

Don’t knock it till youve tried it.

Sweet potato fries and scrambled brussel sprouts with eggs and feta

lazy iphone pic – sorryyy

The sweet potato fries are a delicious contrast to the savory, cheesy brussel sprouts and eggs. Its not weird – its uhmazing.

Recipe: Serves 1

~1 cup frozen sweet potato waffle fries

4 large brussel sprouts, sliced

3 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely chopped (or garlic salt if you are hungover lazy)

3 egg whites

1 whole, organic egg

~2 tbsp feta cheese

salt

fresh ground pepper

Directions – Place two pans on the stove on medium high heat. Grease one with olive oil and add the onions, garlic, and brussel sprouts. Saute. Add the lemon juice and continue to saute until lightly browned. In the other pan, add the sweet potato fries and occasionally flip until warmed through and slightly browned. In the other pan, once the brussel sprouts and onions are lightly browned, add the egg whites and feta cheese and stir fry until cooked. On a plate, add a layer of sweet potato fries. Top with the brussel sprout egg mixture. Take the whole egg and crack it carefully into one of the pans. Let the white cook but remove before the yolk is cooked. Drizzle the yolk over the entire dish and eat the white. Top dish with salt and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!!!

Benefits:

Brussel Sprouts * a great source of fiber, folate, and vitamins C, A, and K

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Trader Joe’s hoe

So, I have been at my internship for far over half a year now, and I still have not gotten to partake in what I was looking forward to most. The main endocrinologist, (we’ll call him Dr. X) prescribes his patients a diet to aid them in their quest to become pregnant or just to balance their hormones. As a nutrition aficionado, I was really excited to sit in on him advising his patients about their diet, and we even talked about me possibly developing some recipes to go along with the diet. Week after week, though, I have either not been available at the proper times, or the patient hasn’t been willing to let me sit in the room with them. Last week, I finally thought I was going to be able to shadow a new patient visit and I was all set to disappear into the corner to listen. The nurse approached the new patient in the waiting room to make sure that it was okay if ‘our new intern sat in and listened’ to the appointment. I couldn’t hear the patient’s response, but when the nurse turned and came to find me, I could tell from her face that the patient had said no. She told me that the patient had gotten really flustered and said no before she had even gotten the full question out. Apparently, she was a bit shaken up from being pulled over on the way to the appointment. Although disappointed, I understood. But it got me thinking about vulnerability and control.

Getting pulled over is scary and sometimes completely unexpected. It makes one feel vulnerable and like they don’t have control over what happens to them. Many things in life be that way; deaths, arguments with loved ones, illnesses, accidents, and loss. It is often in this state of emotion that I find myself denying others or just being a bit bitchy. I think the logic is something like,  I cant control this, this or this, but I can deny this person this thing, or I can say this in this particular manner. Maybe this is all ridiculous, but my guess is that the patient felt the desire to get a sense of control back, and the quickest and easiest way to do that was to deny the first request made to her. Not only was she exerting control over something that related to her, but, better yet, she was able to exert control over another person. For many people, control = comfort. This is goes along with the thought that most eating disorders are not actually related to food, but a desperate attempt to have control over something, anything in one’s life. I don’t know exactly how I feel about that, but I definitely am going to start watching myself for patterns of vulnerability/frigidbitch.

Anywho, enough philosophical blabber and on to a recipe or two! This first recipe is from the magazine Whole Living. I was so excited because the star ingredient was ricotta and I had a whole new tub of it in my fridge. I got so amped to make it that I ended up forgetting…. the ricotta. However, it was so delicious without it that I didn’t realize I had left it out until I started to blog it!

Crispy Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas, and (maybe) Fresh Ricotta

Recipe: Serves 2-4, depending on snack or meal

1 bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed and trimmed

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic, sliced

3 tbsp EEVO, plus extra for drizzling

salt

1 cup ricotta (apparently, this is optional because its damn good without)

crushed red pepper flakes (don’t leave this out!)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions – Heat broiler. Toss broccoli, chickpeas, and garlic with oil; season with aslt. Broil 2 minutes then flip and briol until leaves are crisp, about 2 more minutes. serve topped with ricotta and red pepper flakes. Add lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

This was so satisfying and tasty. When served with, chicken or scrambled eggs, it made a delightfully complete meal. 

This next food item can hardly be considered a recipe. It’s pretty much an easy, no brainer meal that can be made in under 10 minutes. Furthermore, I purchased all of the ingredients at Trader Joes. I might just start a Trader Joes Recipe series, because that seems to be what I live off these days. Itssodarncheap.

Whole grain pasta tossed with wilted spinach, goat cheese, caramelized onions and smoked andouille sausage

Ugly photo but it tasted supair good.

Recipe: Serves 1

1 cup cooked whole grain pasta

1 TJ’s smoked andouille sausage (or the chicken apple sausage)

handful baby tomatoes

1 cup spinach

handful mushrooms

3 tbsp onion, chopped

2-3 oz goat cheese

salt

Directions – Prepare the pasta and sausage according to directions. Saute the spinach, mushrooms, and onions with a dash of olive oil over the stove. In a bowl, combine the pasta, veggies, sausage and goat cheese. Toss, top with shake of salt, and enjoy!

Benefits:

Chickpeas * 1 cup contains 164% of your daily needed molybenum, 85% of your manganese, 70% of your folate, 20 grams of fiber, and grams of protein!Molybenum is important because the body uses it to detoxify sulfites. These sulfites come from preservatives, including prepared foods like a restaurant salad bar! Because of their high fiber content, chickpeas can lower cholesterol, keep you fuller for longer, and prevent a blood sugar spike.

Whole wheat pasta * unlike refined white flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Mushrooms * a great source of niacin, potassium, and selenium!

a remedy for the hard days

Health is such a fickle thing. You can feel strong and so good for so long that you start to think that you will never get sick again. That you are just above getting sick. Then, midterms come around, you stay out late a couple times, you work out because you miss it, and BAM – you transform into a walking zombie. My symptoms include…
 an aversion to vegetables
 ice cream dependence
 pain with deep inhalation
 an old man’s weeze
 a sore throat upon waking that only lasts an hour
 constantly tired
 crabby pattys.
My cure?

Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Bread

this photo does not do the bread justice, I waited until there was only one slice left to photograph it… ;) 

This bread is undeniably delicious and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even as a warm dessert with a scoop of  vanilla ice cream. It isn’t too sweet to have in the morning, but you can reduce the flour and increase the sugar if you want it to be extremely sweet and dessert-like.

Wet ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar or NuNaturals Baking Blend
  • 1 tbsp molasses
Dry ingredients
  • 1  1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cups wheat bran (you can just use more flour or ground flax, the purpose is increased fiber)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (depends on your taste, I wanted less)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup walnuts (depends on your taste, I wanted tons)
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients and mix well. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except the choco chips and walnuts) and mix well. Pour the wet over the dry and mix well with a spatula. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and it passes the knife test.

Benefits:

Flax * high in B vitamins, magnesium, and f-f-f-fiber! It has more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than any grain!

Whole wheat flour * when you choose white flour over whole wheat flour, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Wheat bran * contains TONS of iron, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous and antioxidants! 1 cup has 25 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!

Bananas * High in potassium which helps the body eliminate excess salt and water (good for bloating)! Also help prevent muscular cramps and improve blood circulation. Bananas are high in zinc, which is key for healthy hair. They have also been linked to the prevention of stomach ulcers because they protect the stomach mucous layer. They are high in vitamins C and A, and phosphorus (which helps improve memory).

Cinnamon * High in antioxidants. Also aids in controlling blood sugar levels. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat. Even worse, years of insulin spikes can lead to insulin resistance, which can then lead to diabetes.

Walnuts * contain the healthy monounsaturated fats!

Caramelized sweet potato ice cream with toasted marshmallow swirl

I have been on a ridiculous ice cream kick lately. I literally just can’t get enough – I like to think that all the calcium is seeping into my bones and I am now indestructible. To put it metaphorically, ice cream is to me what creatine is to high school football players. Only any weight it may incur ain’t water ;)

To get my fixes, I have been frequenting Davis Creamery. Last time I went in, the semi-stoned, smocked dude smirked and said “Maybe we should just make you a frequent flyer card.”

You do that. Seriously. I was shocked and beyond ecstatic to find that they had a new flavor – sweet potato and marshmallow. I giddily asked for a sample, shoved the wooden stick into my mouth, and then…. my heart sank. It sucked. The sweet potato flavor was lack luster and the marshmallows were raw and there was a lack of depth of flavor in general. I knew I could make it better.

To bring out the best in the sweet potato, the key is to caramelize it first in the oven. Do not disrespect the potato by boiling it. Plus, you wont lose any water soluble nutrients!

And toast the marshmallows, obvs.

caramelized sweet potato ice cream with toasted marshmallow swirl

Recipe: Makes ~2  1-cup servings

1 cup caramelized sweet potato

1 cup organic whole milk, vanilla yogurt (I used Strauss)

6 large marshmallows

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 capfuls vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

optional: mini marshmallows for topping, scoop of marshmallow fluff, brown sugar and/or stevia to taste

Directions – Place the metal container of the ice cream maker in the freezer; let it freeze overnight. Bake a sweet potato at 400 degrees until the sugars begin to seep out, about an hour. Refrigerate overnight.The next day, broil the marshmallows on a pan in the oven until browned. Let them cool completely (they will deflate).  Combine the sweet potato with the yogurt, sugar, spices and salt and mix well. Turn on the ice cream maker and pour in the mixture once it is ALREADY SPINNING. It will take about 20 minutes to harden. Midway through, give it a taste test to see if it is sweet to your liking. Just a minute or two before you want to serve the ice cream, add the marshmallows and let them get combined by the ice cream maker. For an additional marshmallow swirl, you can turn off the ice cream maker and use a fork to swirl in marshmallow fluff. Top with toated mini marshmallows and enjoy!

Can be stored tightly sealed in the freezer.

Perrfect. 

What surprised me about this recipe was that although I used whole milk yogurt, it had a similar calorie content  to non-fat frozen yogurt. I realized that the fro-yo has way more sugar in place of the fat. And health wise, fat is >>>> sugar. Plus, the fat gives it an amazing creamy texture that froyo just don’t got.

Benefits:

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Whole yogurt * loaded with calcium, a bit of protein, and beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion of the lactose and help promote regularity! Plus, the fats in milk products are short chain, which tend to be immediately utilized by the body for energy rather than fat storage.

WIAW: simple meals edition

I am tired. Recruitment has been going on from 9-5 every day and I am also juggling applications, Nina, internship, work, and life chores (cleaning…bills?….). So, I’m going to spare you the details and simply throw some easy meal ideas at you. Ready?

Breakfasts

Lately, mornings have been very rushed, so I have had lots of protein smoothies, a few bowls of oats, and an amazing whole grain bagel with lox.

Lunches

Arugula salad with roasted figs, squash, and ricotta

Recipe: Serves 1

2 cups arugula

4 fig halves, roasted (bake sliced fresh figs at 400 degrees for 25 minutes)

handful cherry tomatoes

4 oz grilled chicken

3/4 cup carnival (or butternut) squash, baked

drizzle of fig vinaigrette

1/3 cup ricotta cheeze

1 tbsp goat cheese

fresh ground pepper & salt

drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Directions – Ahead of time, roast the figs at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Grill chicken breasts on the stove top until white all the way through. Bake the squash at 400 for an hour, or until easily pierced. [I prepared two chicken breasts, 4 squash, and about 20 figs ahead of time for the week.] Keep in the fridge.

To assemble the salad, simply combine all the ingredients, except the balsamic, in a bowl and toss. Drizzle on the balsamic, add a twist of fresh ground pepper and salt, and enjoy.

Eggplant, Onion & Tomato Stacks with Garlic Chicken

Recipe: Serves 1

4 oz chicken

garlic powder

extra virgin olive oil

2 slices of egg plant

1 tomato

1/3 cup onion, sliced

1/2 cup mozarella

1 tbsp feta

handful fresh basil

oregano, thyme, fresh ground pepper & salt

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400. Bake the eggplant for 5-10 minutes to slightly soften. Set the oven to broil.

While it is baking, thoroughly cover a chicken breast in garlic powder and a bit of salt. Saute in a non stick pan with some of the onions on medium heat. Once the chicken is lightly browned and white all the way through, remove from heat.

Rub a bit of olive oil onto the eggplant rounds and top with the sliced onion and tomato. Top with fresh basil and a layer of cheese. Add the oregano, thyme, pepper, and salt. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned. Enjoy!

Grilled chicken, roasted squash, and havarti sandwich with blueberry jam

Recipe: Serves 1

4 oz grilled chicken (or you can use sliced turkey!)

1/2 cup roasted winter squash

2 slices whole grain bread

1 slice havarti cheese

Trader Joes garlic aioli mustard

1-2 tbsp blueberry jam

Directions – Lightly toast the bread. Top with grilled chicken or sliced turkey, squash, and havarti cheese. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned. Slather on a layer of mustard and jam. Add a dash of salt (always). Enjoy!

Dinners

Chicken and vegetable stir fry in a miso coconut sauce

Recipe: Serves 2

1 chicken breast

4 heads of baby bok choy

1/2 cup mushrooms

1/2 cup japanese eggplant

sesame seeds

shredded coconut

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp tamari sauce

Directions – Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on the stove top on medium heat. Add the chicken and let cook for 2-4 minutes, until mostly white. Add the vegetables and the tamari and let cook until the chicken is completely opaque and the vegetables are soft. Prepare the sauce. Add the sauce to the pan and stir. Plate the stirfry and top with sesame seeds and coconut shreds.

For the coconut miso sauce-

2 tbsp Artisana coconut butter

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 tbsp tamari sauce

1 tsp white miso paste

Directions – Stir it all together!

Thai chicken and basil stir fry

I used this recipe from All Recipes. The only alterations I made were using light coconut milk (because that is what I had) and instead of making rice, I made brown rice noodles. I also omitted the fish sauce and added an extra shake of salt and a dash of sugar. Honestly, it wasn’t that great. I think I can make it over better!

And that concludes my

Good night!

I baked my first cake (and I accidently made it gluten free).

Life has this weird ability to speed up slow down simultaneously. I finished summer school on Friday after taking my Genetics final, but I don’t really have a break before school starts (in just a week and a half!) because sorority pre-recruitment has begun. It still creeps me out that I joined a sorority, but as false and cliche as it sounds – it really is different here. Essentially all of the girls are intelligent, hilarious, down to earth, and each bring something unique to the table. I mean, just look at these quality texts!:

get yer geek on at a frat party – why not?

obsessive use of emojis <3

There isn’t much drama (at least not that I’m aware of – which I guess isn’t saying much) and there aren’t any condescending rules or mandatory obligations. I see it as a nice little social safety net. After my experience at UCSB, I definitely can use a little backup support… I missed the first week of pre-recruitment due to summer school and my internship, so today was my first full day. Full day meaning 10am to 5pm.  The goings-on are all under wraps, but I can tell you that the days most hilarious task was bleaching rocks. Apparently the rocks that line our gardens have to be a pristine and sparkly white to wow the potential new members –  bahaha! Fine with me though, seeing as the alternative was crafting, which I am bizarrely incapable of.

Also – I started a new paying job a few weeks ago! I am the sample girl at Nugget and Food 4 Less, two local grocery chains owned by the same company. So far I have sampled organic, ready-made salads by Earthbound farms and a probiotic drink called Yakult! All nerded out:

would you like to try a blueberry quinoa salad with organic greens? 

or how about some probiotics?

In regards to the title of this post, last week was my friend Thibault’s birthday. He was throwing a potluck style BBQ and I had no idea what to bring. I had never baked a cake before, so it seemed meant to be that I bake a birthday cake to bring. I had been itching to use my stash of coconut flour and I have been on a peanut butter kick lately and thus..

[Gluten free] Coconut layer cake with coconut vanilla cream cheese frosting

was born! The secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the icing. It adds such a light flavor of peanut that some people couldn’t discern its presence. A peanut butter scented coconut cream cheese frosting, if you will. It was a hit. People had no idea that it was gluten free and really seemed to enjoy it. Many people asked for seconds, and some even got thirds! Which is probably the most flattering thing to me – ever. The recipe is also very easy to make dairy free. I used this recipe to figure out the ratio of egg to coconut flour needed for a successful flourless cake. Also worth noting is that

this cake has 80 grams of fiber in it. and we all know I like fiber.

Recipe: Makes 1 double layer cake

Wet ingredients – 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a mixture of white sugar, homemade vanilla bean sugar, and coconut sugar – but it doesn’t really matter)

10 eggs (at room temperature; DO NOT USE LESS EGGS)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/3 cup milk (you can use more coconut milk, I just didn’t want to open another can)

2 droppers full of NuNaturals liquid stevia

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Dry ingredients – 

2 cups coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut + plus 1 cup more for layering over the icing

Directions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-9 1/2 inch cake layer pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix vigorously (or use an electric mixer, which I don’t have). Add in the eggs one at a time and continuously mix. After all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, stevia, and coconut oil and mix for another minute or two, until well combined. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the coconut milk to the sugar/butter mixture.  Beat batter for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are light brown and they pass the toothpick test. Place pans on wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake. Let them cool completely before frosting the first layer. Add a layer of sweetened shredded coconut over the top of the icing and then lay down the next layer of cake. Ice the entire cake. Sprinkle and press coconut shreds all over the cake, into the icing.

For the icing:

16 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar (I used a mix of homemade vanilla bean sugar and white sugar – you could also use a bit less sugar and add in some stevia)

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Combine everything except the sugar in a bowl and whip until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing it well. Ice the cooled cake

The pictures do not do it justice! I was in a rush to get to the BBQ and obviously I had to wait until the cake was cut to take a picture of the inside. The lighting was shameful.

so good he ate the secretly-stashed slice for breakfast and lunch the next day!

the innards, filled with coconut shreds and cream cheese frosting

BENEFITS:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

I’m out!