Substitutes & Staples

Have a peek into my pantry!
This is a list of things I always have stored because I use them all the time and they are healthy alternatives to things that you should probably get rid of anyways. (:

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  1. Coconut Oil First of all, HUGE kudos to Kroger’s Simple Truth brand for hopping on the fad wagon! Love that they sell their organic coconut oil for $6.something. They also have extra virgin coconut oil, but it has a more prominent coconut flavor. Coconut oil is perfect for high heat frying but I use it as my go-to oil for almost everything. Good for skin and hair too!
  2. Coconut Flour- (Pictured in my little red jar there) A low carb substitute for all purpose flour, I use coconut flour for baking! It’s a more packed consistency than almond flour, but it does have a coconut flavor to it. I love the hint of coconut though because it makes for killer blueberry muffins!
  3. Almond Meal/Flour Again, THANKS KROGER!! Simple Truth brand almond flour is a good $5 cheaper than any other brand I’ve found so far! Another low-carb substitute, I would say almond flour is more of a “bread-crumb” kind of texture. I love using it for any kind of crust or breading. I have used it for baking, but I find that I usually add some coconut flour along with it to make whatever I am baking come together a little better. But I ❤ almond flour so much.
  4. SteviaStevia is natural sweetener derived from the stevia leaf. I keep this around incase of sweet-tooth emergency! Some people don’t like it, but I can’t find anything about it that I don’t like! Just be sure check every box/bag/packet of stevia you buy to ensure the only ingredient is either “stevia leaf extract” or “Reb A” (a short name for Rebaudioside which is the name of the extract) because all of them are different and many of them have added sugars like maltodextrin or dextrose. The only other sweeteners I keep in my house are Pure maple syrup and honey which I use for any special occasion dessert baking (though they are  NOT low carb substitutes, they are less processed than any other forms of sugar)
  5. Coconut Aminos This is a substitute for soy sauce. Blaine and I are huge fans of stir-fry and we go through this stuff like crazy! Generic soy sauce has gluten in it, and the tamari, though GF is still made out of soy that is genetically modified to death. The taste of the coconut aminos is very similar to soy sauce and it’s made from coconuts… I honestly have no idea how it works but it works!
  6. (not pictured) Homemade Mayonnaise– I promise to make a post on this in the very near future. I would not have survived Whole 30 without it!

EDIT- The Stevia packets that I had in the picture above have dextrose as the first ingredient. I am not sure why I never caught it but I wanted to correct the post and show a picture of a brand I found without dextrose/maltodextrin/cellulose powder! And I even found it in my Kroger’s Nature’s Market section for a good price!

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These are my main staples. I cannot wait to start sharing recipes with you guys! Feel free to ask any questions and stay tuned.

Kaitie Holley, housewife

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My story begins in the midst of a romance.
On August 9th, 2011, my best friend asked me to be his wife. A dream come true for me, I said yes and planned a lovely summer wedding for May 26th, 2012. Then it happened.
You’ve all heard it said. Fat and happy.
I had no complaints at first! Blaine and I WERE happy! oh so.. so.. happy, as all the joyous feasting slowly started to catch up to us.

From the engagement onward, Blaine and I gained weight at a consistent rate. By the beginning of 2013, Blaine was at his heaviest he had ever been and had constant heartburn, I, too, started to feel noticeably worse and I even developed sleep apnea (due to being overweight.)
So, thankfully, one morning we woke up and decided we needed to do something about it or else it would follow us all the way to the grave. We started doing research on how we could improve our diets and all around lifestyle. We tried a couple of really restricted “balanced” diets right out of the gate, but it was the discovery in low-carb dieting that changed our lives.

Our first real discovery was in learning the myth about fats. In short, fats don’t make you fat- sugars in your body (which store fats) make you fat. In February of 2013, we cut out all carbohydrates (sugars) from our diet completely and fueled our bodies with lots of meats, greens, and healthy fats (i.e. full-fat dairy, coconut oil, almonds, etc.) In only six months, I lost a total of 35 pounds and Blaine lost a whopping 75 pounds! That’s 110 pounds we shed together (and I emphasize the word ‘together’ because neither of us would have seen it to completion without one another’s support!) This is where the journey began.

Losing the weight was the kick-start our brains needed to re-wire the way we thought about health. We felt better, we looked better, the heartburn was gone, I stopped snoring all together and best of all we were eating REAL God-made food. The results were evidence that the better we eat, the better we feel! Food became less tempting for us as we started to modify what we put into our bodies. We never ate till we were full, but instead, we were satisfied after every meal. Our energy and motivation improved drastically. I could go on and on about the benefits of cutting out processed sugar and grains. And all along the way, I have discovered my love (and surprising skill) of cooking! I have learned so many wonderful/healthful recipes and have even come up with a few of my own. (Basically I am a cookie-cutter wife by now..)

This is the reason for started this blog- to share my journey with all you who have been supporting and encouraging me in my search for a healthier lifestyle and yummy homemade dishes. I am so inspired that you all are interested in the things I have to say (and cook!) I hope that my journey can inspire you as well and that my discoveries may be your discoveries and my recipes, your recipes (:

Sincerely,
Kaitie Holley, housewife (and wouldn’t change it for the world <3)

May