DAMY Method Program, Join Me!

DAMY Method Program

If you haven’t seen Amy Layne before, you might be thinking the same thing I did when I first saw her picture. I hated her. I had only seen her “after” picture and figured there was no way this chick ever struggled with weighing too much. I also ass-u-med that she was probably snotty and full of herself. This was last January. I feel bad now for even writing those thoughts for others to see.

Amy is sweet, like seriously sweet. She’s inspirational and full of love. Sounds barfy, I know, but she is a really amazing woman.

How do I know?

I’ve done her DAMY Method program and chatted with her via email each week.

I follow her on Facebook.

I follow her on Twitter.

I follow her on Pinterest.

I get her newsletters.

I’m just going to put it out there that I gained back the weight I lost on the DAMY Method plan. Why? Because I totally went back to my old habits. Why did I do that? I don’t know! One week rolled into another and then through the gluten thickening forest of no exercise I slowly walked until BAM, tight jeans. Yeah, the jeans that were falling off in the spring. Dang Tina!

Tina, you fat lard, come and get some dinner!

I know I have used Tina in the past, but it’s just so wonderful, isn’t it?

DAMY with me, Tina!

I have this in the fridge, waiting for tomorrow morning’s DAMY kick-off breakfast.

It’s a jar of greek yogurt to soak my oats, with some freshly roasted pumpkin puree, fresh apples, agave nectar and chia seeds. You don’t have to eat weird concoctions like this on DAMY, I just want something different.

So, who is with me? This past February, I dropped 10 pounds in my first 4 weeks and had seriously loose pants. I’m trying to keep that in the front of my mind as Christmas food is quickly approaching. I have no desire to head into 2013 feeling the way I do now.

OH! I almost forgot to share the number one reason I chose the DAMY plan. She wants you to eat real food. Actual food. Not 100 calorie snack packs, not aspartame loaded Yoplait and certainly not prepackaged frozen meals. That, I totally appreciate. There are no powders or pills, special shakes or anything weird. It’s holistic, it’s seriously healthy and it is time. Come on!

The workouts are great, too. I totally enjoy strength training over cardio and was amazed at how well put together my 12 weeks of training were.

Like I said, I’m doing the DAMY Method, which is for people with more then ahem, 30 pounds to lose.

DAMY Method - Natural Weight Loss Program

The most popular DAMY plan is the Bikini Body plan, which is for those who are serious about getting in the best shape of their life and are already familiar with eating healthy and exercising. Amy will help bring your workouts to the next level.

If you aren’t ready to commit, but want to get rolling on feeling better, at least subscribe to DAMY’s 31 Tips to a Healthier You!

If you are seriously that commitment-phobic and not even ready to receive emails, at least follow DAMY on Facebook. She has a bunch of bonus material right now to get you through the holidays, including a three week fat blasting program.

I’m going to need all the support I can get over the next twelve weeks and would L.O.V.E. to have some friends journey to health along with me? We can celebrate together around Valentine’s Day, when we are feeling great!  Click on any of the photos above, or the button on the right of the blog that reads, “Put down that burrito, girl!”

Coconutty Bites

So the actual name of this recipe is No-Bake Almond/Coconut Energy Morsels. The recipe was created by Linda from Brooklyn and posted to the Tropical Traditions website on February 1st, 2009.

Yuck to the name, woo-hoo to the snack! From this point forward I will be calling these bites, Coconutty Bites. Sorry Linda from Brooklyn, I’m just going to take that liberty.

Per usual, I have made some changes to the original recipe. Where I use ground oats, Linda opts for almond meal. I also chose to use raisins rather than a different dried fruit.

Coconutty Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup assorted raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans)
  • ¼ cup ground oats
  • ¼ cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup raisins, dried cranberries or cherries
Instructions
  1. Chop raw nuts so they are in small chunky pieces. Place in a bowl and mix in shredded coconut.
  2. Lightly heat almond butter and coconut oil until melted, then add honey, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Mix ground oats into liquid mixture and fold in the nuts and coconut. Add dried berries last and mix well.
  3. Form mixture into bite sized pieces and refrigerate until solid.
 

  • These were great! They are perfect to find when you open the fridge hoping for something exciting. If you bring them with you on errands, bring a napkin as the coconut oil leaves its mark. I mentioned that I was given a jar of virgin coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. Here’s what it looks like.

My last jar of coconut oil lasted me a good 5 months, so I was a bit confused as to what I would do with a quart of oil! That was my first question, my second was…uh, what is virgin coconut oil? I still haven’t quite figured out what extra virgin olive oil is. There wasn’t a “Like an extra-virgin” Madonna video from my youth for that one.

So I have to add these words before telling you what I thought about this coconut oil; Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.  Ok, done.

While this jar is serious in quantity, it is better in quality. I didn’t think I would be able to tell the difference between coconut oils, Tropical Traditions is coconut oil as Plugra is to butter. *FYI: Plugra is the Euro-style butter in the silver or gold wrapping. It costs a bit more, but you’ll end up looking for any excuse to spread your butter on food.

Mmm, why have I never tried butter on apples before? Yum, butter in my yogurt is good. 

There are about 3.714 times a million coconut recipes if you visit the Tropical Traditions website. There is a huge page dedicated to coconut oil recipes alone.

 

This is our Elf, Mr. Nog, making snow angels on the counter. This morning he was found riding in Iron Man’s iron-mobile(?). No real reason to show you, just needed a photo to break up some text.

I am trying to use coconut oil more and more in place of other ingredients and am pretty pleased with the results. One of my favorite oil uses is as a lip balm or moisturizer. Honestly, this is where I can tell the difference in quality. There is no chemical coconut smell that I have found in other oils, and TT seems to be much smoother, without the little baby lumps I have always found in other jars.

Once I get a few more recipes under my belt, I’d like to do a giveaway.

Other than coconut oil, here is what’s up in my hood:

 

A bit cross-eyed, sloppy and Tammy-Fae Baker posing with Santa.

Thanksgiving at Grandpa Sean’s.

Have you seen Chris Rock’s Bigger & Blacker stand-up routine? Jy and I were able to see him perform it live back in the day and we still quote it all the time. Although he has one filthy mouth, Chris Rock wrote one of the best routines in the business.

Chris Rock: What does daddy get for his hard work? The big piece of chicken at dinner! My mamma would kill us if one of us ate the big piece of chicken by accident!
[Pretending to be his mamma] What the… you ate the big piece of chicken! Oh, lord no! Now I gotta sew up some chicken! Give me two wings and a porkchop, daddy won’t know the difference!

Jy got the big piece of turkey.

 

Bowl O’ Vitality

We have a few wonderful eateries in my hood. Two of my favorite have two of the worst names ever given to restaurants. The dessert bowl I made yesterday was inspired by Vitality Bowl, a healthy, yet caloric cafe, which offers a menu full of freshly created antioxidant bites for more than I want to pay.

The other restaurant I’m talking about is Fresh Millions.

Fresh Millions offers a complete selection of lunch or dinner entrees including specialty and made-to-order gourmet salads with a variety of healthy mix-ins, savory made-to-order hot bowls, hearty soups, and grilled paninis.

While there won’t be any awards handed out for best named restaurant, I do have to give some props to these places for offering simple, real food, quickly made. Why can’t I do that at home? Oh yeah, I can!

 

This bowl is full of healthy ingredients, sure. I wouldn’t be adding it to your Weight Watcher’s meal plan anytime soon, though.  There are no real specifics, just tips and tricks to make an ice cream like consistency out of frozen fruit. I originally figured Vitality Bowls just offered smoothies and toppings for $11 a pop. To their credit, there is much more involved.

To make a creamy base:

Blend frozen fruit – Frozen bananas make the best base for a creamy bowl. Fill the blender with a variety but keep berries with berries and tropical or citrus together.  Vitality Bowl uses a lot of frozen acai berries, but any type of fruit really works fine.

Add your liquids: You’ll want two types of liquids to create your base and coconut milk works best for one. The other can be a juice, chocolate almond milk or anything your giant heart desires.

Healthy stuff: They sky is the limit, er, your taste buds are the limit when adding good stuff like chia or flax seed, bee pollen or vitamin boosts.

 

Toppings are a matter of what you have at home. The more, the merrier. I used the Costco energy nut mix in the bowl above.

Try:

  • Dark chocolate chips
  • banana slices
  • strawberries
  • shredded coconut
  • peanut or other nut butters
  • honey
  • granola
  • dried fruit or veggies

Again, not super science here. Is there such a thing as super science? I think I would have enjoyed that more than regular science. I’m excited to have some rain falling outside today. I can experiment with my giant jar of virgin coconut oil sent to my by Tropical Traditions. I will give you all the run down once these kids stop pestering me and let me write. So, shall we say, in 20 years?

Quick laugh before my baking begins…

 

 

 

Dinner Battles

I went all Rumpelstiltskin on my kid tonight. I didn’t threaten to steal his baby, I just struck him a deal. I told him he would owe me three chores before earning back a playdate, which he lost after screaming like at dinner like he was Axyl Rose. He was fine with the agreement we had struck and I plan to hold out of the chores until I find something I really don’t want to do myself.

This is the Rumpel of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, not of German tale.

 

If you don’t watch the deal making Rumpelstiltskin on Once, you should! I can’t believe what amazing storytellers the writers of this show are!

Dinner was all over the place. It was easy to make and filling, but the kids nearly scratched their own eyes out when they were forced to try at least a bite. Luckily, ketchup and a time out helped cool things down.

This dish looks more fattening than it really is. Read through with me…

I’ve made cheesy cauliflower eggs in the past and revisited that dish for tonight’s dinner. Where did I get my cooking inspiration from? Well, a bit came out of the lack of meat in the fridge and the rest came from my desire to NOT go into a grocery store for the fourth or fifth day in a row.

While Max napped, I added four thick pats of butter to a 10×15 Pyrex and let it melt in a 350 degree oven before adding 1/2 head of shredded up, raw cauliflower.

Then came the drizzle of olive oil, a cut up green onion, one zuchinni, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme.

I let the veggies and butter cook in the oven a bit while I whisked together a cup of egg whites and 8 whole eggs. After pouring the eggs over the veggie mix, I added roughly a cup of shredded cheese. I wish I could say I timed this, but I just kept checking back until the eggs looked solid in the  pan. My best guess would be around 40 minutes. I topped one side with tomatoes and salt, then popped it all back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

A good dinner for the lazy nights when there ain’t much left in the fridge!

For those of you who I am not connected with personally on Facebook, I would like to ask you to join me in helping homebound elders.

Many of these people have no family or resources. To choose between paying bills, buying groceries or medication is a choice that these folks shouldn’t be forced to make. You can find your local MOW online, but here is the link for local friends.

https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1100

Do something good today!

Blue Bottle Love

Looks yummy, doesn’t it? I didn’t bake it, let me say that up front! You are looking right at a pumpkin buckle. What’s a buckle? Read over this glossary of cake toppings from the San Francisco Chronicle to catch up.

Crisp: One of the most common fruit desserts, the crisp boasts a topping made primarily from oats and nuts. Nearly any seasonal fruit works well. Though crisps and crumbles are often interchangeable, this dessert traditionally has more going on in the topping than the crumble does, and, as the name suggests, it gets a little crispier when baked.

Crumble: Not to be confused with a crisp (though they often are), this dessert has a simple streusel topping – essentially butter, flour, sugar and a little seasoning – that is sprinkled over the fruit of choice. When baked, the crumbled topping hardens and browns while simultaneously melting into the fruit underneath.

Cobbler: A baked deep-dish dessert with the dough on top rather than the bottom. The topping is normally a sweet cream or buttermilk biscuit, while the fruit usually is berries or stone fruit – even savory fillings like winter squash can work (see recipe). In some versions, the biscuit dough is rolled and cut into circles to place on the fruit, allowing some of the filling to peek through; in others, the dough is spread across the surface, hiding the fruit beneath.

Grunt or slump: Essentially a steamed cobbler, this fruit-and-dough combination is cooked on the stove as opposed to being baked. The dough – which resembles a dumpling batter – is dropped in spoonfuls over simmering fruit. As for the name? It can be either a grunt or slump, depending on where you live; the origins are said to trace back to different parts of New England. Some say the dish makes a grunting sound on the stove as it steams and bubbles; others claim that the dessert has a slumped appearance when spooned onto a plate.

Pandowdy: Said to be named for its homely appearance, this deep-dish dessert starts with a base of almost any fruit. Toppings can range from rolled-out pie or pastry dough to biscuit, but the catch is that about halfway through baking, the topping is broken up into pieces and pushed down into the cooked fruit, allowing some of the juices to bubble up and over the dough.

Buckle: Baked as a one-layer cake, this dessert is normally made by floating berries into batter, then sprinkling streusel crumbles on top. When it comes out of the oven, the cake has a buckled look – hence the name. With a loose, almost pudding-like batter, this has a very moist crumb, and works just as well for brunch as for dessert.

Brown Betty: This layered dessert is all about crumbs – breadcrumbs, that is. The fruit of choice – most often apples or pears – is placed in alternating layers with buttered, toasted crumbs, which either soften along with the fruit or harden up on top of the dessert. Leftover cake or pastry crumbs would work, too.

– Amanda Gold

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Seasonal-fruit-enlivens-crumbles-crisps-cobblers-2754965.php#ixzz2BCbpmQKB

 

Got that? Yeah, neither do I, but at least we have a nice reference for future recipes.

Last night, I ate the buckle created from a recipe by Caitlin Freeman, author of Modern Art Desserts and wife to James Freeman, the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee.

Caitlin creates desserts for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which are inspired by old French masterpieces. Just kidding. She is inspired by modern art and creates dishes to compliment exhibits at the museum. A slice of the Mondrian inspired cake you see above will set you back $8 at the SFMOMA, but it’s more of an experience than eating a slice of pound cake at Starbucks, right?

By the way, if you haven’t heard of Blue Bottle, take my word and order yourself a bag!

So yeah, upon visiting the Blue Bottle website you might ask why you should even consider spending $17 for a bag of coffee? How about this for proof, It has been called, “The best coffee you may ever drink.” And no, not by me. By CNN! They are serious people around CNN, right? Why would they lie?

James Freeman brewing it up. Slow style.

Wait, I almost forgot about the buckle. The recipe for this dessert works with most seasonal fruit. You can find this recipe at Epicurious, only as the  strawberry version, with lemon-pistachio streusel.  You’ll find the instructions for the pumpkin swap at the bottom of the article. This dessert is not overly sweet, which is a nice change of pace. It also tastes like actual pumpkin, not pumpkin pie or pumpkin spiced everything else. I think it would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving dinner for those who can’t decide between cake or pie.

Ok, so back to the coffee. You all know  how I feel about coffee.

I visited a local bookstore last night to enjoy a dinner of coffee-braised pork with white beans and roasted root vegetables. What? Your bookstore doesn’t offer dinner? That’s because you haven’t visited Rakestraw Books. If you are a local, please patronize this store!

The evening was a dinner, complete with wine and coffee to hear a bit from James Freeman about his book, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes. As far as author events go, this wasn’t exactly my favorite. However, I did enjoy tasting some Blue Bottle brewed up by James Freeman himself. This is the type of coffee you drink black, it’s that good.

I thought I was being served a second cup of coffee and quickly smelled otherwise! Blue Bottle Coffee also has a distilled liqueur, called Firelit.

 

I will give full photo credits to my husband’s iphone. Blech. Even the photo looks drunk!

I’ve just read this post and I’m actually a little bored by it. I should have just summed it up in two sentences. Go make the pumpkin buckle. Buy some Blue Bottle Coffee. Ah, shorter and sweeter. Now, it’s time for some schmaltzy family photos. I promise the next post will be a bit livelier!

 My little Mario.

 My sweet Thor.

 My seriously dramatic and temperamental five-year old.

 He calls me his, “Brave Little Lion.” Because that is what I call him.

 Grandpa helping out at the Kinder pumpkin patch field trip. He can’t figure out how to pose for a picture. All the other photos I took are too unflattering for the permanent record of the internet.

 While we are battling weekly tantrums, Dallas finds ways to sneak in cute moments like this.

 Grandpa again.

 The kid version of the fried turkey leg. Cotton candy.

 My cricut has been coming in handy lately. It made another debut at our school’s fall carnival. Thanks again Auntie Debi, for my paper cutting wizard.

And last, but not least. Honestly, shoulda been first.