I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! Holidays like yesterday are such a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the ones we love and to truly appreciate all of the blessings in our lives.
In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of any holiday or celebration is sharing delicious food with my favorite people. Food has a fascinating ability to nourish, heal, and bring joy. And the latter is especially true during special occasions. Nothing beats getting together with the people you love and sharing a meal. There is something about nourishing each other that brings loved ones closer.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the food has to be unhealthy, or that you have to choose options that will leave you feeling terrible hours, or even days later; there is nothing fun about that. With the internet and the LOADS of whole food bloggers out there, passionate about both taste and quality of food, the creativity possibilities are endless. There are countless recipes out there that transform some of the most decedent favorites into healthier, cleaner (albeit still pretty decedent) treats for special occasions. Though sugar is sugar, and anytime we over-eat it there will be an impact on insulin, there are better options (honey, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar) that are less processed, have a lower glycemic index, and are made from nature and use in their whole food form. Likewise, there are great substitutes for processed flour that, from my experiences with helping many people over the years, won’t leave folks feeling bloated, heavy, lethargic, or sick. By replacing processed flours and sugars with healthy fats (coconut, for example) and unprocessed sweeteners, we can still enjoy our favorite meals and treats without the damage (both on our bodies and the environment, but that’s a topic for another post)!
Yesterday, Rusty and I had such an awesome afternoon at the park. We shared a platter of deli meats (locally sourced with zero additives), raw sheep and cow’s milk cheeses, organic olives, and beautiful blanched asparagus. We also enjoyed a bottle of wine from one of our favorite vineyards in Paso Robles. We don’t have wine often, but special occasions sometimes call for a toast (in this case, to our wonderful country’s birth).
Taking time away to picnic in the park was really awesome, especially with the way these past three months have been because of my neck. Escaping stress, laying on a blanket, and just getting quality time together was pretty amazing… simple, yes, but amazing.
Later that evening, to cap off a wonderful day, I made THIS recipe from The Urban Poser to celebrate the 4th with family. If you haven’t yet, check out her blog for some awesome recipes. Her new book is set to hit shelves soon too!
What a treat! Coconut flour replaced any processed, gluten-containing flour, and I used honey as the only sweetener. This was a delicious option to replace the pound cake that has been a family tradition since I was a kid. We layered in delicious coconut whipped cream and fresh organic berries for the perfect 4th of July treat. Because I know I can’t have gluten or processes sugar without feeling pretty awful, I wanted to make something that everyone would love; I felt wonderful afterwards, and no one else even missed those ingredients!
The pound cake was AMAZING…. (grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, processed sugar-free)
We picked up these local, organic berries from a local farm stand…
We made our own coconut whipped cream….
And this was the final product… AMAZING!
Try this one out before the holiday weekend is over. It’s delicious! Get out of the house and the gym this weekend and spend some time with the people you love, doing something new!
Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! And happy birthday, America.