Whole30 Homemade Tostones~Plantain Chips

   For the past couple of years, I’ve been head over heels for plantains…especially in chip form. I used to eat the Trader Joe’s plantain chips but I got tired of those and just didn’t think they were as healthy as I was looking for. I saw some other Whole30 peeps on Instagram making Tostones (the Spanish name for fried plantains) and I knew I needed to try making these myself. I like how they aren’t as hard as the plantain chips you’d find in the store. They still get crispy but are thicker and stay just a bit soft on the inside. I love to dip mine in guacamole.

I’ve included the Whole30 recipe below as well as step by step photos and videos. They are a bit labor intensive, considering they are fried twice, but if you make a big batch at one time then you’re good to go for awhile.

I’d love to see what you eat  your tostones with! Tag me in your Whole30 pics! @iamthefitbaker

Whole30 Twice Fried Plantains

Ingredients

Green Plantains (find these by the bananas in your local grocery store)

Organic coconut oil

That’s it! Let’s get cooking…or should I say frying!

Make sure to get green plantains. They are firmer and will work better. Cut off both ends of the plantain. Then run your knife down the peel multiple times. Then peel the plantain. Note: this is not like peeling a banana. It will be a struggle.

Cut the plantain into rounds as shown

Click below for a quick video

How to Peel a Plantain

This is the coconut oil I use. It’s a great deal at Costco. Scoop about 1/4 cup in a skillet (preferably cast iron) and let it melt on medium high.

 Once the coconut oil has melted, place your sliced plantains in the skillet. Turn them after about 2 minutes or until they become just a touch brown and cook another 2 minutes. You just want to get them soft enough to smash easier later.

Once they have browned a bit, place them on a paper towel to cool.

Click the link below for a quick video

Browning the plantains

After the plantains have cooled, you’re going to smash them! So grab a small plate or you can use the bottom of a glass cup. Set one plantain on the cutting board and place the plate on top. Then you’re going to apply pressure and turn it to the right until it’s smashed flat. You may have to use a knife to scrap the flattened plantain off your plate. The key here is to only turn one direction. Don’t turn it back and forth or you’ll have a demolished plantain! No bueno. 🙂

Check out the link below for a quick video

Smashing Plantains

You’ve made it to the last step! Hooray! You’re about to taste the fruits of your labor!

Add the flattened plantains to the hot coconut oil and fry until browned on each side…about 1 minute each side. It depends on how crispy you want them. Obviously, cook longer if you desire a crispier chip. You may have to add coconut oil to the pan as you continue frying all the plantains. Transfer the fried plantains to a paper towel again. While still warm, salt them and squeeze some fresh lime juice on them and give ’em a good toss.

Click below for a quick video

Twice Fried Plantain

You officially made tostones! Good work! And now for the best part! Eating them! Whip up some Whole30 approved guacamole or pull out the salsa or eat them straight up…whatever floats your boat. 🙂 I think they are best served slightly warm. They will get a bit soggy in the fridge,  but just pop them in a toaster oven for a minute and they’ll crisp right up.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Feel free to share it with your friends and family…especially those on the Whole30.

Tag me in your posts @iamthefitbaker

 

Whole 30 & Tips for Slaying the Sugar Dragon

Just when you think you got the sugar dragon licked, Christmas cookies show up. There’s been Christmas treats around since Thanksgiving and I never gave in, but on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I let myself have a few treats. I thought, after not having sugar for over 6 months, that I’d be able to stop eating the peanut butter balls no problem. But how quickly my body forgets the Whole30 plan and turns into a sugar dragon. It’s like this switch went off and all my body wanted was more and more sugar. I couldn’t satisfy the sugar dragon!!! All my Whole30 peeps out there know what I’m talking about! That was a scary feeling. Was all my hard work so far going to go down in flames because I couldn’t get control of my cravings? Was I going to gain all 14lbs I’d lost, back  in one weekend! It sends shivers down my spine!

Today I said no more. My mind and heart know what I truly want, but my body is taking a bit longer to convince. I haven’t had any sugar today. My body is screaming for it, but I know within a few days the sugar dragon will crawl back into its hole and I’ll be rocking the Whole30 without a second thought.

I also wanted to share a few things I’ve noticed since having sugar. I haven’t slept well the past two nights. Coincidence? I think not. Since starting the Whole30, I haven’t had a problem sleeping. As long as I stick to my usual bedtime routine of reading before I turn out the light, I fall asleep promptly. But since having sugar on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ve tossed and turned, and even though I was tired, I couldn’t fall asleep. Also, I usually go to Crossfit three days a week at 5AM. No, I’m not crazy. I just like to get it done and get on with my day. I’ve really grown to like the morning class actually. That is until this mornings class. The best way I know how to describe it is I felt like a slug. Somehow I could not catch my breath, and I could barely finish the workout! And I’ve been doing Crossfit for a couple years now! A light bulb went off in my head…SUGAR! Darn you sugar! You’re making me look like I’ve never exercised in my life. Isn’t that crazy? Don’t get me wrong. Crossfit is hard. But this was like my body would not do the movements I’ve done a hundred times. I never want to feel like that again. Sugar is no bueno.

All that to say, I’m back on the Whole30 full force! I don’t want to eat sugar because I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I’ve got a goal in mind and I’m going to press on toward. Bye, bye sugar dragon!

I’ve included a few tips below that I’ve implemented when I feel the sugar dragon coming on strong. I hope they help!

Tips for slaying the sugar dragon:

  1. Meal Prep– plan ahead of time what your going to eat the next day. Don’t think you’ll have enough willpower to say no to the snack machine or your coworkers leftover Christmas cookies. Go to the grocery store and get what you need to stay on track. Or at least have some healthy snack options at your desk so you don’t give in to the sugar dragon at work. Some Whole30 approved snacks are: RX Bars, oranges, apple and almond butter, celery and almond butter, Epic bars or other beef jerky.
  2. Exercise– After a weekend of giving in one too many times to the cookie jar, I make myself go to the gym. There’s something about working hard and sweating that makes me NOT want to eat unhealthy. It actually does the opposite! I want to fuel my body with the best since it just put out all that effort for me. Plus, I’m not going to waste all the time I spent in the gym by eating chips and donuts.
  3. Don’t be an island!-Surround yourself with like minded people who will keep you honest. Get an accountability partner. Whether it’s a friend, sister, husband, wife, whoever but get one! This has been one of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed the course this time around on the Whole30. I have two friends that I check in with every week. And I’m honest with them. I tell them when I’ve gained weight and when I’ve lost weight. They are there for me to encourage me to keep going, but also to keep me on the straight and narrow. Don’t put this off! Find someone today! If you don’t know anyone, then contact me and I’ll keep you accountable. 🙂

Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Hello beautiful people! It’s almost been a week since I posted the cauliflower fried rice story on my Instagram account and I promised a recipe forthcoming. So here it is! I love any kind of Asian food. From Thai, to Chinese, to Japanese, Korean and on and on…they always hit the spot. Growing up, my family would go to Happy Teriyaki all the time, and we thought it was healthy! We weren’t quite up on MSG. Yikes! Since then, I’ve come across so many healthy, paleo recipes for classic Asian dishes that are just as delicious and flavorful as I remember. One of the best Asian cookbooks I’ve found is “Paleo Takeout“. Every recipe I’ve made so far has been exactly as I remember it tasting. I would highly recommend it!

Anyways, on to the recipe! This is one of my staple recipes. It can be made with whatever veggies you have on hand. I always keep a bag of cauliflower rice in the freezer for an easy, quick meal. Trader Joe’s carries frozen and fresh cauli-rice. Since you aren’t using rice, you’re essentially eating an entire bowl of veggies! Score!

Cauli-Fried Rice

Ingredients

2 tsp minced garlic

2 TBLS coconut oil

1 cup sliced onions

1 cup peppers

1 cups sliced carrots

1 cup broccoli

1 cup cooked cubed chicken

1 TBLS Thai and True green curry paste

1 package of cauli-rice

1/2 cup toasted chopped cashews

2 scrambled egg

(You can add whatever veggies you want)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Heat the coconut oil and garlic in a large skillet until it starts to sizzle.

Then add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add all the veggies and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes. Next, add the cauli-rice, chicken, and curry paste and cook another 7 minutes. While the stir fry is cooking, spread the cashew pieces on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant. Lastly, scramble the eggs in a frying pan. Once cooked, cut into small pieces and add to the stir-fry. Remove the stir-fry from the heat and spoon some into a bowl and top with some of the toasted cashews.

I’d love to see what veggies you put in your stir-fry! Tag me in your pics! @iamthefitbaker

 

 

 

 

 

Frustration Nation

One of the most frustrating things in the world has got to be trying to lose weight. And when I say trying, I mean when your eating is on point and your doing things like crossfit, interval sprints and two a days and the scale stays the same! Not cool. I haven’t always been this dedicated. I don’t want you to get the wrong picture. 🙂 But for about the past three years, I’ve been become more and more dedicated to figuring out what is going on with my body. (autoimmune issues, effects of yo-yo dieting, etc…I’ll save that for another post) And let me tell you, it’s quite the mystery! With all the crossfit and exercising I’ve been doing, I’ve definitely built muscle and toned up, but I haven’t lost weight. I’d like the fat off so you can see the muscles! The only way I’ve ever lost weight is by seriously restricting my calories and that only messed up my metabolism. That’s not the way to healthfully shed pounds. Slow and steady is the way to keep it off. I know we all like quick results. Believe me, I’m the queen of trying any diet for quick results, but I finally realized that wasn’t working. I wanted to change my lifestyle. I just wanted to eat  clean and not be consumed with feeling bad after eating something that wasn’t on my current diet. I wanted peace. I was tired of food ruling me. It’s been quite the journey. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly I began to get the hang of listening to my body. I didn’t see any changes in the beginning, but that was ok because I was learning my body. I thought it was odd that I wasn’t losing ANY weight. Even just one pound a month would have been amazing! I knew I still had food issues, and my sugar addiction would still creep up on me so I decided to get some professional help. I started talking with a counselor and she helped me through so much!!! It’s great to get an outside perspective because we can be so consumed with ourselves and not see the real issues. She gave me hope that I could overcome my body issues. She helped me see the “why” behind my continual food relapses. It was the most freeing thing. I met with her periodically for about a year. I still go back to my journal and look over those notes I took from her and they give me strength and hope and remind me I can do this even when it seems impossible. I look back now and realize this was just another step in my journey. Side note: I would encourage everyone to get counseling. I was scared and apprehensive at first but it ended up being the best thing ever! Promise me you’ll give it a shot?

Anyways, (I got a  bit sidetracked there) my whole point of this post is to encourage you to not give up when you don’t see results right away. I’ve been tempted to throw in the towel (and sometimes I have…hello pint of ice cream) when my jeans only seem to be getting tighter despite being totally on track with my diet and exercise. I feel like people must think I hop from diet to diet and that I’m forever trying to lose weight. That’s the most frustrating part for me. I know it doesn’t matter what other people think, but for once I’d like to prove that all this hard work is paying off and that I’m serious about my health!

The journey continues.

Thoughts?

Whole30 take two!

      

So I started the Whole 30 last Monday. So far, so good. I’ve done it once before and had great results. My sugar cravings subsided, my skin was clear, I wasn’t obsessing over everything I put in my mouth and on top of all that, I lost 12lbs! Sometimes I wonder why I ever went back to my old ways. I felt so great, but those old habits slowly crept back. I generally eat healthy, but must confess that sugar is my downfall. I end up in a sugar tailspin if I start eating it. That’s the main reason I wanted to do the Whole30 again.

Before I started the Whole30, I was counting my macros-protein, fat, and carbs. You may have heard the term “flexible dieting”, which is macro counting. I know people who have had great success with this type of eating, and I know it works*, but after doing it for a couple months I realized my cravings didn’t subside. I wasn’t truly changing my eating habits. I was working cookies, crackers, and sugars into my macro count, and it dawned on me that I wasn’t really changing. I was doing the same old thing and going through the same cycle of cravings. I was still emotionally tied to food and I want to be done with that! I’m so tired of food controlling me!!!

So, that’s why I decided to start the Whole30.  I want to slay my sugar dragon. I don’t want to give sugar a foothold in my life any longer. Isn’t it exhausting to be a slave to your cravings?

*I think macro counting is awesome and I don’t want anyone to think I’m discounting it. I’ve seen firsthand the results it produces and it’s phenomenal. I’ll probably try it again once I conquer my food issues. 🙂

Long Time, No See

So here I am again…three years later. It’s kind of ridiculous how long it’s taken me to write another post. I’d love to say it’s because I’ve been so busy and my career and baking business has just taken off that I haven’t had time. But let’s be real…I’m single, no kids, and yes, our baking business has given me a run for my money, but I’ve had some downtime. The thing is; it’s hard to put yourself out there. I know deep down that I want to help as many people as possible switch to a healthy lifestyle. I want to help people believe in themselves again because I know what it feels like to give up on yourself. Maybe that’s part of the reason it’s hard to be vulnerable…because deep down there’s part of me that still holds onto the self doubt. Yikes…it’s just got real up in here. Anyhow, I’ve begun again!

“Even though I fall, I shall arise!”

So here’s what has been going on lately in my life. I joined a weight-loss challenge with my friend that our local fitness center is putting on. It’s already been going a couple weeks and ends March 22nd. The first week out of the gate was great! I summoned the motivation to go to Crossfit at 5AM, then to work, then I worked out with my friend after work, then went home and planned my meals out for the next day, and got ready to do it all over again. I was a machine! And so proud of myself for sticking with it! But as life goes, (not as planned) my routine came to a screeching halt…I got the flu. It struck on Saturday afternoon and I was out until Wednesday! I had a fever of 101 degrees for three days! It was the most frustrating thing to be couch-ridden for days upon end. Here I had just hit my groove only to be sucker punched down again. Arrghh! But instead of letting it get me down and throwing in the towel, I took it as an opportunity to keep my eye on the prize. (In this case, weight-loss and prize money) I told myself, “This is life.” The only thing that you can count on in life is the unexpected. I can plan all I want, but some things are simply out of my hands. Things like the weather, sickness, an injury, last minute change of plans etc. When these things come crashing into our perfectly planned week, that’s when we must learn to let it go, take a deep breath and move on. Start again the next day. You’ve only failed if you don’t get back up again.

What do you do to stay motivated when you get knocked down?

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action- Toby Keith

 

 

This video came to mind when I was thinking about this post’s topic: ACTION! It’s all about taking action. I’ve realized over the years that I have all the knowledge I need but when it comes to actually doing the work, I stop short. And when I say that I have the knowledge…I mean my brother AND his wife are both Naturopathic doctors! Plus my brother is a certified trainer! So needless to say, I can’t use the excuse that, “I just never knew!” because I know full well what to do.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve talked to my brother about weight-loss but he always encourages me and is willing to give me advice…again.  So I  have all the tools  I need, if I could only put them  into ACTION! I realized that I had the mindset that everything had to be perfect before I could begin losing weight.  For example, I would tell myself, “I should start at the first of the month, get a fresh start, that way I can finish Jillian Michaels’ book and that will get me motivated and I’ll have time to plan the whole month’s meals out.” (I know, lofty thinking.) Instead of just taking action with my next decision, I felt like everything had to be perfect before I could start. Now, I’m trying to make every choice count. I think, “Will eating this cookie bring me closer to my goal or take me further away?” I’m taking action now with each decision. Instead of just knowing how to lose weight and eat right; I am doing the things I know. Instead of telling everyone around me what the best foods to eat and how to exercise to lose weight, I’m taking my own advice! I am through being a weight-loss hypocrite! I want to be the real deal. As Toby Keith says, “A little less talk and a lot more action!” Let’s make every decision, even the small ones, count today! Take action toward your goal.  Don’t just talk with your friends about it or put it on the to-do list but take ACTION with your next decision. Every little step counts!

 

P.S.  I hope you like country music because it really cranks my tractor! 🙂 I’m a big fan of all things country. You can be sure that this will NOT be my last post with country music references!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operation: Get fit!

Welcome!

I have finally summoned the courage to start writing this blog. I created it about 6 months ago and then it sat there…a blank canvas. It can be a bit intimidating to put yourself out there but if I can help someone else then mission accomplished! You’re probably thinking, “The Fit Baker sounds like an oxymoron!” And yes I’d have to agree with you but I want to change that. i say you can have your cake and eat it too. I don’t want to give up baking, even if it is gluten-free. I mean how depressing would life be if you can’t have a warm, fresh from the oven, ooey gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookie every now and then? Can you tell I have a thing for chocolate chip cookies? They’re kinda my favorite. Anyways, I realized I don’t want to live an all or nothing lifestyle anymore. I want to live a balanced life style. I want to have a cookie every now and then and truly enjoy it instead of eat five at one sitting and feeling like I need to change into my stretchy pants. You know the ones, with the elastic waistband? Yes those ones. I’m done with starting over on a new eating plan. This is it, I’m all in. I’m not going on some strict lettuce diet or popping diet pills. No, I’m finally going to lose weight the right way. Slow and steady wins the race, right? So come along for the ride! I hope I can inspire you on your journey! Maybe the struggles, temptations and trials I go through can help someone else. And secretly I’m hoping this blog can help keep me accountable!

About me: My name is Rhoda. I’m a 26 year old girl who just wants to be the best version of herself. I want to live life to the fullest and my weight has been holding me back, I look at myself and think, “This is not me. Who is this girl?”. I know I am better than this and I am determined to make a change. The only catch is that I have a GLUTEN-FREE baking business with two of my sisters. It’s called Mama’s Mixin’ Bowl. As you can imagine, a lot of taste testing goes on with our business. Starting our baking business brought me to a crossroads. I quickly realized that I needed to develop some self-discipline or else I would be packing on the pounds! Having so many treats around the house constantly, wasn’t going to help me out in the weight-loss department but I wasn’t about to quit on my business either. And that’s when I realized that it is possible to have the best of both worlds. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but possible? Yes.