I am proud to announce that I have gotten my energy and productivity back. It's been gone for some time now... several years in fact... but recently both have returned to me. I feel like a new person -- my mind is clearer, my body feels rested and I even have energy to get some stuff done around the house without wearing out after 15 minutes. Yes, if I had gone to the doctor about my constant tiredness, I'm sure I would have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- I had a lot of the symptoms.
But this past two weeks, I greatly diminished my carbohydrate intake -- limiting sugar, carrots, potatoes and all grains. Yep, I've been grain-free... no rice, quinoa, gluten-free flours, gluten-free cereals, etc. I've been wanting to go down this path for a while, but I was a little unwilling. To be frank, I liked my carbs, and despite being gluten-free and no longer eating wheat, I was still in that "carbohydrate-high blood sugar-low blood sugar-need more carbs" cycle.
Since I gave it up, I feel GREAT. In fact, I cannot tell you the last time I felt this good. I cannot remember the last time I had this much energy -- definitely before my children were born. I guess I'm still surprised at how the foods we eat can impact our bodies so much. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but the way foods work with our bodies still amazes me. I feel so much better that I have no intentions of EVER eating the way I used to eat, especially before I went gluten-free (I was a total sugar-addict).
This next recipe is low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and great for either a snack or a dessert. It's not super-sweet or super peanut-buttery, and I call it a "brownie" because the texture greatly resembles that moist brownie consistency. Not too fluffy, not too dense but just right.
*To make this recipe sweeter, add chocolate chips to the batter before baking. Or spread with a layer of melted chocolate after baking and allow chocolate to cool and set up. Mmmmm.
Peanut Butter "Brownies"
1 T. coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 Cups blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8in pan with coconut oil and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse coconut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds until finely chopped. Add almond flour, baking soda, and salt and pulse until combined. Add peanut butter (or almond butter), agave nectar, egg and vanilla and process until the mixture forms into a dough and peanut butter has been incorporated.
Press into the prepared baking dish using a spatula or the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake 15-20 minutes until edges are browned. Cool for about an hour, then cut into 16 squares and serve.