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Gluten Free Chewy Sugar Cookies

My absolute favorite cookie in the world is a sugar cookie. While I will eat the thin and sort of crispy sugar cookies, the ones that really get me excited are the chewy sugar cookies. You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones with the center that is just barely done. Before I started the Keto diet, I am embarrassed to say how many sugar cookies I was able to eat in one sitting. I . wouldn’t call myself a master baker, but I am able to follow a recipe. The one thing I was never able to make very well were sugar cookies. They always looked deflated and they were most definitely NOT chewy! Until now.

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chewy sugar cookies

Buying pre-made sugar cookie dough was what I’ve always done. I even went as far as to buy sugar cookie dough that was already cut into shapes for Christmas. Not even lying. That solved several issues for me. My inability to make good, chewy sugar cookies, and not having to deal with flour all over my kitchen with my kids cutting out cookies. I am not that kind of mom and that’s OK! Once I learned that I needed to eat gluten free, I pretty much figured my chewy sugar cookie days were over. NOPE!

Gluten Free Chewy Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Salted Butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour (I prefer this brandchewy sugar cookies)
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 heaping tsp Salt

Directions

For the directions on how to bake these chewy sugar cookies to perfection, be sure to check Iowa Girl Eats. I followed her directions to a T and my cookies were perfect! Even non-gluten free people loved them!

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One thing I learned, when I was making these sugar cookies, was that not all baking powders were gluten free. I quickly dumped what I had and purchased the Clabber Girl brand. It says right on the container that it is gluten free. Better safe than sorry. Also, I baked cookies for the first time with parchment paper on the baking sheet and it made a HUGE difference in getting those chewy sugar cookies! I will definitely be doing that again the next time I make these cookies! One thing I will be doing the next time I bake these is using lemon extract in place of vanilla. I bet that will taste delicious!


Spicy Brussels Sprouts – Air Fryer Recipe

Brussels sprouts have always been that vegetable that I wanted to like, but I just couldn’t get past the smell. They just always seemed to smell like feet to me. Over the holidays, I had Brussels sprouts and they were delicious (and didn’t smell like feet). I started thinking about the different spices I could use to make them myself. While honey and balsamic vinegar make them delicious, they aren’t really on my Keto diet. However, this spicy Brussels sprouts recipe is totally on my diet!

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spicy brussels sprouts

Spicy Brussels Sprouts Air Fryer Recipe

Course Side Dish
Keyword air fryer, keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Leah Kanaan

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Brussels Sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lime Juice

Instructions

  1. Wash and trim your Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half and place them in a large Zip Lock bag.

  2. Add all of your ingredients to the Zip Lock bag

  3. Place the Brussels sprouts in the Air Fryer. Set the temperature to 400° and the time for 15 minutes.

  4. Half way through the time, take the basket out and shake the Brussels sprouts and put them back in for the remaining time.

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When I originally made this, I did not cut them in half. While they were still very good, the spicy Brussels sprouts would be even better if you cut them in half. This way the yummy, spicy Brussels sprouts get even more of the spicy seasoning all over them! These Brussels sprouts are delicious! Even my daughter tried them!

If you don’t have an air fryer, get one! This has become my favorite appliance! Everything we’ve put in this air fryer has come out delicious! I cannot wait to make a steak in it!

Philips Airfryer, The Original Airfryer with Bonus 150+ Recipe Cookbook, Fry Healthy with 75% Less Fat, Black HD9220/28Philips Airfryer, The Original Airfryer with Bonus 150+ Recipe Cookbook, Fry Healthy with 75% Less Fat, Black HD9220/28Air Fry Everything: Foolproof Recipes for Fried Favorites and Easy Fresh Ideas by Blue Jean Chef, Meredith Laurence (The Blue Jean Chef)Air Fry Everything: Foolproof Recipes for Fried Favorites and Easy Fresh Ideas by Blue Jean Chef, Meredith Laurence (The Blue Jean Chef)

When Your Gallbladder Fails You

Back in October, I started getting the worst pain I’ve ever felt. It started in my upper right abdomen and radiated to my back and into my shoulder. Of course I Googled and once I talked myself out of it being a heart attack, I realized it was my gallbladder. So, as you can imagine, I began Googling everything possible about when your gallbladder fails! And lets be really honest here, I was freaking out that I would’t be able to do the Keto diet any longer.

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gallbladder fails

Image via Pexels

What to Do if You Suspect a Gallbladder Attack

First of all, I can tell you what not to do…don’t go to Urgent Care. They can’t really help you there. If you are having a gallbladder attack, you need to go to the ER. I sat at Urgent Care for hours only to have an x-ray done that didn’t really tell them anything. Unfortunately, I continued to have pain off and on and worst of all, I was nauseous every single day. I woke up with a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth every morning and getting out of bed took a lot of effort.

How Did I Finally Get Help?

My primary care doctor ordered an ultrasound for me. The ultrasound came back clear. According to the ultrasound, there was nothing wrong with my gallbladder. However, after a lot of research on my part, I found that it’s not abnormal for the ultrasound to come back like that. There could be things that the ultrasound is not able to pick up that is actually there. My primary care doctor suspected I was dealing with an ulcer or acid reflux. I argued because, again, after all my research, it did not seem like an ulcer or acid reflux at all. In the end, I was referred to a GI doctor. That ended up being a HUGE blessing!

Within a few minutes of meeting with the GI doctor, I knew I was going to get results. He listened to exactly what I was telling him and started making a plan. The first thing he recommended I do was have an endoscopy done to definitely rule out an ulcer or acid reflux. The second thing he recommended was a HIDA scan. The HIDA scan will show any problems with gallbladder, liver, or bile ducts.

When the Gallbladder Fails

My endoscopy came back fine. No ulcers and no acid reflux. But I already knew that! The HIDA scan came back with low gallbladder ejection fraction (less than 20%…normal is over 35%). My GI doctor called me the next day and immediately referred me to a surgeon. I met with the surgeon and she told me that she felt comfortable, based on my different tests, that removing my gallbladder would be the right thing for me. Of course, I agreed. It had been over 3.5 months at this point and I was about to lose my mind.

Surgery to Remove the Gallbladder

My surgery was on January 5, 2018. Strangely enough, I was not nervous at all. That is not like me at all. I was oddly calm. The goal was to have the surgery done laparoscopic, unless an issue pops up and they have to switch to general surgery (I think that’s what they called it). Thankfully, my surgeon was able to do it laparoscopic! Apparently I caused a little hiccup in the OR when my blood pressure suddenly dropped WAY too low during surgery. They had to give me a shot of epinephrine to speed it back up. The only problem with that was, when I woke up, I ended up spending more time in recovery because they couldn’t get my heart rate to calm back down. After several bags of fluids and lots of trips to the bathroom, it finally calmed down enough for me to go home.

 

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Did Surgery Work?

When your gallbladder fails like this and you have surgery to remove it, there is always that chance that it doesn’t help your symptoms. While I was terrified of that happening, the idea of living another day with the nausea and pain was just too much. The very next day after my surgery, I woke up with ZERO nausea! I haven’t been nauseous yet. Yes it’s not been a full two weeks yet, but I’ve been able to eat fine and I don’t feel sick anymore. So I am cautiously optimistic that it worked! One of the things the surgeon (and friends that have had their gallbladder removed) told me was that I could end up with diarrhea for a few months after I eat. Thankfully that has not happened either! I feel like a new person!

I know doctors don’t necessarily like when patients Google everything, but if there is one thing I learned, it’s that if you don’t agree with a diagnosis or your treatment, stand up for yourself. Push for tests that you want done. Speak up to be heard. I went in to my appointment with my GI doc with an outline on my phone of everything I had been through. When it came time to give him my history, I pulled out my phone and read the outline.

Oh and my worries about the Keto diet…I have been eating according to the Keto diet for the last week and no issues at all!

Have you had your gallbladder removed?

Curing Sleep Apnea and Living Healthier

Almost two years ago, my husband and I made the decision to take charge of our life and make some drastic changes. You see, I weighed 250 pounds, the highest I’ve ever been and my husband weighed well over 300 pounds. We were unhealthy. He had sleep apnea. While the snoring was annoying, listening to him stop breathing during the night was even worse. After having a sleep study and getting a CPAP machine, we knew it was time to do something drastic. We were in a very unhealthy, downward spiral. Curing sleep apnea was not something we ever expected.

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curing sleep apnea

Image via Pexels

What did we do?

I had heard a lot about the Keto diet from my friend Summer (The Dirty Floor Diaries…check her out. She’s awesome). If you aren’t familiar with the Keto diet, it’s a low carb diet where you eat high fat and moderate protein. As you can imagine, the idea of eating full fat was terrifying to me. Especially since I was already fat. In my mind, all I kept thinking was, “well…I’m already fat. What’s a few more pounds going to hurt if this doesn’t work?“. Imagine my surprise when this lifestyle change actually worked!

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curing sleep apnea

How did the Keto diet help us?

As you can see, we lost quite a bit of weight on the Keto diet. I lost close to 90 pounds and my husband lost 125 pounds! Besides the weight loss and the dramatic transformation, we had the following amazing things happened, as a result to make the Keto lifestyle our new normal:

  • Dropped MANTY clothes sizes
  • No longer Type 2 Diabetic
  • Lowered LDL cholesterol
  • Raised HDL cholesterol
  • Lowered triglycerides from 300 to 65 <–for real!
  • No more brain fog
  • More energy
  • Cured sleep apnea

Curing Sleep Apnea

The way I understand sleep apnea, there are two main causes…being overweight or something to do with the way your brain functions. Prior to us starting the Keto diet, my husband had a sleep study done. He was snoring like crazy and I couldn’t even begin to count how many times he stopped breathing during the night. It was terrifying. After the sleep study, he got a CPAP machine and let me tell you, he slept better and I slept better. It was controlling his sleep apnea very well!

A few weeks ago, he went to have a repeat sleep study done. His doctor felt it was a good idea since he had lost a tremendous amount of weight. We just got the results back yesterday. He no longer has sleep apnea AT ALL! Curing sleep apnea was a direct result of taking charge of our health with the Keto diet. To be honest, the idea of curing sleep apnea was not

Getting started with the Keto diet can seem very overwhelming. I get it. Believe me…I do! If you are interested in more information and would like to see some sample recipes I personally love, then check out the following links:

How to Start the Keto Diet

Keto Diet Success Tips and Tricks

Keto Diet Long term 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Fat Bomb

Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

Chorizo Chicken Soup Recipe

If you have some health concerns that your doctor says could possibly be helped with a lifestyle change, then seriously check out Keto as one of your options. If you have any questions please contact me. I will do my best to answer your question or point you in the right direction, if I can!


*Please note, I am not a doctor. While the Keto diet did help us with some of our health concerns, it may not be the best lifestyle change for you. As always, before changing your diet, please consult with your doctor.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

I’m not going to lie…one of my favorite things EVER is cookie dough. Before Keto, I used to make cookie dough, not because I cared about baking the cookies in the oven (though, these Rolo stuffed cookies are my kids favorite), but because I wanted to eat insane amounts of raw cookie dough. Now that I have been successfully following the Keto diet for almost two years now, I no longer eat cookie dough or have the urge to. However, there are times when I need to get some extra fat in at the end of the day (or I just want a little treat) so I make these delicious peanut butter cookie dough fat bombs!

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peanut butter cookie dough

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Salted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sunbutter or Peanut Butter (I prefer Sunbutter)
  • 1/3 Cup Swerve Sweetener or Stevia
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Set your cream cheese and butter out and allow it to come to room temperature (trust me…don’t skip this step).
  2. Combine all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hand mixer (I like this mixer and it’s on sale!).
  3. Once your peanut butter cookie dough is mixed up, spoon it into your favorite silicone mold.
  4. Place in your freezer for at least 1 hour to allow it to set. You can keep them in the mold and take them out as you need one or store them in a small container in your freezer.

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Starting the Keto lifestyle was one of the best decisions of my life. If you are thinking about starting your own Keto journey, then you need to check out these posts:

How to Start the Keto Diet

Top 10 Keto Diet Must Haves

A few of my must try recipes (besides these yummy peanut butter cookie dough fat bombs) to get you started on your Keto journey are:

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Creamed Spinach

Chorizo Chicken Soup

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Homemade Gummy Bears

As always, if you ever have any questions about the Keto lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Click on the contact me up above and send me an email. I am happy to help you out! Good luck!