This recipe was inspired by the Greek dish moussaka, but saves a ton of labor and time. Moussaka typically involves a bunch of steps like parboiling potatoes, and frying or roasting eggplant, then layering it all into a dish and baking, then topping with a creamy or cheesy sauce… this one is much simpler, and much kinder to the waistline.  If you like eggplant and beef, you’ll like this.DSC_0002

The potato topping brings this casserole firmly into comfort-food territory but it’s a very thin potato layer, just enough to cover; the dish is far from being carb heavy. I’ve made it with red skin potatoes and with sweet potatoes and enjoyed both immensely. I’m sure mashed butternut or kabocha squash or cauliflower would work too, so feel free to puree 10 ounces or 300 g of your mashable vegetable of choice and slather it on!

1 pound extra lean ground beef (or ground lamb)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2.5 oz tomato paste (1/2 a 5-ounce can)
2 cups diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 eggplant, chopped fine
10 ounces potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup almond milk or milk
(salt and pepper to taste)
 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brown beef in a 10-inch or larger cast iron or other ovenproof skillet. Drain fat.

2. Add onion, garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, cinnamon, salt and pepper to skillet. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.

3. Add the cubed eggplant (if it doesn’t all fit, add as much as you can fit into the skillet and still stir it) and stir to combine. Place the skillet in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.

4. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and boil potatoes until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash with butter, almond milk and salt/pepper to taste. When timer goes off, spread mashed potatoes thinly on top of eggplant/beef skillet and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

5. When done baking, place it under the broiler for a minute or two to get lovely golden spots on the potato topping.

Serves 3-4
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If you’ve ever tried to make homemade bagels, you know it’s a bit of a process. To get the right chewy texture, most recipes call for boiling and then baking the dough, in addition to the whole mixing, kneading, proofing thing. It takes several hours and while the upside is you get a dozen yummy fresh bagels, the downside is you now have a dozen yummy fresh bagels which won’t be nearly as good on the second day. They are only truly awesome the first day. This recipe has become my to-go when I want a nice chewy homemade bread, and if you top it with poppy and sesame seeds, onion flakes, garlic flakes and coarse salt, it’s an excellent Everything Bagel cousin.  If you like you can even put a hole in the middle.

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Just 5 Ingredients (and one is water!)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water for the dough, plus 1 tablespoon water for the pan
1 teaspoon of oil
(toppings: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dehydrated onion and or garlic flakes, coarse salt

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Directions

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, and stir in 1/3 cup water to form dough.

2. Take an UNHEATED 9 or 10 inch skillet (the heavier the better) and spread the oil around the bottom. Spread the dough into a circle on top of the oil. I find oiled fingertips or an oiled silicone spatula work well for spreading the dough out, it’s going to be pretty sticky, and it won’t reach the edges. You can make it thin or thick, it won’t matter.

3. If you want to use toppings, sprinkle them on top of the dough.

4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water around the edges of the dough (not on top of it), between the dough and the side of the pan. Then cover the pan with a lid (it has to steam) and put the pan on the stove.

5. Turn on the burner to between medium and high (6 out of 10) and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then, remove the lid, flip the bread over, and turn the heat down to low (3 out of 10). Cook it for 5 minutes on the other side without the lid and it’s done!

What to do with your awesome flatbreads:

  • Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges for dipping in hummus, white bean dip, baba ghanoush, or soup.
  • Make them fat and slice into homemade sandwich thins to build sandwiches on.
  • Spread with cream cheese, of course! (and smoked wild salmon if I’m coming over)
  • Try adding herbs, cheese, olives, or cinnamon and raisins to the dough. (just not all together)

How to Make Them Gluten Free

Do everything exactly the same, except use Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free all purpose flour and add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the dough. *Be sure that your toppings are gluten free if you have Celiac disease, many herbs & spices are cross contaminated in processing.*

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Why Do We DO That? (Eating because we ate)

“Georgie, I’d be curious to hear your take on why people turn to the behavior of giving up or splurging after one small slip. I understand all the reasons it makes no sense… but I don’t understand all the reasons that so many of us act this way anyhow!”

Eating because I ate. It’s funny isn’t it? While the exact mix of reasons is fairly individual, there are some common themes I witness in my clients. It’s cognitively painful to act out of line with our values. (Cognitive dissonance; we don’t like it). So if we have eaten one thing that we feel bad about, telling ourselves that we “don’t care about our weight today” makes us feel less-bad about it. Telling ourselves we “can’t stop”, “fell into the cookies” or other phrases that imply powerlessness also make us feel somehow less responsible and ease the sting of self-blame. If we weren’t or aren’t in control, we feel less blameworthy and less responsible to change. The continuation of undesired behavior – aka slashing the other three tires after getting a flat – likewise has a few subtle benefits:

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1. If we give up on trying to make good decisions, we are off the hook for the rest of the decisions we make. It’s kind of abdicating responsibility.

2. We often tell ourselves we’ll “never do this again” so of course we want to get it all in now if the cookies are going to be off limits. They just got much more valuable by being forbidden.

3. This is a tricky one to verbalize, but there’s a kind of temptation at times to make our situations WORSE. Like a benevolent knight will come in, see how badly we are floundering, and help us! It can feel like if someone only knew what happened to me, they would help. Like an imaginary audience. And sometimes, we need to hit rock bottom ourselves for various reasons. For example, to ask for help.  Or, because we’ve learned an all out meltdown can help us bounce back, pick ourselves up, organize a spreadsheet of macros, and be hardcore dieters tomorrow.

So my tips hinge on accepting your own power and responsibility, and losing the blame. If you don’t hate on or judge yourself yourself for eating something in the first place (it’s just tasty food, not a moral crime) and refuse to diet the next day, the cycle has no way of taking place. And, it does also mean gently seeing and accepting that you are the one in control. You hold the key to solving all your own problems, so it’s okay if the knight never shows up, you can help yourself better than anyone else can. And just like you could fall in love with the white knight…. that’s where the come though for yourself –> thank yourself –> like yourself –> love yourself thing gets going.

Lastly, I want to reiterate that it is NOT “irresponsible people” who slip into this – it’s actually people who hold up SO much responsibility in their conscious lives (often perfectionists) whose brain without their permission wants to be let off the hook. We can crumble under our own expectations of doing it all, being it all, and eating perfectly. People who fall into this trap are not fools, and not lazy. They are often the most hardworking, nicest, want to do everything right all the time individuals. Which also makes it an even more upsetting experience.

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Mississippi Mud Cups

Double layers of chocolatey fudgey goodness in a personal size, just-right portion. Ahhhhhhhh. (You do not taste the coconut, at least I can’t, it’s all just chocolatey. If you WANT to taste it, try using unrefined coconut oil.) You could sub butter for the coconut oil if you like, and sugar in place of the Splenda. Milk chocolate will work too. It’s very forgiving. I made four …. just because. You can obviously make more if you like. I like small batches because we enjoy them for two days and then don’t have dozens around. Which means if I want to play with a different recipe in a few days I can!

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Crust:

2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons Splenda granulated
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil (I use refined because I don’t want to taste it)
pinch of salt

Filling:

2 ounces 73% dark chocolate
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons peanut flour
4 tablespoons Splenda granulated
pinch salt
dash vanilla (I just add a dribble from the bottle)

 

1. Mix the crust ingredients in a bowl, it will form damp clumps. Divide most of the crumbs (save 10% of it or so) with a teaspoon into 4 silicone muffin molds and press down to pack into a layer in the bottom. The reserved crumbs are for topping.

2. In a small saucepan, combine all the filling ingredients except the vanilla. Heat and stir while chocolate melts. Keep stirring and heat until it starts boiling, let it boil for a few seconds then turn heat off. (It will thicken as it cools). Stir in vanilla, and pour into the muffin molds. Top with reserved crumbs.

3. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. (About as firm as cheesecake, so not HARD but firmer than pudding.) Carefully wiggle the muffin mold to loosen sides, push from the bottom and you can gently take it out whole.

Makes 4 cups

Nutrition Facts (per each cup):  149 calories, 10 g fat, 10 grams of carbs, (4 g fiber), 3 g protein

 

 

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September Group Coaching FAQ

We’ve had a ton of interest in our next group coaching cohort! Today we answer the most common questions about the group program.

If you missed it, read here to learn all about why two people can both lose weight, but only one keeps it off. Plus we make a great coaching offer.

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Q: Will there be exercise programming, or guidance?

A: Exercise is an important component of long term weight loss. However research and experience tells us that the exact kind of exercise is often not that important. We will both provide an exercise routine to follow if you like it, but if you want to do your own thing, that is fine and we’ll certainly help you with principles. That said, individualized programs would be cost prohibitive.

Q: How does the group keep in contact?

A: Everyone will be assigned to a small “super friends group”, and everyone will have access to the whole cohort, all on Facebook. There will be daily interaction with your super friends group on FB, but if super friends choose, they can contact each other any means that supports them. You will be getting an email each Monday from your coach, and of course you’ll have daily access to your coach through FB and emails.

Q: I live in a different country, food availability is different, is this okay?

A: We coach people from all over the world and location doesn’t matter much. We coach principles and habits, so we won’t be giving specific food recommendations either, what you have available will work just fine.

Q: Will you give me a meal plan?

A: No meal plans. They aren’t sustainable and our focus is on habits that last you a lifetime, you’ll thank us for this in the end.

Q: How much weight will I lose?

A: That varies from person to person. Average weight loss with our system is 0.5 – 1 pound per week. Since we focus on changing habits the weight loss isn’t usually as fast as if a person did a diet, but it is permanent. We’ve had people lose around a pound a week for a year, and we’ve had people not lose anything for a month. It really isn’t about the weight loss first, it is about habits that will assure your success for a lifetime. So some people have more habits to change than others to see the scale move, so the scale starts moving right away for some participants, but others need to get a few habits in place before things get going. Sooner or later though, mastering these habits produces lasting weight loss.

Q: I’m a competitive athlete and train very hard, will this work with me?

A: Absolutely. We have Olympians, we have athletes at every level, and they all master habits that help them succeed. We may need to help you individualize more, but the basic habits apply to everyone.

Q: Is twenty four weeks enough time to master the habits, and will twelve habits be enough?

A: We work on a habit for two weeks before going onto the next one. This is in fact not enough time for most to master it. This is enough time to master it enough to be able to do it with relative ease though. So to make the habit truly stick you need to keep practicing them for around two months on average. As for whether the twelve habits are enough is individual, for some yes, for some there are other habits to work on as well. We’ll be here to help those people too.

Q: How long is the program?

A: Currently 24 weeks. If there is interest in a longer program with other habits, we’ll consider it.

Q: How much time will this take?

A: The coaching will be a few minutes a day. The habits that you work on will need some attention and really it would be impossible to say how much time you’ll be spending. However you will be working on habits that will integrate into your life, so in no time I’d suggest that you won’t spend much extra time on them.

Q: I have a medical condition and dietary restrictions, is this right for me?

A: Absolutely. We don’t prescribe diet at all actually, that is up to your medical team. We do however have an RD that understands those issues and we accommodate them. Our system works with any diet actually.

Q: I’ve done another popular group coaching program, how is yours unique?

A: The owners of this company have both been coaches for a popular coaching program and in effort to be more effective we’ve made things different. For one we teach you how to master habits. You can apply this to any habit, it is science based, other programs only give you habits to do assuming that if you do them for enough time that you’ll form a habit. We know this not to be true, and our program equips you to make them stick.

Also we provide daily support and structure things in such a way to maximize it. You’ll be a part of a super friends group, in which you will have daily contact to be supportive and to get the support you need. You won’t ever be discouraged from emailing your coach either, as some companies do. In short you’ll always have what you need to succeed.

Plus we are collaborative, not competitive. We won’t be giving cash awards for a modeling contest. We will be giving cash awards for the most consistent habit builder and the most supportive person. That’s the values that matter to us, not some photo contest that we can use to sell our program.

With us the habits get scaled for you, in fact we teach you how to effectively do this yourself for any habit. Success is assured when the challenge is appropriate. Other programs only give you the habit to work on and that is it.

Q: What happens after the six months?

A: You may be successful enough already, however you can keep going if you like working on new habits, or you can join our one on one coaching.

Q: How customized is the group program for individuals?

A: You will work on the same habits as the group, however you’ll always adjust the habit to fit your ability and needs. At times you’ll have the habit down pat, at that time you’ll be helping your teammates master the habit, and you’ll work with the habit formation process, furthering your own abilities.

There are limited spots left, get them now. Click the button below and we’ll get you on your way to being permanently lean.

Just $97 per month with no contract:




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