Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Gluten – Friend of Foe?

I was thinking recently how much is too much. I am following mostly gluten free diet most of time. My intolerance test showed that my gluten intolerance only 1 point out of 3 point scale. Is it high or low? And lately i decided to keep mostly wheat free diet then gluten free. I figured that i might start introducing organic barely and rye into my diet – like maybe will start of once a week and see how it feels.

As for now – there is some pretty interesting read on “Gluten” . As for myself now, i am sure of one thing – non organic wheat is bad. It is being homogenized and modified for mass production and definitely lost many of whole grain qualities, but gains dozen of pesticides.

I sure feel much better without gluten – i wake up fresh and get less tired during the day. My abs flatter without it and my digestion greatly improved. Now is the time to experiment – will i be feeling as good with some of above grains included in my diet or my intolerance is to all gluten product other then only wheat.

Some recent Gluten Free Meals of the day:

Buckwheat Pancakes from “Organ” Ready Mix 

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 Package “Organ” Pancake Mix

3 Organic Eggs (Or substitute)

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup Rice Milk

Baked on the pan sprinkled with Organic Coconut Oil.

My Lunch was – Zinc and Vitamin B6 loaded.

Baked Eggs with Spinach

Baked Eggs - My Favorite Lately

Ingredients:

3 Organic Free Range Eggs

250 gr. frozen spinach, unthawed

Goat Gaude Cheese

1 Goat Labneh Ball

1/4 red onion

1 garlic clove

1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Sweat choped onions and crashed garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.

2. Add spinach and stir fry till spinach welts – 3 minutes

3. Turn off the heat, mix in 1 goat labneh ball. Spread spinach mixture over baking dish.

Lebanese Goat Labneh Balls in Olive Oil

5. Whisk eggs with salt, pepper and oregano. Pour eggs mixture over spinach.

6. Sprinkle some goat gaud a on top and bake for 20 minutes.

7. I also added some Organic Salsa on top =) really loving it.

Saaaaalsa! mmmmm......

Post lunch snack aka My Mother-In-Law’ s favorite “diet” dessert

Pomegranate and Banana Mix

Pom. Banana. Yammmmm!

Method of preparation: Just mix hit up! =) And indulge!… Will give you a boost prior to work out too – full of antioxidants, vitamin C and Potassium.

It was the day -) all of the above, plus some apples and some dinner eats as feel – which were not pictures, but were definitely gluten and sugar free 😉

Some cakes posts are coming up next =)

When Millet meets Amaranth

Hello friends, how are you doing all this time?

We had a crazy holidays week in Dubai – Eid Al Adha celebration – end of Ramadan Holidays. It was really crazy in here. Mall were overly crowded and we went for a movie the other day and spent altogether 5 hours – just to reach mall’s valley parking and then to exit to highway. Most of Dubai and other emirates residents and travelers from other GCC Countries were just raving about shopping and lunching and dining and just simply mall walking, i guess.

The rest of days we just chilled, chilled and chilled with a warm cup of tea or sometimes something hotter 😉  We lazied around, watched a lot of movies at home and played PS3/iPad games.

I was still managing to go to yoga every single morning and really enjoyed quit gym (which happens only holidays). Why people always assume that weekends and holidays should be excluded rom fitness routine? It takes only an hour a day! So DO it!

I also greatly enjoyed wall climbing with dubai blogger Anjia  at new Venue in Mirdiff City Centre called Walltopia. It was my first ever Wall Climbing experience and i totally loved it. It really different type of work out – it is something other then dancing what i really enjoyed. Hope to do it more often though – nice break from gym.

Here is some recent eats – in order to alkaline my body’s PH balance i am greatly concentrating on alkalizing foods. So the breakfast is totally down to it.

Millet and Amaranth Porridge (Credo – can’t sweeten it – spice it up ) 

Can't sweeten it - Spice it up!!

Serves 2.

1,5 cups water

1/2 cups millet and amaranth 3:1 ratio

1/2 tsp cinammon

cardamom

all spice

nutmeg

Bring to boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Add:

1/2 unsweetened Almond Milk (but Amaranth milk will be good too)

1/3 cup of dry Goji Berries and Mulberries

1 Tbs of Shelled Hemp Seeds

Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Before serving i mixed in 2 Tbsp of milled Flax Seeds, drizzle of Yacon Syrup and teaspoon of Cashew Butter.

I enjoyed it with Carob-Chicory Mocchachino

Cappa "Mocha chino"

1 tsp of ground Chicory (Chicory mixtures help detoxify the body and regulate metabolism)

1 tsp of Carob Powder (My Favorite “Cocoa”)

Stevia

1/4 cup of boiling water

MIx together.

Add 1/2 cup of warm foamy unsweetened Almond Milk (i use my Nespresso Cappuccino maker for it)

Heading to the Food Photography Work Shop – so exited that can learn how to photograph properly and edit pictures, since being rally silly and posting just on-the-go pictures all the time.

Best,

Elena

Breath Away

How often do we think about our breathing? It comes naturally, right. So why to to worry about. We don’t breath – means we don’t live. But when we do breath, do we do it in any specific manner? Have you ever try to observe your breath other then at yoga class? never did, until i discovered the benefits of it.
It is known fact, that breath is fully connected to the level of stress in you body. Same as you can limit stress at yoga practice, you can limit it it during day-to-dayy life, simply, by observing your breath. Is my breath short or long, deep or shallow, fast or slow. Have yo ever notice, that when you get angry or stressed you heart start racing and breath becomes short and shallow? Or when you scared, it slows down?
Yoga practice brings us into control of our breathing through Pranayam techniques and teaches us to reduce stress through Meditation. On the Yoga Journal Website both of them described widely.

Both of those yogic techniques are great to learn and use, but how often do you get an opportunity in real life to take a moment by yourself to meditate? Me – never, sad to admit, but other then short Khapallabhati Pranayama before morning Sun Sun Salutation or Mriji Mudra in the evening i have not progressed.

My yoga teacher thought us, and i follow it now and see the benefit – PAY ATTENTION to YOUR BREATHING. When you feel overwhelmed, stressed or even angry – just pay attention to your breathing. this is what i do:

1. I seat down keeping straight spine (on a chair, couch or anything beside me), relax my shoulders and do not cross either my legs or my arms (trying to open my palms so they can face up and be open to the energy of universe). I silent my mind by concentrating on my breath.

2. When i feel that i am in full attention of it, i start slowing it down: breathing in to the count of 3 and breathing to the count of 3. Then slowly increase the number of second i breath in up to 6 or 8 counts. Then reverse it and increase breathing out time, keeping breath in as short as 3 or 4 counts. Every breath you take – make sure to make it deep and expand all your diaphragm and rib cage – fell that cold air enters your nostrils, filling up you abdomen (abdomen rises), filling up your diaphragm (it expands), filing up your ribcage and your chest. Breeth out slowly, feeling how warm air leaving your internal organs all negative energy is leaving your body.

3. And i do not thing about anything else at that moment, other then my breath. But what can be more important than that? You are breathing – meaning you are alive.

The great part about this technique is that you can do it at any given time and it will require just a few minutes. After that you breath will become very even and you will notice that even after breathing without much attention to it, you will breath deeply and slowly.

Pay attention to your breathing even without stress situation, and it will help you no to get there at all.

Recent Eats
I started my day with “Mighty Cereal” Bawl with fresh figs and then had early lunch (3 horse before my yoga practice).

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Big one-plate meal consisted of left over red rice and baked vegetables. And I added some sprouted beans and boiled chickpeas on top for extra protein and fiber. Sprinkled it with turmeric powder, hemp seeds and sea salt. Foodgasmic!

Later I snacked on this,
Chia Seed Carob Cookies

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Recipe adapted from Pure2Raw blog but slightly modified in order to reduce sugar content.

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Recipe:

3/4 c gluten-free baking flour blend
3 T carob powder (I did not opt for cocoa since I was tested with intolerance to coca beans and trying to avoid it in any for)
1/2 t gluten-free baking powder
1 t cardamom
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
3 T chia seeds
3 T pumpkin pure (Twins used 2 T of applesauce, but I had home made pumpkin pure and increased amount of it, since reduce the sugar)
2 T virgin coconut oil, liquid
Seeds scraped down from 1/4 vanilla bean (since I cannot find gluten free vanilla essence in Dubai, I am using fresh beans)
1 tsp of powdered stevia
3 T water
1 T Raw Blue Agave

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Makes: 11-12 cookies

Place all dry ingredients into big bawl. Add all liquid ingredients and mix. Lastly add coconut oil and stir well to combine. Add 1 T of water more if the dough is too crumbly (depending on the baking mix you used and sugar reduction it might require a bit more water)
Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and freeze for 15 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 170 C.
Place chilled cookies into warm oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Indulge!

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Breath and relax,

Elena

Pumpkin pie for breakfast?

I still remember that time when I used to have a chocolate croissant and coffee for breakfast. I was starving by lunch time after that. It never really filled me up. Now my breakfasts are different – they are high in protein, gluten free and very different every day. But the most important thing is that they fill me up – it is like a fuel which you put in the car and which keep your car going till the next “gas station” on full speed and not just dragging there.
I have variety of grains for breakfast like those described in so many other my posts

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Mix of wholegrain brown rice, corn, sorghum and buckwheat. 1/4 cup of uncooked cereal contains 4 g of dietary fiber and 4 g of protein. I buy them from Organic Supermarket of course. they are so cooled in my blog as Mighty Cereal – just love them.

Also I had a Big Day for organizing kitchen cupboards yesterday and I realized that I have a whole huge packet of Garbanzo and Fava Beans Flour. Hmm… Just thinking now what shall I use it for… Other then Socca of course.

There is still some few items I got recently from – what a surprise a LuLu hypermarket in Barsha – Lucuma Powder and Hemp Seeds. Both of this items I wanted to get for a long time and could not find them anywhere in Dubai. So how surprised I was to find them in LuLu?!?

New addition to the family of Super Foods in my pantry:

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More about Lukuma . It has a sweet taste, great for avocado ice cream and rich in B vitamins.
More on Hemp Seeds hemp seeds reach in Omega 3, Omega 6; packed with essential amino acids, easy to digest; gluten free and cholesterol free. Just one word – super foods! Great to kiss in to cerela or sprinkle over the salads.

And down the line, my today’s breakfast – Famous Fro-Yo. All healthy goodies all over the world love it and having it hundred different ways! Mine is always different, but today is Pumpkin Pie Fro-Yo

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Fro Yo is basically a mix of cold yogurt with protein powder and thinned out with a splash of milk or milk alternative of your choice. Today I mixed goat yogurt with 1/2 portion of Raw Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder, added 1 tbsp of almond butter, 2 tbsp of sesame seeds paste and thinned it out with goat milk. To make into pumpkin pie – just added 2 tbsp of home made pumpkin pure, 1 tsp of chia seeds (for omegas) and spiced it up with Pumpkin Spice Mix. I topped it up with some dry mulberries and dash of Yakon Syrup.

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Tastes just like Pumpkin pie filling or the frozen yogurt with pumpkin pie flavor but way healthier! And of course sugar free and gluten free -)

Hope you also have healthy breakfast on the Weekend day.
I am of to make egg tacos for late breakfast for Mr.R – who’s weekend breakfast always merged with my lunch -))) ahhh… The kNight and Day story continues -)))

Have a great weekend,

Elena

Sick leave

I cut my finger filly bad recently. Was rushing to separate slices of frozen corn bread for snack and the knife went right through my finger. The cut was really dip and doctor even recommended to stitch it. I preferred to let it heal naturally though and just being very careful with it now.
Down line: no rush when you have a knife in your hand.
Since I am cut of of cooking for a couple of days – keeping it simple and nutritional.

Mighty Cereal Breakfast – my fav lately – mix of organic brown rice, millet and corn.

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I boil little less then 1/2 cup of this cereal in 1,5 cups of water for 10 minutes, add 2 tbsp of sesame seeds paste, Raw Organic Protein, and mix in the following: chia seeds or hemp seeds for omegas, goji berries or other berries for antioxidant, Lucuma or Maca or Yacon syrup or stevia powder for sweetness. That is all all tastes very good, plenty of whole grains and protein.

For lunch I made Salmon with spicy Lentil salad.

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Seasoned salmon – 200 gr. Fillet – with salt and pepper and some turmeric. Grilled in the oven for 15 minutes. Boiled French lentils for 20 minutes, added chopped red onion and coriander. Dressed it with lemon-walnut oil and Garam Masala dressing.
Really good lunch and really great for one person.

Fr dinner we headed to the Mexican Restaurant on Jumeirah and I was hugely disappointed to discover that they have not prepared Tamale for that day, so we ended up sharing beef corn taco with guacamole and salsa. I even purchased some of their home made corn tortillas and brought them home with me for a quick fix later.

I miss yoga and did simple stretches and few poses just to keep my muscles stretched, sincei and not going for the classes lately (no to put any pressure on the cut finger).

Hope everyone is healthy,

Elena.

kNight & Day

Breakfast for the loved one..

You know, there is always bad and good about waking up early. I am a morning person, and now I am proud of it! I had a time in my life when I used to think that it is so bad to wake up early and then fall asleep around midnight. My hubby is complete opposite of me – he is totally Owl. Night is his time! His metabolism is raving after sunset! He loves to eat at night, he loves to play his PS3 games all night long, watch TV or just read news. His words: “I feel that if I sleep all night – I am wasting my time”. So I used to think that I am a terrible “time waster”, since my body is just simply shutting down at night. So I was fighting it and over and over. It did not do any good of course: I felt very tired during the day, was not getting enough sleep, was hungry all time (since my body was trying to compensate lack of sleep) and after all my body stil was getting that sneak picked day of the week when was falling asleep at 10 pm and waking up at 7 or so.
Now, I accepted it! I love my mornings and love to see early sun and hear birds in a quite garden praise the house. I love to feel myself rested and wake up with a smile. I perfectly set routine – sleep at 12.30 am and wake up at 8 am. I am at my most productiveness in the morning hours.
Now I enjoy mornings having enough time to get myself ready, make a wholesome breakfast, love my yoga in the morning – it charging my metabolism for store day!
How we manage with Mr.? Well it is very fair trade, I would say, he likes me being responsible for his awakening every morning, he likes to have his fresh cup of cappuccino waiting for him on the table. And me, I like him to come with me to the bedroom at my sleeping time and hug me till I fall asleep, I like to make breakfast for him and I love to see him being happy about his last night achievements in his PS3 game. Tis is how it works and we are both happy !

Now, would love to share with you this morning breakfast my loved one Mr. R, it is just a simple pancake, but smells like a apple pie. Inspired and Recipe adapted from Eat Learn Discover , who obviously adapted it from here

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Spread some butter over two medium pie pans, added dices of 1 apple (skinned) and sprinkled with some cinnamon and sugar. Beat 2 eggs with 2 tbsp of brown sugar, added 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour mixed with 1/8 tsp of baking powder. Poured bater over apples and placed few cubes of butter on top. Baked in preheated to 190C oven for 20 minutes. before serving it – i drizzled some Organic Maple syrup and decorated with whipped cream (Mr. R loves both of them).

I assumed I could make this recipe more up to my diet, but it was breakfast for Mr.R and he loves “real food”. He finished it all and said he loved it.

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I had fro-Yo for breakfast with raw macadamia nuts and snacked on gluten free corn bread from Organic Store (just craving corn lately).

Are you night or morning person? And your loved one? And how do you manage with it?

Friday post

Friday is the official day off in muslim word. In Islam, Friday corresponds to Sunday in Christianity and Saturday in Judaism, as a holy day. Friday observance includes attendance at a mosque for congregation prayer or Salat AlJumu’ah. As well as a day of rest it is considered a day of peace and mercy – even condemning a slave is forbidden on a Friday under Muslim law.

For me Friday is our family day. I like to wake up early and make a tasty breakfast for my hubby and usually take off from gym.

It is all so sunny in Dubai, once again have to admit that wake up and see your garden is the beauty of the day

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Power breakfast theme to be continued and this is what I had today morning

“Can’t sweeten it – spice it up” Cereal

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Bring to boil 2 cups of water and add 1/2 cup of millet. Add 1/2 tsp of each: cinnamon and cardamom. Grind some fresh nutmeg. And add 1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut. Simmer for 15 minutes, adding water if needed.
After this goodness was cooked, I added 1 scoop of Raw Protein, 1 tsp macca powder and 2 tbs of milled flax seeds, thinned it out with some rice milk and mixed in few frozen blueberries (it is first “sweet” food in past 5 days). Tastes like heaven -)

After this I made pancakes with custard for my Mr. R and headed to the pool for swimming.

When I have a day break from gym I always try to go to swim. Why swim? Because i find it very beneficial for my body strength and it is great breathing work out.

There is some of the benefits I value in swimming:

 

1. Low impact — When you exercise on land, such as running or walking, you put a lot of pressure on your joints, bones and muscles. With swimming, the buoyancy of water acts cushions your body and is no harsh pounding to stress your joints and muscles. In fact, swimming is regarded as one of the safest exercises, with very little risk of injury.
2. Easy to start – anyone can do it — No matter your age, weight, skill level, or fitness level, swimming is an excellent choice for anyone including overweight people, people with disabilities , pregnant women and seniors.
3. Weight loss and great cardio work out — You burn around three calories a mile per pound of bodyweight. After I come out from the water my heart keep pumping for a while and I sweat like if I would be jogging.
4. Muscles recovery – after exercising most of the week – some muscles get really stiff – water massages those muscles and makes you feel like after attending a massage salon -)
5. Physical health benefits — Swimming builds flexibility, endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular health. Water adds 12 times more resistance than air, so it takes more work to move through water than air. Swimming not only helps strengthen muscles, it also helps builds lean, flexible muscles.
6. It relaxes your mind, reduces stress and leaves you feel relaxed and refreshed.

So, all go swimming in your day off and get healthier while enjoying the water and having fun!

Best,
Elena