– 10 ounces goat cheese
– 1/4 cup cocoa
– 1 or 2 Tbl honey
– 1 Tbl vanilla
– 2 Tbl Amaretto liqueur

Mix everything. Enjoy!

My least-normal but most-used low carb recipe is for bread. I miss bread. I like eating sandwiches, and toast in the morning is very important to make my 2-3 eggs feel “right.” This is an easy recipe to make, and it tastes okay toasted. It is a bit weird for sandwiches, but it works. The main issue with this bread is that, because it uses so much vital wheat gluten, it comes out the consistency of a bread marshmallow. Toasting it helps increase the breadiness, and it is truly low-carb. All of the normal tasting “low carb” breads I have seen aren’t low carb at all, which is a problem for me wanting to eat bread every morning. I have not found anything better so far, so this is what I use. I make the dough in my bread machine, and then bake it in a loaf pan in the oven.

Low carb bread

– Wet ingredients
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl sugar or honey
1/4 tsp salt

– Dry ingredients
1/3 cup ground flax
1/4 cup soy flour
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 tsp quick acting yeast

Grease bread machine pan and add ingredients in order listed (wet first, then dry layered on top). Use dough cycle, then hand knead dough to get out the air pockets, and put in greased loaf pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing. (If you don’t knead the dough by hand, your bread will have enormous pockets of air throughout.)

Approximate nutrition info (for 10 slices, which is usually what I’m able to get out of the loaf): 87 calories, 6g carbs, 9g protein, 3g fat.

Pizza is something I’ve missed since going low-carb. Everything except the crust actually IS low-carb, but that darn crust!

My sister told me about cauliflower pizza crust, so I tried it, using this recipe. However, it was a failure. Not sure why, but three times tried and it still was a mushy slab of cauliflower-fail.

But I did not give up! I persisted, trying a fourth and fifth time, adding stuff, deleting stuff, and finally found something that works. It is not as easy as pizza dough in the bread machine, and it is not *exactly* like pizza crust, but it works, and it is low-carb. I can have pizza again.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1 1/2 cups grated cauliflower
1 egg
1/2 cup low-carb baking mix
spices (italian, garlic, basil, oregano… whatever you like. Optional.)
4 oz mozzarella, grated
2 oz cheddar, grated
2 oz parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Steam cauliflower in the microwave for ~7 minutes. Mix egg, baking mix, cheeses, and spices. Add cauliflower and mix. Spread onto parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the crust (I use two silicone mats, one on bottom and one on top, to make the flipping easy), and bake another 15-20 minutes. Then add toppings, and bake until done.

Flipping the crust is essential. My main problem with the original recipe is that the edges would get done, but the middle would still be mushy. Spreading the crust thin, and flipping it so that both sides get browned, helped tremendously with the texture and done-ness.

I have no idea of the nutritional info for this crust. It is low carb and high fat. I’m discovering that carbs are actually what make me gain weight, and I feel a TON better when I’m eating lots of fat, so that does not bother me. Also, cheese is excellent. It should be its own food group.

2-3 sausages, or bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
veggies, chopped
5 eggs
3/4 cup low-carb baking mix
2 cups grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan. Saute sausage, onion, and veggies, and set aside. In separate bowl, whisk eggs. Stir in baking mix and cheese. Add veggies and sausage.

Bake in muffin tin 20 minutes, or mini-muffin tin 10-15 minutes. Makes 12 muffins, or 24 mini-muffins.

Nutrition info per muffin (approximate): 106 calories, 1g fiber, 5g carbs, 7g protein, 6g fat.

I usually use a spicy sausage (the TJ’s Andouille sausage is terrific!), but I also use leftovers, chopped sandwich meat, or bacon bits if that is what I have on hand. This recipe is a great way to use up assorted veggies from the fridge. When I make this I make a double-batch and then put them in the freezer. 2-3 mini-quiches make a great breakfast, which is easily thawed in the microwave. They will stay good in the freezer for a month if stored in an airtight container. I made a double batch of these today, with black forest bacon and butternut squash. Breakfast for the next 2 weeks!

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup low carb baking mix
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients in order. Chill in fridge for an hour (really, this is optional. I didn’t do it, but the recipe I cannibalized said it was a good thing to do). Form into teaspoon-sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press crossways with a fork, then bake for 10-12 minutes. Cook on wire rack, then store in airtight container. Makes 24 cookies.

Nutrition per cookie (VERY approximate!): 91 calories, 8g carbs, 3g protein, 6g fat.

I can have 2-3 cookies at one time. Also, this would probably still work if you substituted almond meal for the baking mix, and just added 1/2 tsp of baking soda. I may experiment with the sugar/baking mix ratio (would it still taste good with only 1/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup mix?) but I’m pretty happy with this recipe.

Folks may or may not know that this summer I discovered that I am “pre-diabetic.” My pancreas does not work as well as yours. If I stop stressing my pancreas, it will probably continue working just fine for the rest of my life. I have to stop eating things that stress it out – which is basically all carbohydrates.

Bad news: I should not eat pounds of chocolate bonbons in a single sitting anymore. No more cereal; no more oatmeal; no more bread. Donuts are out, as are bananas. Only small amounts of fruit. Even milk is on my “limited” list. I have to eat “salad.” Almost all pre-made “low carb” desserts contain chemical sweeteners, which taste like ass.

Good news: I can eat bathtubs full of cheese. Sour cream, cottage cheese, string cheese, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, feta… Eggs every morning, and bacon, and more eggs. Peanuts are [still] my friend. And cheese. The paleo-fad means that there are lots of no-grain, high protein, low carb recipes on the internets. PROOOOTEEEEEEEEN!

Extra-good news: red wine is low carb, as are small portions of dark chocolate. :-)

I’ve been revamping my recipes in order to not starve. It is a huge challenge. My health is improving; my metabolism is reigniting, my energy is fantastic. My blood sugars are in the normal range so long as I eat ≤20g carbohydrate per meal. But I don’t know how to eat that way very well yet, or how to plan my meals so I don’t end up eating a tub of sour cream for dinner at least once a week. I managed to adapt a baking mix recipe to be low carb enough for me, which has saved me from several days of cheese sticks wrapped in sandwich meat. I can make SO MANY THINGS with baking mix!

Low carb baking mix
2 1/2 cups almond meal (available at Trader Joe’s, or Bob’s Red Mill)
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten (in the bulk section, or Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup ground flax (you can buy it ground, or buy flax seeds in the bulk section and grind them in a coffee grinder yourself)
6 Tbl baking powder
2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (melted)

Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter and mix into dry ingredients until it is the consistency of cornmeal. Use a mixer for best results, unless your arms are very strong. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.

1 cup mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Use a mixer to mix ingredients into a batter. Fry into pancakes. Works best for smaller pancakes. Top with peanut butter, butter, or low-sugar jam.

1 cup mix
1/4 cup milk
optional: herbs, cheese, chopped fruit

Mix ingredients with mixer. Drop onto baking sheet and form into blobs. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 4 biscuits.

Virginia Woolf

I read a children’s story today about a girl who wants to be an artist when she grows up. It is probably the fifth or sixth book I have read this year where the heroine wants to either paint, write, draw, or sing when she grows up.

I am wondering why, in all of the books I read, I never read about a girl who wants to do math. Girls never want to be doctors or politicians either. In my books the boys often want these things, but the girls want to be painters and writers and poets. And sometimes mothers (though how this works I’m not sure, since the boys never aspire to fatherhood.)

It makes me want to gag, then cry, and then burn all of the books. Except then someone would need to write more books, and I can’t because I *don’t* want to be a writer when I grow up.

I’ve been seeing lots of discussion this mother’s day about the hurt experienced by women who are infertile, and many articles responding to that discussion by widening the field of “mother” to include just about everyone with a uterus (biological mothers, adoptive mothers, women who tried to adopt, women who gave their child up for adoption, women who tried to conceive, women who miscarried, women who will be pregnant someday, mothers who wished for grandchildren, women who step-parent…)

For example, this one on Her.meneutics referenced a talk given by a man who confidently claimed that women were saved by having children, until a grief-stricken woman stood up and asked him what would become of her, a woman who would never be able to have children. Oops.

I have mixed feelings about these discussions. On the one hand, yes of course we should be sensitive to people’s positions, and not just assume that everyone who wants children will automatically get them. Duh. That’s just being polite and a non-asshole to our friends.

On the other hand, this is MOTHER’S day. Not ALL-WOMEN day. The conflation of “mothers” with “all women” is disturbing to me. Underlying [some of] these discussions (particularly the one at Her.meneutics) is the assumption that ALL women either a) are mothers, or b) wish they were mothers.

It’s simply not true. This is not Women’s Day (which happens on March 8th of every year). This is Mother’s Day. The day we specifically celebrate MOTHERS.

It is special BECAUSE NOT EVERY WOMAN IS A MOTHER and some women don’t WANT to be mothers.

Women are special, and mothers are special, and some women are mothers, but let’s not confuse the two categories. Would some pictures help here?

This is not the way the world works.

This is the way things actually are.

* note: graphs are not drawn to scale.
** 2nd note: the “women” category in the second visual should be understood to include all women, including (but not limited to) women who want children, women who don’t, women who are young, women who are old, etc…

I bring this up because TWICE this week I have been reminded that I’m not a mother, in a way which was intentionally meant to discredit me as a woman and a person. “You don’t have children, so you couldn’t possibly understand…”

Yes, I fucking can understand. I have 32 years of life experience, + 14 years working professionally with children in school settings, + a bloody M.A., + earning my CCC-SLP specializing in school-age pediatrics. If that doesn’t qualify me as “woman” or “person” then it is you who have the problem, not me. I refuse to be judged by my “mother-ness” to determine whether you consider me a happy adult woman, a tragic unfulfilled woman, or a child. The “choice” is false. Women are women are women are women, and some of us are mothers.

Happy mother’s day to all mothers.

And a particularly happy day to all the women who aren’t mothers, but ARE REAL WOMEN ANYWAY.

I have seen this meme making the rounds on Facebook in several forms. The picture is sometimes different, but the text is the same.

What’s wrong with it?

For starters, the comic compares a recognized medical treatment to illegal drugs – treating them as if they are the same thing. Granted, there are [justified] concerns about the over-prescription of stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall. When abused or prescribed inappropriately, the drugs can be dangerous. But this comic isn’t advocating caution; it compared attention drugs to illegal drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine. It is saying that attention drugs are as bad as illegal drugs. Illegal drugs shouldn’t be taken by anyone, because they are dangerous for everyone. What does that say about attention drugs?

Furthermore, the comic paints the doctor as a drug dealer, and it is easily inferred that the patient who has ADD/ADHD is the drug addict. Comparing people with a medical condition to drug addicts isn’t just dumb – it’s disability discrimination. It is stigmatizing the innate condition of another person. It is bigotry.

I reacted to this comic because I know many people who have ADD/ADHD. Some of them are children who I work with; some of them are adults I know. A few of them are in my family. Some of them take medication to help them focus at work/school, learn, and function in their normal life. Many of them struggle with the stigma of having the disorder, and the further stigma of taking medication to treat it.

I have seen a child who, while taking her medication, was able to focus at school, learn, and make friends. I have seen that same child come to school without her medication. She spent the majority of the time rolling around on the floor under her desk. The other kids thought it funny, but they also thought she was weird and didn’t want to be around her that day. She didn’t learn much at school that day, either.

I have also seen a child who had so much difficulty and frustration that without medication he was either growling like a bear or throwing chairs. His parents briefly tried medication for him (and he stopped throwing chairs) but they took him off of it because they were so scared about the side effects and horror stories of “zombie kids” they had heard. They love their son, but the social stigma of the medication was too much for them to handle. Their son is currently not taking medication. He is learning the best he can… That is the cost of the social stigma. A child who is not getting the medical treatment he needs.

I know adults who were so against medication because of the social stigma that, in spite of being perfectly capable and smart, they failed out of college rather than get a prescription for an attention drug. That is another cost of the social stigma. What a waste.

I am not a medication advocate. I think treatment decisions should be made between a doctor and her patient (and the patient’s family, if the patient is a child). Some people benefit from medication; other people are best served in other ways.

The thing I object to is the stigmatization and judgement of people because they are seeking treatment for a medical condition. Comparing people seeking treatment to drug dealers and drug addicts is ignorant and wrong. Some people need the medication. Why does anyone else get to judge?

Or at least, some people think I am. :)

You see, there is this conservative christian pro-life idea that a fertilized egg is fully human, and interfering in any way with this “person” is the moral equivalent of murder.

I used to believe this. I was taught at church that from the “moment of conception,” an egg is a person. I learned the talking points, engaged my peers in conversations about the immorality of killing babies, and vowed to vote pro-life as soon as I was old enough to be issued a ballot.

As my grandmother used to say, “Time changes many things.” It took many years of learning for me to un-learn the message I was taught. Each step was taken separately, carefully, and thoughtfully.

“science kills babies”

One day in college, my sunday school leader pointed out that if a fertilized egg is an independent human, then IVF techniques (which create fertilized eggs, implanting many of them into the uterus in hopes of establishing a pregnancy, and destroying the “extras” after the procedure is completed) would be the moral equivalent of murder just the same as an abortion. Other fertility treatments were also suspect, since their goal is to increase the number of fertilized eggs in the hopes that one of them will develop into a pregnancy. Many fertilized eggs perish in this process.

Realizing this made me begin to question the dogma of a fertilized egg being human. Could it really be possible that desperately hopeful future parents, and the doctors assisting them, were baby killers?

It was at this point that I first changed my belief. Since it didn’t make sense for the fertilized egg to be human, I moved my view of ensoulment to occur at implantation.

“the Bible says so”

But the scriptures clearly say that life begins at conception! There are Bible verses! We believe the Bible, and God doesn’t change!

Prompted by the book “Broken Words“, along with conversations with friends and some blogs I follow, I revisited the Bible verses which prove that fertilized eggs are people, and that abortion is murder.

Surprisingly, I discovered that the verses didn’t teach anything specific about abortion. They said even less about conception, or the personhood of fertilized eggs.

I learned that in Genesis, Adam became human when he received the breath of life (eg: after he began breathing air).

I learned that in Leviticus, causing a miscarriage was punished the same as property damage (not the same as murder).

I learned that in Numbers, part of the sacred priestly duties was to induce an abortion in a woman believed to be adulterous.

I learned that the Catholic church adopted the “personhood from the moment of conception” idea in 1895, based on the science-of-the-time which believed that each sperm cell contained a fully formed, miniature human. (The RCC has since rejected the science behind this belief, but has not changed their position on the personhood of fertilized eggs.)

Most amazing of all, I learned that until the mid-1970s, many protestant and evangelical Christian leaders believed abortions could be justified, and some leaders explicitly taught that a fetus received a soul *at birth.* So much for the unchanging nature of scripture. It appears we evangelicals have a very short definition of “unchanging.”

Along with this, I learned that historically, many Christians believed that ensoulment coincides with the quickening – when the baby first shows independent movement. Speaking with a Christian gynecologist friend confirmed this as a rational turning point, and the tie-in with the ability to demonstrate free will was also appealing. The last straw was realizing that my own belief in implantation was just as random as anything else, and had no precedence whatever. I changed to my current view of ensoulment at the quickening (mid second trimester).

“God is an abortionist”

Another pillar of my pro-life upbringing was opposition to “abortifacient” drugs. These included both abortion inducing drugs, and other drugs deemed “abortive” because they were believed to interfere with implantation of a fertilized egg. (FYI – the majority of these claims have been debunked. None of the hormonal forms of birth control work in this manner, so even if preventing implantation is “murder,” taking the pill won’t cause it.)

I was shocked when I learned how frequently fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant. The failure rate in humans is about 20%. This is a normal (non-pathogenic) process which occurs in all mammals at varying rates.

This presents a problem.

If I believe that God created the world, then I believe that God created the process of fertilization, implantation, and pregnancy. God made this process, and by all appearances, failure to implant is not the result of sickness or malfunction. It happens when my body is functioning the way it was created to function.

If an unimplanted fertilized egg is a person, and failure to implant is the death of this person, then GOD made a world in which abortions are commonplace. God created the world in a way in which 20% of the human population would never survive past the 2-cell stage. These “people” would never have a brain, a heart, the life breath, or the ability to know God, much less chose to follow God. God robs us of 20% of humanity, right from the start.

I cannot find a rational way out of this predicament. Either God likes abortions, or fertilized eggs aren’t yet people.

I further cannot find rationale to label birth control which merely increases the chance that my body will do *the exact same thing it does naturally* as abortive. If that is an “abortion,” then fuck me because God made my uterus an abortion factory.

I am an abortionist

This leads me to where I am now, rejecting the idea of “personhood” of fertilized eggs as utter nonsense.

It does not make sense rationally.
It is unsupported Biblically.
It is inconsistent with a loving God who wants to by known and chosen by all humanity.

Having come to this conclusion, when I got married I chose a copper IUD for birth control. My husband and I are not ready to be parents, and we needed something highly effective and fool-proof. I also needed something non-hormonal, for my own health and well being.

Unlike most of the other options, the ParaGard IUD (made of copper, with no hormones) actually *can* work by sometimes preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.

If you believe that a fertilized egg is a person, then you believe that I am an abortionist. Furthermore, you believe God made a world in which abortions are commonplace.

Own it, or reject it, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t have to deal with this.

Personal beliefs have consequences. Are you willing to stand by the consequences of your belief?

the journey

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