What I Made: Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks and Pizza

For the last few months (or years, if we include starts, stops, failures, etc.), I’ve been trying to overhaul my diet. As part of my mission to get rid of my headaches, I’d been going to a chiropractor and acupuncturist (for cupping). I’ve noticed some improvements with lower back pain as a result of the chiropractor, but it’s too hard to say whether it’s helped with my headaches. Cupping seemed to help with the headaches initially, but then everything went back to normal. Ugh.

As part of my work with my acupuncturist, she asked me to track my diet, just in case she noticed any food triggers. She didn’t, but what she did notice was that I had a horrible diet abundant in processed foods. I believe her exact words were, “You aren’t getting any nutrients. Like zero. Zero nutrients.”

This wasn’t a shock to me at all. But I’m a people-pleaser and overachiever, so I decided to actually work on my diet (in order to please my acupuncturist). I started knocking out the processed foods and adding vegetables instead. I’m not pretending that I’ve eliminated all processed foods from my diet, but it’s considerably less than what it used to be.

My acupuncturist’s next goal for me was to go gluten-free. Even though I don’t have celiac disease, she said there’s a chance that I could still be experiencing an adverse reaction to gluten, and that could be contributing to my headaches.

This terrified me. I LOVE gluten. OK, not the actual gluten, but basically all the foods that contain gluten: pasta, bread (in all its forms), cereal, etc. As much as I wanted to please my acupuncturist, it just felt too overwhelming to me. I tried to cut it in most parts of my diet, but couldn’t commit to 100%. And what I’ve learned is that if you aren’t 100%, it’s not really doing anything to help.

Well, I mean it is cutting a lot of calories from your diet — what I mean is that you won’t know the benefits of being gluten-free unless you are 100% gluten-free for a month. Somehow a month sounds like so much time!

But what’s ridiculous to me is that I was willing to go to doctors and get whatever prescriptions made up of who knows what that would do who knows what to my body, rather than just make better food choices that would possibly relieve me of a headache pain while also just making me healthier in general. Even though I was cognitively aware of this, changing my diet sounded so much harder than popping a pill or two.

Then I read the book Wheat Belly, written by a Wisconsin doctor, William Davis. Aspects of the book were new pieces of information to me, and obviously I can’t verify that everything is factual, but what it said made sense to me. And more importantly, it was compelling enough to make me want to really change my diet.

So I’ve started to cut wheat from my diet. I’m not 100% there yet, but probably somewhere between 60 and 70 percent. I’m eating gluten-free cereals for breakfast (eventually I’d like to stop eating cereal entirely, but I can’t get there yet). I’m substituting all my sandwich bread with lettuce. Are one or two big pieces of lettuce as tasty as two pieces of bread? Not exactly, but honestly, I’m focusing on filling the ‘sandwich’ with really good stuff, so the lack of a bun hasn’t been that horrible. And when I remind myself that I’m saving approximately 200 calories by skipping the bread, I’m super happy with myself.

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. I tried a gluten-free frozen pizza from Target a few weeks ago that was OK…but not that great, and not worth the price (for me). I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crusts on Pinterest, but had never tried it.

That’s a lie. I bought cauliflower once in order to try it, but never did it and ended up throwing a rotting head of cauliflower in the trash.

But today I decided to do it. I used the recipe on the blog Jo Cooks for cheesy cauliflower breadsticks. This made a huge batch, so I’d recommend halving it if you’re trying it for the first time.

Cheesy Cauliflower Cheesesticks | What Lindsey Likes

Was it as good as gluten-full pizza? No. But it did turn out better than I expected. Worse than I had hoped, but better than I expected. I made one set of cheesesticks and one pepperoni pizza. You’ll notice I didn’t include any sauce on the pizza — I was afraid it would make the crust mega mushy. So I just dipped the pizza in a side of sauce, like I did for the cheesesticks.

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza | What Lindsey Likes

Will I make this again? Eh, I don’t know. It was a lot of work for this lazy girl: Wash the cauliflower, chop it up, put it in a food processor/blender to really pulverize it, steam it in the microwave for 10 minutes, mix it with a crap-town of cheese and other ingredients, etc. The amount of money I spent on cheese alone for this recipe was probably close to the cost (or more expensive than) a frozen pizza. I realize a frozen pizza has gluten, and that’s the whole reason for making this, but it was a lot of work and not cheap…so I’d probably look into other recipes in case there’s an easier/cheaper version.

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What I Did: Survived the Week

How was everyone’s week? Is anyone else as relieved as I am that it’s finally the weekend?

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m slowly going broke with chiropractor and acupuncture appointments. While I think there have been some benefits to the treatments, headache relief hasn’t been one of them, which is the main reason I went. On the plus side, we’ve figured out what’s causing my headache pain. I have a vertebrae or two in my neck that prefer to be out of place because I have crazy, disgustingly tight muscles in my shoulders. Apparently I carry all my stress in my shoulders, and I’m apparently a very stressed person. I truly don’t consider myself to be all that stressed. I guess my shoulders are taking all of it!

After multiple chiropractic visits a week, I’ve started to decrease my visits with the intention to wean myself down to once a month or less. My chiropractor said she’s done what she can and it’s kind of up to my neck to get with the program. Well, and me making an effort to have better posture. She transitioned me to her acupuncturist, who started out with the typical acupuncture treatment. But we have quickly realized that my woes aren’t totally treatable with needles. It was time for the next Eastern medicine technique.

Cupping.

Don’t know what cupping is? Well, if you watched the most recent season of the CBS show The Amazing Race, you might remember the episode (episode 9) where contestants had to get a number of Eastern medicine treatments, one of which was cupping, during one of their challenges. You can watch this video clip right around the 14- to 18-second mark for an idea of what cupping is.

When my acupuncturist first mentioned it, I was TERRIFIED. All I could think of was the blood-curdling screams and flowing tears from the Amazing Race. I eventually told her how terrified I was after she had spent several minutes telling me how perfect the treatment would be for my shoulder tightness. To try to ease my fears, she quickly demonstrated the procedure on her arm, and then did it on my arm too. Here’s what happens: She soaks a cotton ball in alcohol, holds it with a pair of skinny tongs, lights it on fire, quickly puts it into a glass jar and pulls it out, then places the glass jar against the skin. The lack of air left in the jar after the fire has done its job turns the jar into a vacuum, so it sucks your skin (and your muscles under the skin) into the jar. She didn’t leave it on my arm for more than a few seconds, but I was able to experience the feeling, which was nowhere near as painful as what the Amazing Race contestants went through.

Today was my first actual cupping treatment. Because I’m super pale and pasty, my acupuncturist warned me that I’d most likely have pretty severe bruising after the treatment. She used eight jars of varying sizes on my shoulders and upper back. As she started attaching them to my back, she said, “Yeah, you’re definitely going to bruise.”

And she was totally right.

The pain wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t describe it as enjoyable, unless you are someone who finds things like deep tissue massages enjoyable. This was less painful than a deep tissue massage. And I’m not sore at all right now, like I would be if I had gotten a deep tissue massage. But a deep tissue massage doesn’t leave bruises that look like purple pepperonis on my back, so I guess it’s a toss-up.

Thank goodness I’m not wearing any fancy dresses or tank tops in the near future.

I almost considered posting a photo of my back, but looking at it in the mirror almost makes me pass out (I’m a total wuss with those things), so I decided to spare you the super grossness. If you want to see what the result looks like, try Google. And then thank me for not posting any photos. Even Dan thought it was pretty gross.

Instead, I’ll post some pics of Dig, who recently got a haircut.

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes