Brain Butter (Low Carb | High Fat |Gluten Free )

Keto vs. Epilepsy vs. Life Update

It’s been a LONG LONG time since I’ve posted. Mainly because there’s been so much going on, and not much at the same time, such is the life of an epileptic! For the average Joe a small task doesn’t take alot of effort, but for an epileptic, doing normal things is exhausting. You brain literally feels like butter much of the time.

As I’m working on a number of small projects part-time, instead of focusing on one stable full-time job now, it can get stressful and mentally draining even though physically right now I’m only really in London as opposed to hopping between two continents as I was doing before.

Still, it’s a battle trying to merely get started, complete tasks, and stay functional.  I find I often spend as much (if not twice as much) time recovering (catching up on sleep, Netflix and chill, yoga and meditation, me time!) as I do just getting on with things and trying to lead a “normal life”.

However, these last few months I’ve had moments of gratitude repeatedly for my parents (without whom I wouldn’t be seizure free), my partner (who saved my life and for giving me space, time and love in his own way), my sister and her family (for just being around and especially for allowing me to vent, cry, be a cow), and for a handful of friends I know I can count on.

Amongst them, one recently came to London all the way from Mumbai last month, and she opened my eyes to a whole new world of Nichiren Buddhism I hadn’t explored. I’m thankful for the quality time we got to spend together and the exciting project we’ve dreamed up! I love that you and I recognise that we are “Dysfunctionally Functional” and accept it.

It was also my niece’s first birthday and my sister and her fambam came to visit for four days.

So here is my confession – last month – OCTOBER 2017, I SLIPPED UP BIGTIME on a few occasions:

  •  Whilst my friend was around there was one night where she had a dessert with flambéed alcohol on it, I took one bite and pretty much got drunk (who gets high on flambéed apple crumble?) We also went to Ping Pong (Chinese Dim Sum) two nights in a row. And I had dessert!!!
  • Whilst my sister was down as well I went to the pub with my her and my BIL and had a chip from her plate with my steak, ate some rice and Paratha with my curry, I also had cake, panna cottage and ‘payesh’ (rice pudding) on my niece’s birthday.

SO SUE ME, I decided to live a little for a few days 😂! No regrets. And it will happen again I’m sure.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Here’s the upside though:

  • Whenever I do slip up, it reminds me that I just can’t stand sugar and carbs, it’s not for me. I can literally feel the sugar slap my brain around. It satisfies me temporarily for a few spoonfuls but in the back of my  mind I think “hmmmm how can I ketofy this at home 😂!” What I really enjoyed though was just being around my family and friends.
  • Unlike previous times during the summer for instance when I had a bad carb-up, practically went into a “food coma”, and also seemed to struggle getting back into the Keto way of eating, every single time I re-started keto after relapsing, THIS time I pretty much bounced straight back into ketosis after a few days, no major struggle or keto flu (although I did battle the real flu twice during this period). I didn’t fast intentionally although it may have happened that I unintentionally Intermittent Fasted a number of days sporadically.

Brain Butter?

Anyway enough of my rambling, as November is the month for #EpilepsyAwareness here is a lovely nut butter recipe especially for my fellow #brainwarriors on Keto – #BrainButter!

The reason it’s called Brain Butter is because it’s made from Walnuts, Pecans, and Fats (olive oil, ghee, coconut oil) which are good for the brain. I used all three, but feel free to use just one or two.

When I was making it I didn’t realise how symbolic it really was. 💜

Walnuts and pecans look like the brain. It’s poetic almost, the whole process of making a nut butter is almost like what it is to be an epileptic – you’re ok one minute and the next your brain feels all mushy and you’ve lost control like liquid nutbutter. BUT homemade BrainButter is of course healing with so many nourishing and restorative properties.

In addition to the countless  health benefits of walnuts, they’re also supposed to have numerous properties which make them good for the brain and there are studies that show they have anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects (albeit on rats).

This recipe also has cinnamon which is supposed to be good for the neurological system including memory – us epileptics suffer greatly on that front!

Other reasons why I LOVE this Brain Butter: 

  • Probably because of the high fat content in walnuts and pecans, it comes together ALOT quicker than almond butter and peanut butter. I think it took me less than 10 minutes to blend a batch of butter. So for tired epileptics, maximum fat for less effort, I think it’s a go-to nut butter!
  • 1 Tablespoon of this would  give you a significant amount (0.9g) of your heart healthy Omega 3’s.

Brain Butter Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (approx. 100g) pecans
  • 1 cup (approx. 80g) walnuts
  • 2-3 Tbsp Fat of choice (I used 1 Tbsp Olive Oil / 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil /1 Tbsp Ghee)
  • 1-2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Himalayan Salt

Note: The ghee makes it smell/taste like burnt caramel a little bit, I would only suggest using homemade ghee otherwise use one / a combination of the other two oils, as store-bought ghee might be overpowering.

METHOD

1. Toast your pecans and walnuts in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes to release the oils.

2. Set aside to cool slightly, allow the nuts to come down to room temperature before putting them in the food processor.

3. Place your nuts in a food processor and blend until you get a grainy consistency.

 

4. Then gradually add your oils in turn every 1-2 minutes. Keep the the processor churning, but check periodically, stir (and push down the sides and scrape the bottom of the processor) and of course taste as you go along if you must and adjust 😊!

 

5. This is what the finished Brain Butter should look like !

 

MACROS per serving

This recipe creates approximately 10 Tablespoons of Brain Butter.

1 serving = 1 Tbsp

  • 157.4 kcal
  • 2.1g protein
  • 1.1g net carbs
  • 16.4g fat

Update: How do you eat it?

Like any other nut butter!

  • By the spoonful 🙂
  • On your (ahem low carb / keto) bread / toast / bagel / waffle / bun  / pancake / donut / world!
  • On top of a keto granola.
  • In your smoothie.

 

 

 

 

Keto Mini Cinnamon Rolls & Chocolate Rolls (Gluten Free|Low Carb)

Keto & Epilepsy Update

I’ve been struggling to get my fats in again and I know my weight has changed since I started this way of eating, and I feel like I need to adjust my macros. But I’m not quite sure.

However I FINALLY GOT AN APPOINTMENT WITH A DIETITIAN ON THE NHS! Although the appointment is all the way in December, I’m over the moon and couldn’t be more excited because I thought it was never going to happen. I don’t think there are that many “ketogenic diet for adults with epilepsy” specialists around.

Anyway it has been over nine months since I found out about the the diet, and around six months of being on it. I can now say the following:

POSITIVES:

  • My seizures have reduced in severity. Since going keto I did have one grandmal however that was a day after changing my dose which was kind of expected.
  • Creative outlet: I enjoy cooking and experimenting with keto recipes, especially making more ‘mainstream’ food out of low-carb ingredients.
  • Be prepared: It’s hard out there and MOST foods have sugar and/or additives. So planning is crucial!
  • Learning: The Keto WOE isn’t the same for everyone. My dad is doing it for weightloss and his heart but he also doesn’t really care (yet) about inflammatory additives. Whereas I’m doing it for epilepsy and eczema and so additives are important to me.

NEGATIVES:

Please note that both of the negatives mentioned below are also side effects of Zonisamide (Zonegran), the anti-epileptic medication that I’m on. 

  • Weight loss. Chubby 16 year-old me on Epilim would have loved to be able to lose the weight so quickly, but 32 year-old me isn’t quite so sure about the drastic weight loss.
  • Fluctuating energy levels. There are moments where I have sufficient energy and moments where I’m exhausted. I can’t drink caffeine so rely on MCT oil for quick bursts of energy.

FatHead Pastry: The Keto Holy Grail!

My foodprep this Sunday was mini Keto pastries made with a slightly sweetened fathead pastry.

I made bitesized Mini Cinnamon Rolls (0.9g carbs) and Chocolate Rolls / Chocolate Danish Pastries (1.5g carbs) today!

KetoPastry-001

Whoever came up with the idea of the genius fathead dough. I. LOVE. YOU!!! Next time I visit my sister in Paris, I’m taking along a batch of these babies so I’m not tempted (again!)

Ingredients

FatHead Pastry:

  • 200g (1.5 cups) shredded mozzarella
  • 80g (0.75 cup) almond flour
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Natvia
Cinnamon Filling:
  • 2 tbsp Natvia (or other low-carb sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Hot water
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • Vanilla

Chocolate Filling:

  • Cocoa or Cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sugar-free maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • Hot water

Chocolate Drizzle:

  • Dark Chocolate (I used 2 squares of Lindt 85% Chocolate)

Method

Fathead Pastry

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 Celsius/360 Fahrenheit.
  2. Measure out mozzarella and cream cheese, and melt in a non-stick pot over a low flame or in a microwave. It will take approximately 1.5 minutes. NOTE: Stir the mixture half way through!
  3. Crack and stir in the egg into the mixture well.
  4. Then measure and add the almond flour, baking powder, and sweetener of choice, and mix well into a smooth doughball.
  5. Divide the dough into two batches / balls.

Cinnamon Rolls

ketopastry-min

  1. Place one batch / ball on a parchment paper and place another parchment paper on top of it. Roll it out until it’s as thin as you can get it (but still workable) into a large rectangle.
  2. Prepare the Cinnamon Filling: boiled water, sweetener and cinnamon.
  3. Brush the Cinnamon Filling along the entire flat top of the pastry.
  4. Roll the pastry into a log along the length.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into rolls (approximately 10-12 rolls).
  6. Place on a non-stick dish and bake at 180C for 20 minutes (check at 15 minutes).
  7. While the rolls are baking, mix the frosting: cream cheese, yogurt and sweetener,
  8. Once the rolls have baked, drizzle or spread over your WARM CINNAMON ROLLS AND EAT!!!

Chocolate Rolls / Chocolate Danish

ketopastry6-min

  1. Place the second batch / ball on a parchment paper and place another parchment paper on top of it. Roll it out until it’s as thin as you can get it (but still workable) into a large rectangle.
  2. Prepare the Chocolate Fillling: Boiled water, Cacao Powder, Cinnamon (optional), Sugar-Free Maple Syrup or other sweetener of choice.
  3. Pour the chocolate filling on top of the pastry and spread over evenly. NOTE: Don’t go too close to the edges.
  4. Roll the pastry into a log along the length.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the pasty into rolls, or slightly longer pastries.
  6. Place on a non-stick dish and bake at 180C for 20 minutes (check at 15 minutes).
  7. Whilst the Chocolate Pastries are baking, melt your required amount of Dark Chocolate to drizzle on top!
  8. Once the pastries have baked, drizzle or spread over your WARM CHOCOLATE PASTRIES AND EAT!!!

ketopastry9-min

Let’s just say I think I’ll his my fat macros today :-)! These are BY FAR MY FAVOURITE FAT BOMBS!

Macros

Mini Cinnamon Roll:

  • 70 Kcal
  • 3.5g Protein
  • 1.9g Carbs
  • 1g Fiber
  • 0.9g Net Carbs
  • 5.8g Fat
  • Calcium: 84.4 mg

Mini Chocolate Roll:

  • 75.7 Kcal
  • 3.7g Protein
  • 2.4g Carbs
  • 0.9g Fiber
  • 1.5g Net Carbs
  • 6.1g Fat
  • Calcium: 77.9 mg