Thursday, 28 March 2013

Wheat Belly: Gutless in Ottawa

Recipe Alert!

Over the past few months, depression has set in.
Let's recap.
I lost my job despite Herculean efforts to keep it. Also, Scott is only working part-time at a wine store and last night he was told he'd be lucky to get any more hours -- ever.
This means all the wine we can drink but no money to eat.
We haven't exactly been broke because the money was still coming in from my whack-job helping a French company start an English website, but now my income has been reduced by 60 percent.
And yesterday, we got a tax bill claiming we owe $4,000.
Wowee, kazowee.
I suspect the whole thing can be straightened out -- there is no way given our financial situation that we owe that -- but it is quite heart-stopping going from getting a refund to owing the equivalent of a year's property tax in the Glebe. (Prior to Lansdowne Live!)
This and a few health concerns have left me comatose on the couch for most of the shortened hockey season.
As a result, I have developed the dreaded muffin top.
Also, my joints have become a country song.  "Achey, achey, feel like they're gonna breaky", and I've strained a tendon in my neck from all that Facebook Facetime.
It was becoming pretty clear that something had to give.
That's why a few days ago, I thought it was time to get my shit together.
I bought a brand new pair of runners to replace the leaky ones - $39.99 at Costco -- score!
And it's time for the annual spring cleanse.
My biggest issue is wheat. I love it, but I doesn't agree with me. I eat one sanny and I get hungry an hour later. I eat pasta and I want a burger seconds later.
That sort of thing.
It's not the gluten. It's the wheat.
Must have been all that beer you drank in the 70s, the peanut gallery chimes in.
So I went looking for something to help erase wheat from my life.
This season, I'm trying The Wheat Belly Cookbook, which essentially trades all manner of wheat -- flour, snacks, even pasta -- for some pretty creepy edibles, most of which have to be made from scratch. So Scott and I did a tour of Bulk Barn the other day in search of almond and garbanzo flour and a whole bunch of coconut derivatives. It wasn't an easy task given the fact that the front of the house is choco-block with packaged and unpackaged sweets and snacks.
Bulk Barn is the retail equivalent of a mullet: party in the front, business in the back.
The healthy food is in the back, wedged between the corn syrup and the salted soup mixture.
It takes a whole lot of courage for a dieter to even venture into Bulk Barn. It got me feeling a bit like Martin Sheen's character in search of Marlon Brando in Apocolypse Now. And let's be reminded that Martin Sheen had a heart attack finding him.
Anyways, I was looking for something to replace the bread in my morning Egg McMoo.
Our expedition proved successful, if not a bit pricey. I can buy a bucket of Robin Hood and all the trimmings at Loblaws for a tooney, but a five pound satchel of almond flour is the price of a visit to the veterinarian.
I digress.
Yesterday, I sacrificed 20 minutes of couch time to make Wheat Belly Basic Biscuits which are a combo of almond flour, flax seeds, butter and a mass of egg whites.
Thank goodness for the Kitchen Aid mixer and those boxes of egg whites languishing sadly in the back of my fridge.
The recipe sounds gross, I know, but these biscuits are actually very tasty, sort of like eating a savory oatmeal cookie. That's the texture -- that almond cookie you buy with your Chinese food late at night, thinking you'll have room for it but never do. That same cookie you find a year later while doing a fridge cleaning, the one that's wedged between the half-eaten Almond Guy Ding and some kind of fossilized pork product.

The nutty Egg McMoo was a triumph.
I usually get hungry every hour if I'm eating badly. If I eat a regular Egg McMoo on an English muffin, I can usually last until about 2 p.m. But these babies kept me satiated until dinner time!
Holy Non-wheat cannoli!
Plus, I woke up this morning and I'd dropped three pounds.
No brainer, right? Ingesting that much flaxseed is like downing Instant Plumber.
So this morning, I'm happily chomping on a biscuit and peanut butter with a banana chaser.
Then it's off to the gym to get my sweat on.
Muffin belly, begone!
I know, I know. It's a diet. It's a fad.
But three pounds? I'm takin' it.

Here's the biscuit recipe from The Wheat Belly Cookbook which costs $23 at Chapter's and $14 at Costco.

1 cup almond meal/flour
1 cup ground golden flaxseeds
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
4 egg whites.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal/flour, flaxseeds and baking powder.
In a medium bolw, beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the flour ingredients until well-blended.
Spoon the dough into 8 rounds on the baking sheet. Flatten to approximately 1/4" thickness. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Per serving: 209 calories, 8 g protein, 9 g carbs 18 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 6 g fibre, 348 mg sodium.

Ed. Note I would suggest doubling the recipe and making big ones, then eating your Egg McMoo as an open face. Delish!

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