31-year-old wife and mother of 4
(+1 in the oven).
One week until number 5 is born, and I’ve only gained about 25 pounds (instead of my normal 60-pound gain or more). I can’t help but think back to the year I took hold of my health: 2016.
My foremost thanks go to God and by His grace, I was led to Dr. Neale. I visited Dr. Neale for various reasons, one being a second opinion on low thyroid. After in-depth blood work, detailed explanations of food intolerances, and my health conditions, I needed to make a choice. Was I going to continue on the same path or turn here and start a better health journey? To be honest, I didn’t have conviction in my decision right away, but I was scared of my current health condition.
I chose to start on a beautiful journey that has proved fulfilling in many ways, not only for myself but for my husband, growing family, and loved ones around me (for they also suffered when I had negative mood swings, irritability, and constant impatience). After many questions to Dr. Neale, I found the motivation to do an online lifestyle program called the Whole Life Challenge. With the outside accountability and support from family and friends, I was able to go dairy, sugar, and gluten FREE. I started eating only whole foods and a LOT more vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I fall off the wagon here and there, but my fall reminds me how I amazing I FEEL when I eat right for my body. This is enough motivation to get back up on my beautiful daily evolving wagon.
After a recheck blood test, it was exciting to see that my inflammation markers were WAY better. My improved mood stability, sleep quality, energy, and daily outlook on life convinced me that THIS is the way I am going to continue eating. I personally experienced the negative effects of cane sugar on my mood and have chosen to eliminate it from our home. Using coconut sugar, maple syrup, and honey instead have proven to be more satisfying. I have revised many recipes and made some amazing dishes and drinks. If you take baby steps and slowly buy those more expensive healthier options and stop obtaining the junk foods that mess with our minds and bodies, YOU, too, can enjoy your everyday life!!
Here is my revised GUILT FREE hot cocoa. Adapted from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations cookbook.
Psst! She is my newest and fave inspiration.
B’s Better-for-You Hot Cocoa
Serves 4 (IF you can share)
Takes approximately 10 minutes
2 cups of unsweetened flax milk
3/4 can full-fat coconut milk
Combine flax and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then turn to low and whisk the following ingredients into the mixture:
1.5 oz unsweetened dark chocolate, finely chopped (up to 3 oz for a richer flavor)
1 3/4 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
Fill a half cup measuring cup almost full with organic pure maple syrup, and then fill the rest of the half cup with raw honey.
Pour syrup/honey mixture into a saucepan, whisking occasionally until chocolate melts and the mixture is thick and creamy (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and OPTIONALLY add the desired amount of your flavor of essential oil. Then pour into mugs to serve.
I personally like mine without essential oil. I LOVE having leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge for the next day!
Reheat over medium heat and enjoy again!
If you end up drinking all 4 servings… I understand. It really is THAT good and such unbelievably simple ingredients!!
PLEASE DO ENJOY!