Sunday, January 12, 2014

Zero Carb Homemade Chocolate Icecream

 This recipe is sure to satisfy for taste for dark chocolate ice cream without the guilt! 
 I found it on YouTube (link at the bottom). I swapped out some things to make it lactose, sugar, and soy free (Soy lecithin is often found in standard chocolate). 

Instead of milk use only HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM.

Instead of sugar use STEVIA SWEET LEAF. You must read the ingredients on your stevia, as a lot of companies are mixing it with sugar substances like maltodextrin (From corn) or dextrose (glucose). The ingredients should just read Stevia with inulin fiber.

Instead of standard vanilla I use NON-ALCOHOL VANILLA EXTRACT (Frontier brand). It has glycerin and vanilla extract. The glycerin makes it a little sweet. I've done some research on glycerin. So far I can't find any literature that suggests that glycerin has a glycemic index. However when I use standard vanilla with alcohol, I can always tell I'm getting a carb. --It's a gift what can I say :-)

Instead of melting chocolate bars, I make my own using DARK CHOCOLATE UNSWEETENED POWDER. 

Is there lots of fat? You betcha!  Eating fat is good for you and doesn't make you fat.  Are there any carbs? No Way! Eating carbs adds to weight gain and brain fog (well at least for me). 

So your ingredients are: 
Coconut oil *
Dark Chocolate unsweetened powder
Eggs (2)
Heavy whipping cream about 2 cups
Parmesan Cheese *
Stevia sweet leaf packets
Non-Alcohol Vanilla extract

Cooking pot
Electric mixer 
2 small plastic storage containers with lids

1. Make your chocolate "syrup ":
Put 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate powder in a cup
Add 1 tablespoon of butter
Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Put in microwave x 20 sec. 
Stir and add Stevia to taste. 

2. Whip your cream 
1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a bowl and mix with the electric mixer until it thickens to whip cream

3. Make your "custard"
Beat 2 eggs in a cooking pot. Then add a cup of cream. Stir. Then on low heat. Heat up your custard. You just want to kill any bacteria in the eggs and make it a little thick. Careful not to overheat. I added a little Parmesan Cheese sprinkled on top and mixed in. 

4. Transfer your custard to your whipping cream and mix. 

5. Add in your dark chocolate "syrup" and mix 

6. Add in your non-Alcohol vanilla extract. 1/8 tsp ( I just give it a whirl in the mix) - cooking is suppose to be fun after all! 

Now that you've got your Ice cream mix, add stevia sweet leaf to taste. I add a packet , mix , taste, and do the steps over and over until I've got the right sweetness. 

Pour your Dark Chocolate Ice cream mix into 2 separate containers. They will seem shallow. Trust me the taste is very rich.  Put into the freezer. 

After 20-25 min. Check your ice cream. You can already see it starting to form. Give it one more stir and taste.  Add more stevia if need be. Now put it back in the freezer for about 6 hours. 

Ok. Your ice cream is done. It's time to enjoy. Take it out of the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes. 
Get your spoon or ice cream scoop, curl up in your favorite spot and E-N-J-O-Y!!

Special thanks to TheAussieBakery for the YouTube video that shows how real  ice cream can be made without an ice cream maker or a blender. 

The link to the YouTube video is :

*ingredients are optional 

-Tonya Liggion, MD

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pass Me The Butter Baby & Hold What Ails Me!!!

My recent health challenge with chronic ankle pain a midst other annoying issues has ignited a more fitting title for my book.

Introducing....Pass Me The Butter Baby, & Hold What Ails Me!

If you have experienced a sudden change in your health, before chalking it up to the old "aging" excuse, read this book.  
Before you embark on yet another 'fad' diet, read this book.
Before you purchase another piece of home workout equipment (not that you shouldn't), read this book. 

Life is really meant to be SPECTACULAR, but I also feel our bodies have been wonderfully and Individually designed for each and every one of us. --discover your body's nutrition sources & be well!

-Aurora Opes

Ankle Pain, An a Eye Opener... Just in time for the holidays.

Ankle Pain, An a Eye Opener... Just in time for the holidays. 
by Aurora Opes
November 27,2013

Roughly 3 months ago, I began experiencing ankle swelling.  This was primarily one ankle.  I started tracking my diet and noticed every time I ate eggs, my ankle would swell.  After giving up eggs completely, my swelling progressed to unbearable pain in my right ankle. 
The pain in my ankle actually felt like it was in my lower leg bone right above the ankle joint.  On a scale from 1 to 10, I was at an eleven!  How could this be? I get plenty of Calcium, Phosphorus, & Vitamin D3 (the active form).  Without a memory of any particular injury, and having pain that felt like a wrench twisting my bone from the inside, my mind began to whirl with diagnosis possibilities.  Talk about scary !  Although the specialist said it was a bad sprain;  it felt like it  could be a fracture. Without a known injury, a fracture could mean big trouble ahead from weakening bones.  
After 2 weeks of immobilizing my right lower leg; and needless to say, building up my upper body strength due to using only crutches --- enough had thankfully been ENOUGH!
I was in a place where I couldn't have my usual breakfast burger. By lunch, my ankle and leg felt much better.  I proceeded to remove beef from my diet.  Three days later I was virtually pain free!  One week after having no beef-- I was walking and nearly running again. 
Putting the pieces together.....
I've had a burger every day for over 6 months. I thought whey protein and eggs were causing ankle swelling and GI upset, and besides, I so enjoyed the calming, mind, and hormonal benefits of animal fat and protein coming from the beef I was eating; hence, I was up to eating beef three times a day!  I know..... overkill, right.  
Another piece....loose, very loose stool every morning. 
A third piece... Energy. Energy I didn't even realize wasn't there until I stopped eating the offending food.  

Leaky gut- a condition where allergens and other stressors cause a breakdown in the gut's immune system barrier- allowing entrance of agents into the blood and lymphatic system and entrance into other systems of the body. 

I understand this. Allergens and or Stress is likely at the heart of 75 percent or more of illness.  You may be thinking about beef being a potential allergen for you. I would say to you to FIRST make a request to your higher self, (for me, God) to reveal the answer to your concerns about potential allergens. Or better yet, declare that you are healthy and  whole.  That seems to be the the shortest road to getting results for me. 
That being said, I am trusting my internal guide. I will eat for nourishment first. I will not consume foods that are harmful to my body.   

These past few weeks have been eye opening for me. With the holidays approaching, I am more than ever, armored against the pressure of eating what my loved ones place before me. Let's face it, if I'm not at my best, I'm no good for 'holiday cheer' anyway!  I'll stay in my lane and allow those who love me to appreciate my confidence in standing up for my nutritional beliefs.    

Happy Holidays! & please don't forget to ' Pass Me The Butter, Baby & hold what ails me!!!'.  -Aurora Opes

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sugar- The Little White Lie?

Sugar, The 'Little White Lie'

If you haven't been been aware of the detrimental effects of excess sugar on your body by now, let me do the honors.  Sugar might indeed be the biggest silent "killer" and secret ager of our mind and body.

I am grateful for the pioneers in the health field, who are standing up to expose the truth about sugar.   For instance Dr. Robert Lustig, authored a well viewed lecture,  "Sugar, The Bitter Truth" and recent book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.  

Moreover, the Atkins diet created the way for our discoveries of how eliminating excess carbs created quick weight loss. 

In my own ebook, Pass Me The Butter Baby & Hold The ____!, I outline an intuitive strategy for resetting your body weight and optimizing your health. The foundation of this includes getting over our sugar addictions and limiting our carbohydrate intake. Yes, I said 'our'.   

Although, I have demonstrated phenomenal success in losing more weight than I originally set out for, and found a treasure chest of turning back the aging clock, I still have moments; although few, where I crave sugar.  

So with that being said, I like many of you, have found myself in 'negotiation' mode. Negotiation mode is characterized by telling yourself that, "A little sugar won't hurt".  After all, I would still take all my anti-oxidant, and anti- inflammatory supplements. 

Two weeks ago, I ate two homemade cookies - free of wheat & corn but with other flours such as quinoa & buckwheat and made with less sugar than the recipe called for.  For the hours to follow, I found myself in a brain fog with sinus congestion. 
No biggie, I figured it was probably the grains. 

This past week I found some ice cream with 'organic' sugar and no maltodextrin or corn syrup.  So, I ate just 1 cup.  The following two days, I was emotional and in a brain fog. I found myself unable to focus to multi-task and my workload took much longer to complete.  Finally by the third day the fog lifted, and I felt 'back on track'.  

Whew!  What was I thinking?  I should have planned for these moments of weakness better. After all I know better. It just goes to show how you can have all the understanding in the world, but without a plan - you can still relapse into the abyss of the sugar dumps! 

If you are shaking your head with doubt, check out these three articles on the effects of sugar on your brain:

1.  Psychodiabetes: Sugar on the Brain, Daniel G. Amen, M.D., Mar 19, 2013 ;

2. This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning and memory,
Elaine Schmidt, May 15, 2012

3. Why Half of America May Have Impaired Brain Function by 2030, Dr. Mercola, September 02, 2012

As for me and likely for many others; saying, "A little sugar won't hurt.", is the beginning of self sabotage. 

Now that I can recognize how sugar took me back to my previous anxious, tearful, frantic, the list goes on self, I can see why so many relationships suffer.  That's another topic altogether.  More importantly, I can see personally, how sugar can be adversely affecting my children. 

At this moment, for my children, I'm looking into substituting recipes that call for sugar with other sweeteners. 

As for me, I'm back to making my pumpkin cinnamon hempseed 'cookies' that will include stevia, butter, coconut oil & cocoa butter- made by mixing, baking for just a little bit, and finished off with my food dehydrator. 

When I eat these cookies, I get the 'comfort' feel minus the inability to control my portion size, and plus a mind & emotions that stay clear. 

I love ice cream. So I plan to make some of my own with Land O Lakes whipping cream, dark chocolate unsweetened powder, butter, and stevia with my Ninja  Kitchen Blender.  - I'll keep you posted. 

Until next week, be well & enjoy! -Aurora