Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Detox in Bali: In search of my last meal(s)

When I arrive in Ubud, Bali the sun is high. It warms my back as I walk the long alleyway to the Yoga Barn where I will spend the next four nights.

It’s only 10 am and my room is not ready so I leave my bag at reception and head out in search of a few healthy cafes I have listed in my notebook.

Lucky for me, I come across Clear Cafe, a stunning eatery a 15 minute (or so) walk away. ( I posted a review about it here.) Continue reading


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Gluten-free lemon cake

I’ve had this recipe for years and have made it several times. It’s delicious and gluten-free but I’m not saying it’s low in calories!! For anyone on a gluten or wheat free diet, this really hits the spot when you’re missing a piece of cake!!

Lemon Polenta Cake

Feb 11 cake

250g soft butter

rind of 2 lemons

1 cup sugar (I reduce this to max 3/4 of a cup)

3 eggs, separated

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

150g ground almonds

1 cup fine polenta (cornmeal)

SYRUP TOPPING

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup of sugar

Heat together until sugar is dissolved. Pour over warm cake.

Cake Method

Beat butter, rind and sugar until fluffy

Add egg yolks

Stir in juice, almonds and polenta

polenta 3

polenta 2

polenta 1

Whip egg whites to make fluffy

polenta 4

Fold into polenta mixture

polenta 5

Bake for 45 minutes @ 180 C

Pour syrup over cake

Serve warm

This cake keeps well in the fridge for several days. Enjoy!

 


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WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWW

I missed the last 2 weeks of WWW. I had too much working for me those past weeks because I was on holiday in far north Queensland!!! This Wednesday though, I am back to reality and back to writing. Believe me, I was surprised to not have written at all during my holiday. That was not my intent at all.

I’m on day 3 now of my healthy eating and all is well. My diet consists of dairy-free smoothies, vegetables, some fruit, probiotic yoghurt and protein(nuts, free-range chicken, salmon and eggs)..and decaf coffee..lots of coffee. I have been wanting something sweet so today I made a flourless chocolate cake. It’s more like a brownie and very yummy. It’s definitely what’s working for me this Wednesday!!!

I found the recipe in the pages of a past House & Garden magazine. There was a 3-page spread by Teresa Cutter on chocolate treats that are good for you. She says

Chocolate comes from the antioxidant-packed cocoa or cacao bean, which is also a source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, chromium and iron.

Great news, Teresa!!!

So far, I’ve tried 2 of the 8 chocolate recipes that she provided and both have been easy, healthy  and delicious. The cake has very few ingredients and I whipped it up in less than 10 minutes. Even Master T liked it. I just wish I could have had a glass of cold milk with my piece like he did!! If you want to try it, here’s the recipe.

you'll need this

you’ll need this

and this

and this

 

280g quality dark chocolate ( I used 70%)

2/3 cup organic coconut oil

4 free-range eggs

2/3 cups almond meal

2 Tbsp cornflour or arrowroot flour (I used potato flour)

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and paper a 20cm springform pan.

melt chocolate and oil

melt chocolate and oil

Place chocolate and oil in bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.Stir to melt the chocolate.

add eggs

add eggs

Remove from heat and whisk in eggs.

Stir in dry ingredients and combine well.

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

Pour into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. Cool slightly in tin then refrigerate for 3 hours (I did 1 hour and it was fine). I sprinkled the cooled cake with pure cocoa powder before serving.

IMG_0666

 

Keep in mind that this cake is very, very moist and quite oily. It does taste of coconut and has a mealy texture due to the almond meal. To me though, any dessert that contains chocolate and no gluten, yeast or dairy is a winner!!! Maybe I really can have my cake and eat it too….

 

 


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Coffee Talk

Coffee. I’ve been drinking the stuff since I was 15 or so. It’s a big pasttime in Canada, where I was born and raised and I’m glad to have it carry-on in my homes in the South Pacific. Most cultures have strong social connections to coffee and the rituals that surround consuming it. I found a fabulous travel piece about this very topic on Your Life is a Trip.

I love going to a cafe and having a coffee to go along with some writing time. Gosh, 12 years ago it would have been a coffee and a cigarette. Glad those days are long gone.

Coffee and writing. It really goes together. Much better than coffee and cake.

The cake counter seems to be taunting me. The chef just brought out  a newly made triple chocolate cheesecake. I haven’t had chocolate for 38 days now but who’s counting? I found a flourless orange cake recipe the other day. I bought some fresh blueberries to go on the top. I think today is the day to make it.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake - No worries.

It may sound like I have cravings, but I really don’t. It doesn’t bother me that the cakes, muffins and friands are in abundance in the cafe I sit at or that they have 12 flavours of ice cream on offer. I’m content with my decaf, soya flat white coffee. It may be a vice but one that I’m happy to hold on to.

The other night my husband and I were talking about my “diet”. I happen to say, ” I am not doing this as an obsession” but I felt I was having to convince myself of that fact. Maybe it is somewhat of an obsession. But what does it matter anyway? I feel great and I’m quite pleased with myself for sticking to it.

We all need to feel successful at some time in our lives. If doing something that makes you feel good, isn’t hurting anyone and gives you some confidence, even if other people don’t “get it”, I say go for it!!

I love having goals to achieve. It’s a healthy, challenging way to compete in this crazy world and better to be competing with yourself than the Joneses.

Damn, my coffee is down to foam around the rim. Waiter!!


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Day Two – Pizza Temptation

Well, it’s 10pm and I’ve survived another day of the new me!! I am hungry right now though!! Today could have been a disaster because I hosted a children’s birthday party!!

The cake didn’t tempt me but  I nearly licked the spoon while mixing up icing. The lollies nor the chocolate made me fold. The meaty, cheesy pizza at dinner time looked damn yummy though. Again, I had to resist habit of just picking up a piece!!

My food intake is so much less than it was 2 days ago. I’m lucky to have a great metobolism so I’ve already shed 1kg (just about). I know some people will hate me for this. BTW, I am 155cm tall.

My “normal” weight is 48 kgs. This isn’t about the weight, it’s about my health issues but I want to document how fast I can lose weight (toxins) by eating healthier.

Weight: 50.4kgs

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, chia seeds, organic sultanas, fresh apple
  • Decaf coffee with rice milk
  • 1 Bromelain supplement
  • 1 1000mg Vitamin C supplement

Mid-morning

  • nothing – at party where I witnessed cake eating, lollie sucking and juice guzzling

Lunch

  • Left-over Brown rice salad (carrot, green capsicum etc)
  • 1 Strawberry
  • 3 orange segments
  • handful of plain potato chips
  • 1 small glass of pineapple juice

Mid-afternoon

  • 1 Vitamin C supplement
  • Decaf, soy flatwhite (like a Latte)
  • 1 orange

Dinner

  • Fresh mixed vegetable salad with, pumpkin seeds, tuna, olive oil and lemon

Evening

  • 1 spiced Rooibos tea with rice milk
  • 1 Vit C supplement

Physically: Today was the first morning in weeks that I didn’t need my ventolin!!! I’ve used it only once today, where I was using up to 4-6 times per day on some days.

Goal for tomorrow: DRINK MORE WATER


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Rainy Day Happiness

kaichronicles gluten free chocolate pudding cake recipe

Today has been one of those cold and extremely wet days, the kind that makes you want to stay inside and curl up with a hot cuppa and a good book.

Once again, I use these days as an excuse to eat warm, comforting food. Home made stew or soup with freshly baked bread or scones are excellent remedies for a stormy day. So is a hot, saucy chocolate pudding cake!!!

I whipped this up in no time and enjoyed it as a treat after dinner. It’s easy, yummy, gluten and dairy free and has little sugar compared to other desserts.

Continue reading


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What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are small grape-like sacks that grow in the sinus cavity. There is no confirmed cause and there is no cure.

Symptoms are similar to hay fever and the common cold. When the polyps multiply, breathing becomes laboured. Some people suffer from sleep apnea and even lose all sense of smell.

Because there is no cure, the symptoms are generally suppressed by steroidal nasal sprays and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

I developed nasal polyps in 1994 but was misdiagnosed for a year. More than a year after that, I had my first surgery.

From 1996-2007, I struggled with these pesty growths, and asthma, trying several different western and eastern medications and lifestyle changes but with little relief. By 2006, I lost my sense of smell and taste for good.

In 2008, I had my second surgery. Within two months, the polyps were re-growing and my ENT would remove them in his office. After ten months of bi-monthly visits, he gave me the all clear to yearly check-ups.

Yearly checks were a mistake because come my first one, I was full up with polyps again. Once again, surgery was recommended.

He also recommended that I try a restricted diet and that maybe candida was an issue. I must say, I never had a big problem with thrush or other common candida issues. But alas, I gave it a go.

My doctor’s version of this anti-candida diet was not very strict, although I did think so at the time. He did not even restrict fruit!! I have to restrain for all the other culprits: gluten, dairy, all fermented food and drink (esp. alcohol), SUGAR, caffeine, nuts, dried fruit…..the list seemingly goes on and on.

I did feel much better; no more bloat or constipation. I did sleep better but my polyps remained.

On & on it went, until I started to cheat. Then I went on holiday to Asia and damn the diet. All food was back on the menu and I started drinking beer again.  I was on again off again from July 2010 until August 2011.

Then on August 15, I had my third surgery.

After my third nasal surgery....attractive, eh?

A week after, I started a very strict anti-candida diet, this time add to the resticted list: all fruit, all starchy or sweet vegetables. I did well for two weeks and felt great. I was over the moon when my sense of smell returned four days into the regime. Then my life changed and kept changing throughout September.

When I reintroduced potatoes, the sweet vegetables and apples I felt ok. But within two weeks, I was stuffy and congested and miserable.

Misery loves to eat so I started having the occasional hot chocolate with rice milk, then I was craving lamington cake. I must report that I was going through a very tough emotional time: I had just had a major lifestyle change and a death in the family. I ate cake…..and I cried. And this went on for…..actually it’s still going on. A piece of mud cake is taunting me right now.

Sinful

On October 10, the local GP confirmed that indeed, the polyps are returning. So, true to my personality, I will go full force on all the naughties until I can convince myself to do another detox and restricted diet. At least I’m not drinking beer again. Too cold in NZ anyway!!!

Gotta go now. I have to murder a piece of cake.

Wanna read more about my journey? Check out my post on the I’m not fussy website :

http://www.imnotfussy.com.au/JenniferMorton.aspx