I have been blessed with a pretty outstanding family. My parents are just the best, and I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood, or adulthood for that matter. My mom is the most selfless person I know, and my dad comes over just to hang out with my husband, which makes my heart so full. My brother and sister and I are three years apart (to the week), and they are my best friends, which makes me cool by association. Any time spent with my family is guaranteed to be hilarious and so much fun.
Now, why so much about my family on my health, food, and fitness blog? First off, because their love and support are such a huge part of who I am and where I am now, but second, I have been thinking a lot about them recently, as I continue to help people with their nutrition and health concerns and goals. What I have realized is that while I take so much time to learn, educate, and teach about health to so many people, the hardest ones to reach seem to be the ones closest to me. I am still slowly (and I mean very slowly) working to help teach them about nutrition little by little, but I know they often think I am pretty crazy about all this stuff. To make things more difficult, they are family, and though the love runs deep, I think there’s some sort of genetic disposition that requires that we must resist; always resist.
“What do you mean I shouldn’t have diet coke and baked potato chips? It’s a healthier choice”
“No, it’s ok I am using fat-free milk in this recipe, so it’s healthy.”
“My doctor has prescribed me more statins for my cholesterol because eating egg whites only isn’t helping.”
It’s not their fault; this is the stuff we have been trained to believe throughout a lifetime of crap infiltration – on TV, in magazines, and even in “health” books in school. I was even worse at a time in my life that I prefer not to think about but know I have to face. It’s no wonder they think I am a little nuts. I transitioned from being adamantly opposed to any and all animal products, while being pretty much obsessed with anything whole wheat and packaged in healthy-looking, soy-laden energy bar form. The worst part? I thought I was the picture of health, despite my high triglycerides, anemia, amenorrhea, and constant joint pain (which was exacerbated by miles and miles of running with improper fuel). It’s no wonder they aren’t super quick to buy into my nutrition epiphany and follow what I say without question. Who can blame them? It’s certainly not realistic to expect them to start prepping organ meats anytime soon.
The good thing is that they are finally coming around, little by little. I get to teach through example. I am clearly healthier than I have ever been; my “genetics-induced” high cholesterol numbers are beautiful, and I haven’t been sick in at least 3 years. Lead by example right? In a perfect world yes, but it’s not going to happen overnight. My dad and I will soon start a garden together, which I can’t wait for, leading us to enjoy home-cooked family dinners with produce straight from our garden and meats from the local farmer, which I hope to gradually convince my mom to eat at least 3 bites of (baby steps). My brother just moved home from college last month and starts up CrossFit at NorCal next week. And my sister? Well she is asking questions and showing genuine interest. As a junior in college, living in a sorority house (kegs anyone?), it is hard to make changes. But she is beginning to see the impact of her diet on her eczema and allergies, and with this realization, gradual change is coming.
I have found that the best way to help the ones I love is NOT to push and prod and preach. Rather, I get to do something for them, which has universally become one of the best ways to show love – cooking for and nourishing with delicious meals. Having the family come together for a delicious meal, good company, and lots of laughs is the best way to create gradual change in perception of “healthy” foods. I get to do something I am passionate about, feed the ones I love, and hopefully begin to show them that true nutritiously dense, healing foods also (believe it or not, bro) TASTE AMAZING. There is a reason why the essential fats in grass fed butter and red meat tastes so good; our bodies need them to function. There is a reason why we feel bloated and lethargic after a giant bowl of pasta; our bodies struggle to function when we eat that stuff.
So for the people I love most, I show love in one of the best ways I know how… through cooking. Last night, I had my sister over for a movie and dessert. While even “clean treats” should be eaten on occasion, the quality of the ingredients provide nutrition that our bodies need, and the enjoyment of eating delicious brownies and bonding over a wonderfully sappy movie with my best friend… now that is priceless.
So I put together some low carb, incredibly clean, fat-filled, heavenly brownies, and we enjoyed the heck out of them while watching About Time (a FABULOUS movie by the way).
So here you go….
Fluffy Fudgy Brownies (GF,NF, low carb)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar + 4 drips stevia
- 1/2 cup butter or ghee (I used my favorite Paleo Butter)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 3 pastured eggs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk + 1 ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar, mixed together in a separate bowl**
- 1 tsp organic vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
OPTIONAL ADD INS: ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (at least 70% and sans soy), chopped nuts of your choice if you can eat nuts (I did raw, organic pecans)
Always get organic ingredients whenever possible
**I wish I could remember where I heard about this milk+vinegar trick, but it makes a buttercream consistency, and it’s so awesome when baking (this is where the “fluffy” comes in)
WHAT YOU DO:
- preheat oven to 400 and butter up an 8×8 baking dish
- in a large bowl, combine coconut flour and coconut sugar
- in a sauce pan, combine grass-fed butter, water, and cocoa powder and stir until boiling (don’t let it burn)
- pour boiling mixture over coconut flour mixture and stir it up
- next, add in eggs, coconut milk vinegar mixture, baking soda, vanilla, and stevia
- mix it all up into a nice batter
- add in any extras (here is where I added chopped raw pecans and dark choco chips)
- pour batter into buttered baking pan and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
- ENJOY! We had ours over a little bit of Coconut Bliss Vanilla Ice Cream