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I know it's a little early to be thinking about Valentine's Day – it's one month from now! But I find myself wanting to prepare for it, and that points to the fact that I am feeling less tired! Because of GAPS I'm now able to sleep as long as 9 hours at once which has not been possible for almost an entire decade. More sleep means my body can heal itself and that spills over into my energy level, which if I'm thinking about going on a picnic, I must be feeling better! I can only imagine I'll be feeling better in one month.
Several years ago, I sat down and thought about the holidays and which were my favorites. I decided on Fourth of July and New Year's.
But since my husband and I were reunited (after being divorced for 15 years) and remarried in 2007, Valentine's Day has become a third favorite. A part of me thinks it is silly to celebrate holidays, and especially Valentine's Day. I do know one thing that is silly, and that's to keep your expectations for the holiday to yourself. If your husband doesn't happen to be the romantic type, it's perfectly okay to let him know what you would like. My husband doesn't get into that girly romance stuff, but he's wonderful at getting me what I've asked for, so I let him know.
As I mentioned in Friday's daily report, I asked my hubby if he would like to go on a picnic to celebrate Valentine's Day. We don't really like eating out, so doing GAPS hasn't changed things in that regard. Eating out is usually a disappointment for me, as I often don't like the food that I've ordered. I mean, it's okay. It's tasty, but I can usually make something that tastes a lot better at home!
One place I'd meant to go before starting GAPS was to a little mexican food restaurant that has been around for decades, but I'd only heard about it around Thanksgiving week. But then I got anxious, and went to full GAPS. I'm glad I did, but I just hope Carolina's is still around in the future when my gut is completely healed and I'll be able to have foods from the non-approved list. That's providing I don't come up allergic to corn products because my two favorite mexican foods are tamales and cheese enchiladas.
I have been wondering if it would be at all possible to make corn tortillas with almond flour? Or tamales with almond flour? Hmmmm…. well I have certainly gotten off my topic!
The other people who like to celebrate Valentine's Day are the little people in our lives! And of course, unfortunately it's another occasion to eat JUNK food and candy and crap. So I think we have to come up with some ways to help our wee ones (and older children) enjoy the holiday without going off our diet. And that doesn't have to be sweets and cookies! We can use heart shaped cookie cutters to form vegetables, you could cook some scrambled eggs flat like a pancake and then cut out hearts, there's lots that we can do!
I am already coming up with a menu for our Valentine's Day picnic:
- Steaks, grilled
- I want to find some GAPS approved olives – I LOVE olives, they are a treat for me! Maybe these would work: Krinos Kalamata Olives
- Cauliflower Faux Potato Salad, I have been looking at some recipes and want to try some with homemade mayonnaise (with beets cut into heart shapes, see below)
- Linzer Hearts cookies from Elana's Pantry [I will be making the following modifications: subbing honey for the agave syrup, baking soda is on the non-approved list but I will probably use it, I will not be using the jam since it is not-approved for GAPS. I am not sure yet but I am going to probably dice up some strawberries and drop them into the little heart space.]
Elana's Pantry also has Orange Heart Cookies but they called for much more sweetener than the Linzer Hearts. They look delicious though! UPDATE: Having looked at the recipe more closely, I see that Elana has crossed through the “1” in front of the 1/4 for the agave syrup. Now the Orange Heart Cookies have an equal amount of sweetener to the Linzer Hearts. I think I will still make the Linzer Hearts as they look prettier, imo.
In the past I have used steamed beets to make pretty hearts in food. I started when my children were much younger (we were homeschoolers). I have made potato soup with hearts cut from beets (please note potato soup is not GAPS friendly). The pink color is from the beet juice.
I have made cake decorations (this cake is not GAPS friendly) using hearts cut from beets:
This year I decided since I love doing this I'm going to order some heart shaped cookie cutters. In previous years I've cut the hearts out with a paring knife. I decided to get this Wilton 7-Piece Metal Heart Cookie Cutter Set. There are seven cookie cutters, ranging in size from 1 1/2″ to 3″. I also ordered these: Ateco 3/4-Inch Aspic Cutters, Set of 12. Note the word “Aspic“. The little set has a heart that is just 3/4” and eleven other little shapes: So what I've also done in the past with beets cut into heart shapes, is to make potato salad and put little hearts in the salad! It is delicious and makes the salad a light pink (that's if you refrain from using mustard).
Except I'll be making the cauliflower (faux potato) salad. And putting the hearts into it.
This is going to be fun! I think I might also make some pink biscuits or pink crackers (colored with beet juice!). The crackers I could actually cut into heart shapes.
Now I know you probably are not feeling a lot of energy, and not very romantic. That's okay. I understand. It does take energy to plan something special like this. Since you are doing GAPS, I have faith that one day you will feel better, and have more energy. So bookmark this post and come back next year! 🙂
Leave a comment with your GAPS friendly Valentine's Day ideas! 🙂