Flax Seed Pancakes

1 cup Flax seed meal (golden will look better–I had brown)

3 TBS Tapioca Flour

2 eggs

2-4 TBS Almond or Coconut Milk

1 TBS Backing soda (aluminum free like bobs red mill)

1/2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

Pinch of Salt

(Sweetener like honey, maple syrup, stevia are optional if complaint with your plan)

(1 Tsp Vanilla optional and if compliant with your plan)

Fruit or berries if wanted

Coconut oil or Ghee for cooking

Mix together adding vinegar last–the vinegar will react with the baking soda making the pancakes fluffy. Use less milk at first then add as needed–mixture will be sticky not runny.

*If adding fruit it seems to cook better if you add it once it is in the griddle than if you add it to the mix

Fry in a griddle or pan with oil or ghee 3-5 minutes on each side by dropping batter and then pressing into shape.

Paleo Flaxseed panckakes
Blueberry “pancakes” are gluten and grain free no sugar and really good. They taste more similar to french toast than pancakes, but a good breakfast option.

My Whole30 Experience

As I have said in my previous posts, I was not a fan of Whole30 because I hated the sugar withdrawals and I really don’t like being told “I can’t”.

I can’t:

  • have any sugar unless it is in a fruit or veggie
  • have any grains
  • have any alcohol (not that I drink–I’m 16!)
  • have honey (part of the sugar thing)
  • anything processed
  • have any dairy
  • have certain oils
  • and so forth….

The restrictions on Whole30 are hard because I accepted a challenge and yet I felt like I was put in a cage. Just the idea of “I can’t” almost becomes claustrophobic, wanting everything listed on the “I can’t”.

The funny part is, I like almost everything we ate over the 30 days. Actually, I liked everything, but some things not as much. For instance, curry I like the day it is made, but not left overs, while my mom really loves curry. Tuna steaks, I like but I don’t love. I will eat them, but probably wouldn’t crave them.

Now I am 4 days past the 30 and I am still doing it. I will actually continue on through to the 22nd for sure (I might cheat for prom) but I lost 17 pounds and I got into a pair of jeans I haven’t fit in since the 6th grade (not sure why I even still had them, but found them when cleaning my closet). For the first time in a long time I am under 200 pounds (190 on day 30) and it isn’t hard any more.

What sucks, is that I have to check everything. Food manufacturers sneak sugar in everywhere and choices I thought were healthy are packed with sugar.

Oh, I did try a sip of a Monster on Thursday, an energy drink I used to love and I had to spit it out. My taste buds can’t take the sugar anymore. I don’t know if I am happy about that or not.

Anyway, here is a bit of a summary:

First two weeks, I felt like crap. I hurt everywhere and had no energy. Headaches and mood swings all the time. Drank a lot of water to combat some of withdrawals. I don’t know if it helped, but it made me feel like I was doing something.

Week 3 was better. I still didn’t have the energy I saw my mom getting but I don’t think my energy levels were that bad to start so a boost in energy would not be as easy to see. Cravings were gone by this point and I started making meals myself and learning more on how to cook from scratch myself.

Week 4 I was pretty much the same as week 3 other than it felt like the longest week. That final countdown the last 7-10 days and I just wanted to no longer be in this “I can’t” challenge.

Even though I decided to continue the lifestyle longer, it no longer under the “challenge” and I won’t feel like I failed at all if I decide to have a cheat day. After I do have a cheat, I will go back to a paleo/keto type lifestyle because it works for me, and I NEVER want to have to go through sugar withdrawals again.

Would I do the Whole30 again? I don’t know. I hated everyday of feeling like I couldn’t even though it was still my choice. I didn’t feel like I had a choice because I made a commitment and I was going to stick it out no matter what. At this point, I want to tell Whole30 to shove it, but I like the results so I can’t.

Would I recommend it to someone else? Yes. I would tell them to understand everything about the challenge before they start though.

I guess that is all I have to say right now. đŸ™‚

Whole30 day 19

Whole30 Day 19–cravings are back

It is day 19 of Whole30 and I just had my supper of Whole30 Buffalo chicken and fries with some raw vegetables. I haven’t been feeling good today, like maybe I am catching a cold. Chicken wings sounded really good, so mom breaded some chicken breast chunks with flax, tapioca starch, and spices then baked it to get it crispy. After it was done, she tossed it in an olive oil and Frank’s Red Hot mixture (usually, it would be butter and Frank’s for buffalo wings, but Whole30 is no dairy, and I am allergic, so that wasn’t an option). It was good except the chicken we got wasn’t the greatest. We got it from a store we almost never buy meat from, and I can see why mom goes to specific stores not.

I don’t know if is the cold or what, but I want waffles and pastries, and just about anything sweet today. It is a hard day, and I am not a happy camper. On the plus side, I went down another size. My prom is May 22 and I don’t think I will know what dress to wear until a week before. Last year I wore a size 22, the dress I fit in now is a 16, so between my changes before and the boost of the Whole30, I am making progress.

My mom keep talking about how good she feels. I don’t think I notice much other than I am sleeping better most days.

I am learning how to cook more things on my own. I have made meals without help several times. I already knew how to cook, but always used recipes. This is teaching me to experiment and just go with it. The featured image is a pepper steak, topped with some avocado (for mom not me, yuck!) and Primal Kitchens Chipotle Mayo.

I guess that’s all for now. I need to go for a walk before I climb in bed.

 

 

Whole30 Day 11

We have made it 11 days! Yes, I am still hanging in there. It is getting easier.

I online school through EdVisions off Campus. This is a state online charter school that teaches via project based learning. Since this school spans the entire state, different areas are assigned advisers (teachers to help keep track of student progress etc…). Once in a while, advisories get together for field trips and today was one of those days.

We traveled to a town about an hour north of us where we met up with my adviser and other students in my advisory group and we participated in an “escape the room” activity. This is when you get locked into a room and have to use clues to get out.

After that, we all got together for a picnic in the park. The school provided chips and the makings for sandwiches and snacks.

Knowing that they would not have food that fit my choices, my mom and I made chicken and veggie soup last night to take today. It didn’t take us long, and just that little bit of planning gave us a meal that the other students were jealous of. I didn’t miss the sandwiches and junk at all.

I’d call that progress! 11 days down, and I think I can do this! OH!! And I went prom dress shopping today and I got a dress two sizes smaller than I used to wear!!

whole30 chaos

Whole30 can go Suck an EGG!!

I am not happy. I’m moody, I feel like crap, I want those stupid frozen stuffed Dorito things that I never eat anyway! Day four of Whole30 is not my friend.

I am not quitting though. I want to do it to prove to myself that I can. I want to feel better. I want to make better choices. I want to learn a healthy lifestyle for my future.

Yesterday sucked. Our neighbor is in the hospital–she is terminal. Since the hospital is 90 miles away, her family are all out there with her, and I’ve been taking care of their dogs. I had a tanning session yesterday morning (a whole other hell I am going through) and figured I would stop by and let the dogs out before I got home.

I locked my keys in the car. I took them out of the ignition, set them in the cup holder, got out and used the arm rest on the door for leverage. The click of the locks engaging didn’t register until after the door closed.

Hello, locksmith–my name is dumb ass–

I know, it happens, blah-blah-blah…

Did I mention I feel like crap?

Headaches, muscle aches, food cravings.

Then, I was driving with my mom to town last night and I almost ran a red light. I have only been driving a year, but that is the first close call I’ve had. Still feel like crap.

Today, I went to let the dogs out. They are locked in the kitchen and had made a mess. I cleaned while they were out, filled their food and water, all was good. I let them back in, and as I was leaving, one of the dogs literally knocked me down as I as going out the door and all three dogs escaped. Still feel like crap.

Keys, red lights, and dogs have nothing to do with Whole30 but when you feel terrible, they seem worse than they are.

So days 3 and 4–not great.

I did just eat a nice bowl of chicken curry though–It was freaking good! Maybe things are looking up.

crack hair cream

Crack Leave in Hair Treatment

I started coloring my hair in the 5th grade, but got serious with color in the 6th grade. Some people think that is crazy, but my mom and dad believed that hair color was a safe way to express my unique quirkiness. I was very unhappy with my light red hair, and the most drastic color I did was jet black (I would not recommend anyone with light hair going black–just saying, you will look like you are going bald with the grow out).

I ended up loving variations of deep red colors and would either adjust my color or touch it up every four to six weeks for the last 3-4 years. As you can imagine, hair damage is very real struggle for serial hair color-er.

Luckily I found Crack Leave in Hair Treatment. I absolutely love this stuff. It helps repair damage, keeps damage from occurring, keeps hair manageable and smells great!

Crack Hair Care Cream Healthy Hair
I have to color my undercut.!
Crack hair in the moring
Just ran a brush through my hair after waking up. Photo-Sharlene
Over colored hair healthy with crack hair cream
My ends are in pretty good shape, though I am due for a trim (It has been 4 months). You can see a little of the pink/red dye that has not pulled from my hair yet (just on the ends). As many times I’ve done color on top of color though, it is to be expected. Photo-Sharlene
crack hair don't care because it looks great
This was a picture with no flash, and my hair looks way darker than it is (that is why I used the one with flash for the featured image. It still looks cool though. I always keep the travel size in my bag/purse and big one in the bathroom. Love this stuff! Photo-Sharlene

I have been slowing bleaching back to my natural color, and as you can see in the photos above, my hair has minimal breakage and it is shiny and healthy. I also do coconut oil treatments from time to time, but that’s for another post. My mom uses Crack too and loves it, so it works well for both teenage and aging hair. (See mom’s response to my review here).

Ask your hairdresser if they have Crack products, or can get Crack on Amazon. They have shampoo and conditioner as well and I like them, but I have a different favorite shampoo/conditioner (Verb) and I will post about it later.

aleesha color sample 3
Many colors over the years. Photos-Sharlene (obvious selfies-Aleesha)

IMG_20140926_134932IMG_20130926_075311Aleesha color sample 1aleesha color sample 2

*Amazon links are associate links. Any commissions earned from this post will be put into Aleesha’s college fund.

Project Based Schooling

People are confused about my schooling more often than not. I go to EdVisions Off Campus. I am not a homeschooler, though I do almost all of my schooling from home. (Mind you, I love homeschooling–but it wasn’t for me). I am a public school student, and when I graduate I will get a diploma, just kids who go to a brick and mortar school. I have to meet all the same state standards as other kids, and I am just as social as other kids. The difference is how I go about achieving those goals.

Project based learning is really just like it sounds. Rather than reading specific curriculum and testing on it, I sit down with my adviser and discuss a project to help me learn about a topic. Though we are about 150 miles apart, we meet about twice a week one on one, for 30 minutes daily in group of other students online, and at least 3 times face to face throughout the year.

Project planning is an education in and of itself. For example, I might want to research the Civil War as part of my history requirement. I have to determine how much time I will spend doing research, what resources I will use, what questions I am looking to answer and how I present my evidence to a proposal team to get the credits I need. I might want to visit Civil War sites as part of my project, and I would add that in. I may write a report, create a slide show or even do a presentation about what I learned. All of this, I have to plan out before I start my project.

The bonus to learning this way, is that I remember what I learn so much more. In 2016 I was lucky enough to travel to France with some other students from my school. Now, when someone talks about what an engineering marvel the Eiffel Tower is, I can relate because I’ve been there! I have looked down from the top of it! When someone talks about World War II and D-day, I can say that I’ve walked those beaches. I’ve seen the craters left in the landscape from bombs, and the debris and shelters that still linger.

Project based learning has worked great for me, but it isn’t for everyone. I have to manage my time in a way I never had to when I was in “regular” school. I have to be much more responsible.  I will share some of my projects and thoughts with you, and if you have questions, I’d love to read them!

Leftover Chili Salad

As I posted in my  Salad post, my love of salad is pretty extreme. Here is a new love of mine that makes a great lunch! We had left over chili, and I just didn’t want a heavy bowl of chili for lunch, so I used some as a topping for salad. The result is similar to taco salad, but not quite.

I used an artisan salad mix, homemade pico de gallo, a little vegan cheese (due to dairy allergy) and topped it with hot chili. You can add corn chips if you’d like, I used a small handful of Whole Grain Milling Company’s Blue Corn Chips. Use any chili you like, but I like it best if the chili is a little soupier, but sometimes left over chili thickens up, that’s good too, but I don’t think I’d ever eat with canned chili (of course I think canned chili is gross).

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

IMG_2553
I didn’t think about taking a photo until I’d already stirred it all up, so sorry it isn’t that great… –Aleesha

Salads

Once, when I was younger, my dad said “No one really loves salad” and I must have thought “Challenge accepted!”. I usually eat one salad a day and I make a point to make it as close to gourmet as a 16 year old is capable of.

I think one of the best things about salads is your imagination is really the limit to what you can make. I used to like to use a mix of French Dressing and Ranch Dressing and now I don’t eat either, so I go with a primal dressing or make my own vinaigrette. No matter what, I always enjoy a multitude of vegetables, fruits, nuts or meats to make my salad a sustaining meal.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to put together a collection of photos and posts on salads. I hope they will inspire you and help you to see that not only can you love salad, but they can be a healthy and filling meal for you to enjoy.

wordpresssalad1
Artisan lettuce mix, celery, onion, yellow peppers, radish, pico de gallo, guacamole, one swipe across the grater of grass fed organic cheddar cheese (it was my cheat day) and a few gluten free french fried onions for crunch. I topped it with lime, ACV, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.

Aleesha’s Bio

My name is Aleesha, and I am a 16 year old girl living in the frozen tundra we call Minnesota. I am online schooled at EdVisions Off Campus. This is a project based school and it suits me well.

I love make up. My mom would call me an addict, I just think I have good taste. I have a lot of it, and will share some of favorites on here.

I have food allergies that mean I can longer enjoy things like Dorito’s that are bad for me anyway. Since being diagnosed, I have been working on eating healthier and getting more active. It is a journey that hopefully I can share with you along the way.

Since November, I have lost 20-25 pounds and have become much more active. I am making progress!

I don’t really know what else to say because I am new at this, but here it is.