© 2013 jen

Fit-tastic Update: Recipes, a new song & Other Happy Things

I know, I know, I don’t usually get all dolled up to take my photo, but this one happened naturally. I took it yesterday before we filmed the weekly Maven Circle video. The truth is, I was astonished when I looked at this photo. I cannot believe how thin I look! The best part is, you can take the fat out of this girl and there’s still a lot of curves, actually more curves than before. Who says exercise and eating right makes you skinny? I think if you’re naturally curvy, you will be at most sizes and when you’re thinner, there’s more distinction between the curvy parts and the thinner parts, but this is an entirely other blog post that I want to write in the future. Today I’m talking about food.

So I’m still on my cleanse and I’ve been eating some weird and wonderful foods that I want to tell you about.

You see, the elimination diet that I’m doing is a more strict than the average plan. I’m doing the cleanse for 30 days. There are three phases to the diet and right now I’m in phase 2. About 3 more days until I move to the third phase. All the foods I’m eating right now are low allergen foods, but don’t let that stop you from trying these dishes because these are all pretty darned good.

Today I’m keepin’ it simple, it’s all about recipes and at the bottom of this post you’ll find the new song that I recorded.

My thought was I’d divide these foods into categories so that if you bought, say amaranth you’d have a few recipes that you could make rather than just one, so here we go on our way to recipe central. Some recipes I found. Some I made up myself and I’m sharing them all with you!

Amaranth: this is actually a seed, but it functions like a grain, just like quinoa. It can be cooked in water and the ratio is to double the amount of water to amaranth, which makes it easy to remember. It can also be toasted and it will pop teeny tiny kernels of popped amaranth.

Morning Porridge- grain-free


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Most days I’ve been eating amaranth, which I make big batches and just heat it up daily for the sake of ease. Usually I make 3 cups at a time and I eat about a cup a day.


  • Then I add coconut milk, which I steam so that it felt really rich and special.
  • Next add frozen blueberries to the milk to thaw it out (my husband is blueberry crazy and we always keep frozen blueberries in the freezer).
  • Then I put pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • The finishing touches are the black strap molasses, which I put my thumb over the opening to control the pouring and usually I drizzle some on my porridge along with some maple syrup.


Major yum!!

Popped Amaranth- a grain-free snack


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I also tried popping amaranth and it’s crazy-tiny and cute, but there are a couple of tricks to it.

  1. Use a thick bottomed pan. It seems to distribute the heat more evenly and allow for more even popping.
  2. Use a pan that has a clear lid, so you can monitor the seeds popping. They cook so fast and burn easily so watching them is the best way to make sure they turn out right.
  3. Some recipes suggest adding oil to the pan, but my experience is that it works way better with a dry pan and it’s healthier that way too.
  4. The pan needs to be HOT when you start. You want to put the heat on medium-high and let it get fully hot before you try to cook the seeds.
  5. Cooking fewer seeds at a time is better. You want there to be a thin layer of seeds, around 2 tbs at a time.
  6. Don’t walk away from this process. They cook up so fast that you need to remove them before all of them have popped, which is OK, because the unpopped seeds are toasted and will add to the crunch.


The taste is somewhere between popcorn and nuts and they are so stinking cute that I think it’s fun to at least try this once. Also there are other recipes that you can use the popped amaranth with.

Amaranth and Quinoa- Grain-free “Granola Bars”


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I found this recipe for amaranth and quinoa “granola bars” and I thought it looked like a tasty recipe so I decided to give it a try. I made a few substitutions that I’ll list below:



  • Instead of honey I used Maple syrup.
  • For the nuts and fruit, I added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots and dates, which I blended on low in my Vitamix (I took a photo of the settings I used on the Vitamix, so that if you have one and want to make this recipe you can have the exact settings).
  • I also added double the salt that the recipe called for.
  • I think this recipe could be made without the brown sugar, but I went ahead and added it to mine.
  • In the recipe they suggest that you can cook the amaranth and quinoa in the same pan. When I did this the amaranth wouldn’t pop, so I popped them at 1/16 of a cup at a time, which was a total of 4 batches to get the 1/4 cup of amaranth.

This is the best “convenience food” I’ve made so far. Be sure to check out my tips for popping amaranth as I didn’t find the tips on the link helpful.

Mung Beans: one thing that’s cool about these beans is that they don’t need to be pre-soaked like most beans do. They are easy to digest and are seen as a healing food.

Spicy Thai Mung Bean Burgers


I mostly just followed these directions. The only thing I did differently was I made them in my Vitamix. They were really tasty too.

Mung Bean and Rice with Indian spices and caramelized onions.

I made this one just as the recipe is and it was so good.

EGG-free Tomato-free Paleo Meatloaf Read more

I found this Paleo meatloaf recipe and it’s really the only recipe out there that I could find that met all of my current food restrictions, so I was obviously a little nervous that it wouldn’t taste good, but boy was I wrong. It was great!

I made a couple of changes to this recipe. I used ground lamb instead of pork and the other meats, I think you could substitute beans if you’re vegetarian or vegan to create a lentil-loaf, mung-loaf  or something. I didn’t have the coconut aminos, so I skipped that part.

This recipe was very possibly the most satisfying recipe of all of the recipes I’ve made so far.

Adzuki Beans: this is a Japanese bean with a nutty flavor. In Asia these beans are used in lots of things from more traditional bean dishes to topping ice cream. It’s high in protein, fiber and has tons of other vitamins in it.

Quinoa with Adzuki Beans and Avocado

I made this just as the recipe is and it was also pretty good. I didn’t try any other recipes with the adzuki beans, so that’s all I’ve got.

Overall this week I’ve been fairly low energy. I think my energy was highest on the day that I ate the most lamb meatloaf. Some days I’ve wondered if I haven’t been getting enough calories, but when you’re limited on what you can eat temporarily it’s hard sometimes to get all the calories you need.

Strangely, although I’ve been eating less and at times feeling somewhat weak, I haven’t really felt hunger pains. I mean occasionally I’d feel hunger, but generally I haven’t. Now that I have all the sugar, processed foods and grains out of my system, I’m really not that hungry. I don’t need much food most of the time (the exception is when I exercise) and I don’t even think about food that often these days. The biggest indicator at this time that I’m hungry is I get really cold or feel tired.

If you want to know more about why I’m not hungry eating less watch this video. It explains lots reasons why wheat isn’t that good for us even if we aren’t a Celiac or if we don’t have a sensitivity to gluten and this is just one of the reasons we, as Americans eat so much. Sugar is a major player in this game and so are the processed foods, but today we’ll stick with the wheat.



Today I weigh 199 and holding strong. I’m feeling good about everything related to the cleanse and really don’t feel like I care that much what I weigh, but it’s a marker of where I’m at with my health journey, so I will continue to allow it {Insert smirky face here}.


 So that’s what I’ve been eating, now let me show you what I can do with this body now that I’m getting healhier. I recorded another song. I don’t even know why I’m doing this song recording, but I have to say that I’m enjoying it, so I’ll just keep doing it.

This time I recorded “This Land Is Your Land,” which I learned in my uke class. We’ve all heard the song and most of us know it was originally written by Woody Guthrie, but did you know the song was originally a song of satire? Well, it’s true. There are other verses of the song that make it more obvious that it’s a song of protest, but those verses have been removed from the traditional version that most of us know. It’s pretty interesting that a song of social satire has become an anthem of sorts for the U.S..  The whole thing interested me and made me want to make my version a little more interesting. I tried singing it and it was so ordinary, so I decided to hum the harmony of the song (did I tell you I hear harmonies to songs in my head all the time? It’s just a weird thing that my brain seems to do naturally, so I let it out right here in this song.)

So this is what I’ve been up to: eating, learning, healing, making and recording music. How about you? Are you getting anything out of what I’m sharing here? Do you have any recipes or anything else to share with me? Have a good weekend!