Baking

I used to consider myself a bit of a Domestic Goddess..

Yep. Li’l ol’ Me.

Domestic Goddess, Wife Extraordinaire. Master of all things Culinary and Bakery. Cute little Wifey and Mom, complete with Apron, Slippers, Coffee in the Peculator and Fresh Bread ready for when you get home..

A Domestic Goddess – Can you see it?

Nope, me neither 🙂

I am not vain nor am I conceited. (quite the opposite actually, although I’m learning – slowly, to be happy).

No longer do I worry over my image, I like who I am and I love my family. I finally feel comfortable with my mind and my body and do you know what the biggest factor was in achieving that?

I stopped giving a shit what I thought (or knew) what people thought of me!!

I dye my hair ginger – because I like it – and I can, and I care not one penny what people think. I wear clothes that are probably too young for me – I like them. I fancy myself as a bit of a Disney princess and I probably wear too much make-up – bite me!

My point is, I always thought I was supposed to be this Domestic Goddess. Dress in florals, own an Apron and some fluffy slippers, with clips in my hair and a clean, sparkly house with coffee on the counter for if/when people popped by, and dinner in the oven for when the boys get home..

I did that for years. No one came. Ok, the slippers and hair clips remain (Unicorns and ‘My Little Pony’ of course), but now, if anyone does ever come through (rarely), they can take me as they find me. My house isn’t always spotless nor do I have the coffee on stand-by. But you will be welcomed and I am a good friend and if that isn’t enough; I have 2 doors for you to choose your exit. That’s how I live my life now. And I am happy!

BUT. It wasn’t always that way, I used to be very different (VERY):

My Nannan was a brilliant Baker – always something on the kitchen sides; apple pie, meat pie, cakes, tarts etc.. She even made monstrous amounts of Pickled Onions. I will always carry those childhood memories in my heart. I used to sit with my uncle and a fork and we’d devour the entire jar until our bellies ached and we stank of vinegar. Awesome 🙂

When my Nannan died, my Grandad took over her craft and he too was an awesome baker. I used to stay with my Grandad when my mum was in hospital and dad was working. He used to make pies and cakes and buns and we always had Sunday Dinner there.

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I knew when I was older that I wanted to learn and be like them. My mum didn’t do much, partly due to her health and partly due to her Diabetes (limiting sugar to control her blood sugar levels etc). We baked at Christmas and she would make me a Cake for my birthday (my favourite was a pink frosting teddybear cake – it was awesome), but in all honesty, she was a bit of a crap cook. I don’t remember many childhood meals that I actually enjoyed. I remember more meals where I’d chop up my rubbery, dry gammon in attempt to hide it in my dry, lumpy mashed potatoes whilst both mum & dad sat coaxing me (bullying me) with their ‘mmmms and yums’ to eat all my food or I’d be hungry ‘cos you won’t get anything else now’ (lol). It was painful!

Don’t get me wrong. I adored my mum and I hold her on a pedestal (quite rightly so), but what I’m saying is; she was all kinds of incredible, but a Domestic Goddess she was not!

And then when we lost my mum when I was 15, me and my dad just managed. We’d buy crispy pancakes or fishcakes and have sandwiches (they were the best) or we’d go Morrison’s and buy garlic tear and share breads and microwave chicken pasta dishes (they were the bomb)!! We’d have their steak pies with tinned mushy peas and mint sauce (yum) and every weekend we’d have bacon butties with ketchup and go to the chip-shop for supper. I had an awesome childhood – I’m not knocking it. BUT, (I didn’t realise until many years later) no one ever taught me how to cook or bake or survive in that way!

When I had my boys and got our home. I was a little bit shit!!

I had no idea how to cook or bake because nobody taught me..

My sister in Law was (and is) a Domestic Goddess. When we went to her house for the first time I was in awe at all the spices and ingredients she had. She had a MagiMix and a Kitchen Aid and an AGA and made all these amazing dishes and desserts, and she had shelves upon shelves of cooking and baking books. I think I spent our entire weekend in complete awe of her. Sat by the AGA keeping my ass warm reading her books, making notes of what books I wanted to get and just sat watching her – I learnt so much from her (silently) watching her move around her home, kitchen and doing all things Domesic Godessy.

I learnt so much about what I needed to be. I realised that I definitely needed to step up. I was just like ‘whoa! this is what I should be doing.. I need to sort myself out’

So, I did. The first book I bought for myself was Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess’ and it was the best book I ever bought. I bought more, but Nigella’s were always my favourite. I did love Jamie Oliver’s simplicity too and learnt a lot about vegetables and food sources from him.

I bought some oven dishes, new pans, a Mixer/Blender, some spices and essentials. I bought utensils and a colander, and a couple of cake tins. I really sorted myself out and set to work.

I learnt how to make pastry (sweet and savoury), I learnt the art of cake baking, I mastered curries and lasagne and all things in-between. I took great pride in providing for my family. We even started having homemade bread and pizza bases instead of buying them. I never bought pizza’s and we didn’t have take-away either!

I also made a point of teaching Morgan, I realised that no one actually taught me and that I didn’t know what I didn’t know – until I knew.

I was almost 25 before I’d really learnt what I was doing. I had muddled through my early 20’s providing for Morgan, I nursed him but I made him very little baby-food. He was raised on jars and ready-made food that I thought was ok. I didn’t even roast my first joint of meat until well after his 2nd Birthday!! Our Christmas dinner was a boil in the bag beef AND I was queen Marks and Spencers Chicken Kiev and Ready Roasted chicken customer!

But, when I had Carter I was adamant I’d be better. I made sure he had exactly what he needed and everyday we had fresh home-cooked and home-baked goods (I’d learnt by then). Batching baby-food and preparing fresh snacks. Annabell Karmel Books made it into my life and I thought I was doing well!

I wanted to make sure my boys knew all about food and nutrition and how to prepare food, shop at the grocers and butchers, bakers and source food properly etc..

I was quite proud of myself if I’m honest, we even took it a step further and Greg built veggie patches in the garden. I remember; we had a full weekend running farm fresh manure back and forth in our boot (it was roasting red hot weather and we were covered in it – vests, shorts and wellies – we stunk – it was so much fun!), playing with worms and digging up shit. The boys loved it 🙂

We grew our own vegetables (not enough to be self-sustainable but a decent amount): peas, salad lettuce, radish, carrots, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, sprouts, potatoes and some berries. The boys loved helping in the garden, watering, feeding, weeding, digging, pruning and harvesting. They’d go pick peas ‘cos they’re ready mom’ – just to fill their bellies – fresh pod peas – YUM!

There’s nothing nicer than preparing , cooking and eating your own fresh home-grown food. Salads and Veggies and Fruits. It’s very self satisfying and the boys learnt so much – we all did!

Our blueberry bush was a joint gift (to ourselves) for our first wedding anniversary and it’s still flourishing – I love it!! You have to be quick though because the birds are like lightening – they stalk it out and then as soon as those precious little berries go blue they descend and in 1 day it can be empty – you HAVE to be quick! We protect it with old CD’s and netting but the birds are clever – and sneaky.. 1 year they beat us, but usually I’m on it. Blueberries are awesome! And, on the back of our houses are 5 enormous, amazing cherry trees, we always take buckets and my husband climbs up to the highest juiciest cherries – yum!!

I was very sure and steady, I was confident my boys ate a healthy, sustainable balanced diet. 7 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, carbohydrates and home-baked goodies.

I was a Domestic Goddess. I even dressed like one – like I thought I was supposed to look. Blonde hair, floral print, I had an apron and a coffee peculator and a sparkly house!

I took great pride in ensuring they had a home-made birthday cake each year.. I started off really enjoying it (for the first few years), then it became a chore and I put more and more pressure on myself. But, I didn’t mind too much – they are worth it..

Here’s a montage of their birthday cakes:

I was even roped into baking for other people, I taught a few friends how to make biscuits and treats. The boys would come home needing 30-40 buns for the next day. Charity events would need cookies or cupcakes. I didn’t mind. It wasn’t the cheapest hobby but it was ok.

Halloween

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Christmas:

Easter:

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Lots of fresh bread:

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We always had homemade pies, cherry pies, custards, pizza, calzone, stews, curries, lasagne. You get it…

I repeat: I was a Domestic Goddess 🙂 I even dressed how I thought a Domestic Goddess, mom and wife should look. Florals, Blonde.. Oh Dear…

God LOOK at some of them pictures!! Florals and Coffee!! C.R.I.N.G.E!!!!

BUT then, my baby boy nearly died, and those weeks he spent fighting for his life – completely changed mine. I realised that life is far too short to piss about cleaning the house incase (no one) unexpected people visit. And that I don’t really need to wear make-up all the time and that I never even needed an Apron.

Then Carter was diagnosed with Type1 Diabetes and our whole world got thrown upside down.

Then we recovered – survived – and we moved on, stumbling in the darkness. Fighting to stay alive. It was hard – impossible!

We spent the first 6 months of his diagnosis doing exactly what everyone else does, what the hospital advise you to do ‘carry on as normal’ ‘eat whatever you want and just take the insulin to cover it’.. So we did and then he was sick. High and Low and on a complete rollercoaster of blood sugar hell. I was awake every night checking him, 100% alert to jump in and save his life. Waiting for the hypo’s, for him to have a seizure, correcting high’s giving glucose for lows. Laying beside him – listening.. In a constant state of panic. How would he go on like this for the rest of his life? How would I survive like this? Long enough to keep him safe?

It. Was. Impossible!

So, we researched and learnt and realised that there was another way. It was the sugar, the carbohydrates and you can live without them. Of course we’d not ate them in abundance like before. I hadn’t baked once and we had wraps v’s bread, potatoes only once a week etc. But I thought we HAD to have them, they were part of the food pyramid.. I knew (from my mum) that he had to be restricted (regardless of what the hospital tells you). But I didn’t know you can completely eradicate them from your life and be healthier for it! WOW!

The Game Changed!!

Then we found Dr Bernstein and as you know, we adopted his Diabetes Solutions Method and totally changed our lives. We became a Low Carbohydrate family and ditched all sugar, grains, starches, gluten and fruit.. We all became fat-adapted. Keto. Carter blood sugars flatlined, stabilised, his insulin requirements were incredible and he was safe – healthy. And we ALL lost weight – and feel great! Amazing.. I wouldn’t believe me either if I didn’t see it for myself!

Then I found TypeoneGRIT and learnt all about Diabetes and the Food Pyramid and families who were already way ahead of us – thriving – and I was stunned!!

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I have written a whole page about this that I’ve headed on the front page of my blog home screen. Type 1 Diabetes and Dr Bernstein. You really should check it out.

I soon realised that NOTHING readily available is low carb, EVERYTHING has sugar or carbs or both.

So, if you want a cookie or bread or a cake you have no choice. You HAVE to make your own. Using very different ingredients than standard baking. And it’s weird.. How it works just blows my mind…

My shopping lists are just weird. Some things I don’t even know what they are – but I learn. I love that I am learning as we go. Learning the TRUTH!

I do however spend a lot of time on AMAZON, there are very few resources for our kind of food in the UK, the supermarkets are just ridiculous. So, we shop online and order in bulk so we have plenty and aren’t crippled with international shipping costs. It’s probably dearer yes – but it’s worth it. There is no comparison as far as I am concerned. And there is never any going back!

Luckily, there are some super-humans out there who came before me and now lead the way in low carb cooking and baking and I lean heavily on them, their blogs and personal support is keeping me afloat..

There is great health benefit to adopting a Low Carbohydrate lifestyle.

I had never looked at the food we eat as healing or having the ability to heal. But one thing I have learnt is that is exactly what food is. Food is not a treat or reward or something to make you happy. It is fuel – and we really are what we eat!

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I have linked to some of my favourite blogs on my homepage but here are my favourite two:

All Day I Dream About Food. Carolyn is amazing, she’s probably my go-to for anything. She’s also a member of a group I am in and offers her support there, I really appreciate it.

Maria is another great resource, her knowledge on nutrition and balancing the body is priceless. You should check out her offerings.

BUT, as yet, there isn’t a great UK source. I think we are a bit behind with that – too many Britons preferring their fish and chips or bacon butties!

We still eat bacon butties by the way, we just make our own bread.

We are technically on a Keto diet. BUT we are NOT on a diet. We have a KETO lifestyle but we do not limit protein or fat. Our aim is normal, stable and healthy BLOOD SUGARS. The weight loss, additional muscle, fitness, clearer mind, skin and just general better health are all additional benefits. We can all exercise for hours from fasting – even Carter with Type 1 Diabetes – hours without a hypo!

Keto is the way to GO!

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I’m re-learning everything I learnt a decade ago. Baking again but with very different ingredients: Nut flours – almond, coconut, peanut, lupin, chestnut and walnut flour – ever heard of them? Me neither but do you know what? Amazing! And Carters blood sugars when eating them? AMAZING!! They behave differently and taste different but it’s good. You can almost taste the good. It’s weirdly wonderful!

Why any diabetic is taught different to how we live now is beyond me. You should take note – CHANGE and take your life back.

We still eat chocolate cookies and Carter had a chocolate cake for his birthday. BUT, he had normal blood sugars and minimal insulin. Compared to a cake I made for his 7th Birthday which would have taken 12units of insulin and sent his sugars to the moon and back..

Carters Birthday Cake (completely gluten and sugar free) Very low Carb:

To maintain Carter’s health and prolong all of our lives, Dr Bernstein’s methods are the only way. Carter will survive his Type 1 Diabetes. He will never be cured, but he will live and he will thrive, so that’s why we do what we do..

And I’m learning to cook and bake – all over again. It’s weird. I feel so out of my depth, like a complete amateur. Some things come out and go straight in the bin (turkey burgers – yuk), but I do it and I teach my boys all about nutrition; now I know that what I am teaching them is correct, so that they can go on and survive and live a long and healthy life.

We spent the first 6 months of our new Keto Journey learning about basic survival, dialling in our primary meal rotation. Learning what we liked and what we could manage. Sourcing food and adapting.

Now, we want to grow and really set in a routine where we can maintain this for life.

Baking and Cooking and Experimenting is how we thrive.. We want to have a fun, light, enjoyable life. OK, meat and veggies will always be our staple nutrition and food is fuel. BUT, birthdays or events or markers in life require thinking outside the box; wanting that little bit more and if my children want a treat because that is normal, and it fits into our quota, they can have what they want. Because that is normal and that’s life!

We made bread this week, our own cereal and some flapjack. It’s delicious. No flour, wheat, grains, oats or sugar. We used almond flour, peanuts, cashew nuts, coconut meal,  almond meal, a crazy substance called psyllium husks, xantham gum, protein whey, sugar free chocolate and coconut butter. It’s a whole new world and I can’t wait to be better at it..

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Bread (no yeast – go figure):

Cereal:

Cookies:

Cakes:

Flapjack:

I’m also now a master at pancakes, waffles and pizza bases!

In fact, I need to write about my pizza. It’s THE BEST!

So, we learn about this whole new world, and the more we learn, the more frustrated I become that we were taught differently. Wrong!

That the whole world thinks differently – and it’s wrong!

Diabetics CANNOT handle SUGAR – carbohydrates are SUGAR. Diabetics should not have carbohydrates AT ALL! They don’t need them. No one needs them. We don’t eat them..

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Cancer is fed with sugar, eliminate the sugar and the cancer cells can’t grow!

Clogged arteries aren’t clogged with fat – it’s sugar!

Wheat is soooooo bad for you! So very, very BAD!!

Cholesterol – nothing to do with fat – SUGAR!!

Inflammation – SUGAR!

Seriously. The more I learn, the crazier frantic I become that the Department of Health is literally screwing the world over.. Why? Well, that’s a whole other blog..

But, for now.. Check out the website’s I’ve linked in this post. Just pick 1 recipe to try. Give it a go. Check the back of the cereal box, look at the sugar and carbohydrate content and remember: there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate.

We DO NOT need carbohydrates to survive. We need Protein and Fat. The body makes its own glucose – it’s clever like that..

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We don’t eat carbohydrates, haven’t for over 6 months now and never will again.

We live so much healthier, feel healthier, lighter, younger, fitter and what’s better is that my sons (especially my T1Diabetic) will live longer and not develop nasty health conditions and complications as they age..

I want the best for them and this is how I do it!

Check out my blog on Dr Bernstein and TypeoneGrit for more information on Carbohydrates and Diabetes and why/how we live now.

Let me know if you find any more KETO Blogs I can scower for recipes and baking tips.

Bake something and send me a picture 🙂

And remember: Ditch the florals!! You no longer have to be a Domestic Goddess (I’m not and I love it) – it’s soooooo 2005 baby!

Find your HAPPY!

Rose ❤ xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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