Methodology Chocolate Cake Recipe

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Since so many of you asked for it on Instagram, here's the recipe for the chocolate cake that we made for our team for our third birthday party.

 

Chocolate Cake

3 eggs

5.5 oz coconut milk

2g baking powder

2g baking soda

.01g guar gum

150g coconut sugar

57g coconut flour

54g almond flour

114g high fat cacao

2oz coconut oil

3oz avocado oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

12oz boiling water

 

Add in all dry ingredients in table mixer on low speed until combined, add in all wet ingredients and continue to mix on low speed.  Lower mixer speed and add in boiling water. Carefully scrape sides and paddle until fully combined for 2 minutes.

Bake at 350 F for 25 Minutes

Cake will be soft while warm.  Let completely cool before frosting

Yield: makes 1 ½ sheet tray , 1 medium, 2 layer rectangle cake, or 2 small square cakes

 

Chocolate maple frosting

1 pound of ghee

100g maple syrup

9 oz high fat cocoa powder  

 

Soften ghee by leaving out at room temp or microwave for 30 seconds. Do not melt the ghee. Whip ghee in a small mixer with a paddle attachment. Slowly add in maple syrup while mixer is going. Mixer can be on speed 2. Stop mixer, scrape the bowl and add in small amount of cocoa powder. While paddling on speed 1, stop to scrape often and taste often. Stop when fully combined, do not over whip or whip to fast (this will break the frosting).

 

Basil simple syrup

4 oz coconut sugar

4 c water

2 big basil leaves

 

Put all ingredients into pot.  Stir sugar to dissolve.

Let boil and cook down until reduced by half and flavor is full.


 

HOUSE STRAWBERRY COMPOTE

1 pound of frozen strawberries 

80g maple syrup

1g citric acid

8g lemon

.5g salt

10g arrowroot

 

Place strawberries and maple syrup in pot. Cook until tender, smash with a back of spoon or bean smasher. Add lemon juice, citric acid, and salt. Stir, add arrowroot slowly. Cook for 4-6 min until clear and thick .

 

 

 

The perfect diet is NOT 100% clean

As someone who runs a health food company, there are a lot of eyes on me and what I eat. Most people assume I eat a 100% clean diet and have willpower of steel. And many of these people come to me for inspiration and tips on how to do the same for themselves.

That’s why I think it’s so important for me to show that I DON’T eat 100% clean, 365 days a year. Just a few weeks ago, I gave a sneak peek on our Instagram Stories of all the new desserts coming to Methodology pretty soon and then proceeded to eat a bunch of them in one sitting. Though our desserts are cleaner than most, they’re still desserts.

Most importantly, I didn’t beat myself up afterward because I have a structure that allows me to indulge occasionally in unhealthy foods.

We live in a society that preaches “all-or-nothing” practices, but I often find “all-or-nothing” mindsets to be more detrimental to a healthy lifestyle than small but regular indulgences. I’ve seen many people decide that “nothing” is too hard and so they might as well eat whatever they want because they’ve failed to maintain a perfect diet.

But there’s a better way.

The truth is your body is capable of handling a small amount of food that doesn’t serve any purpose except to taste yummy. You just need to find balance between keeping yourself from feeling deprived and eating enough healthy food to still feel amazing.

Of course, this balance is going to be different for everyone. But there are some guidelines you can keep in mind to stay within this range.  

1. Don’t cheat; have treats instead

The first step to indulging in a healthy manner is to stop thinking about your indulgences as “cheats.” A funny thing happens when we think of indulging as a bad thing: we feel guilty about it, don’t enjoy the experience, and then find ourselves wanting more as soon as we’re done.

When cheats become treats -- something you’re allowed to enjoy -- suddenly you relax, you savor the experience, and you feel satisfied by what you’ve eaten. That’s also what makes it much easier to stop and keep yourself from overeating.

It’s a subtle mindset switch, but try it out and see how much of an impact it can make in how you feel after your next treat.

2. Find the right quantity

When you decide how many treats you’re going to have each week, two things happen:

  1. You’re defining where the “overboard” line falls so you have clear parameters of how much is too much

  2. You get in the mindset of counting your treats so you know how many you’re consuming during the week; often we get into trouble because we’re blindly eating what we’d like whenever we feel like it without realizing we did the same thing four other times that week

You can even go so far as to define which days you’d like your treats, which adds a third benefit: you’re better prepared to fight off a craving because you know exactly when your next treat is going to be.

I like to have two treat meals a week most weeks (which can include dessert), and this is what I recommend as a starting place most of the time. But this can change.

When I’m preparing for something like a beach vacation or Burning Man, I move to one treat meal a week to make it easier to shed a few extra pounds and might even cut treats out completely 1-3 weeks before the event. I’ll also cut off  treat meals when I’m looking to reset my microbiome. When I’m somewhere like Paris or New York, though, I eat whatever I want until I get back home because vacation only happens a couple times a year and so a week or two of poor eating won’t be detrimental to my overall health.

As your needs change, your eating habits can change as well. However, I always like to go back to my original two treat meals a week because that’s the balance that makes my body happiest.

3. Know where things rank for you

Not all indulgences are created equal! Some people would die for a plate of pasta, while others can’t get enough of a particular pastry from the coffee shop on the corner. Whatever your favorite treats are, make note of these.

Then when you’re faced with a potential treat during the week, you’ll have some guidance as to whether you’d like to indulge or not.

For instance, if your coworker brings in homemade cupcakes, you can decide pretty quickly whether you’ll partake or save your treat for something better during the week based on where cupcakes rank on your list. If cupcakes are one of your favorites, you should take one and enjoy guilt-free. If cupcakes rank in the middle or toward the bottom of your list, you probably want to politely decline so you can use that treat on something that will make your tastebuds sing.

Take quality into consideration too. A $0.99 bar of chocolate might not taste as good as a gourmet bar of chocolate (or maybe the $0.99 bar of chocolate is what really hits the spot for you). So use your treat on something that’s also the quality you love so it always hits the spot. It’s okay to be picky when it comes to your treats.

4. Note your “never indulge” list

It’s also good to set boundaries on what you’ll never indulge in to make it even simpler to enjoy your treats without regret. I like to reserve this list for items that make you feel terrible or cause some reaction, even in small quantities. Because when you’re treating yourself, you should be feeling good, not worrying about whether you’ll be feeling sick for the rest of the day.

For me, this list includes coffee and dairy, which give me acne even in small amounts, cashew and avocado, which I’m allergic to, and soy which gives me eczema.

When the "magic pill" solution doesn't work

On and off through college, I took birth control. Whenever I was on it, I noticed my cystic acne that I’d had for years would clear up. And that felt great. But then I’d forget to refill my prescription or just didn’t want to bother and my acne would come back worse than before. The more this happened, the more I felt tied to the pill. But if it was fixing the problem, then what did it matter?

Then I started getting ocular migraines. My vision started blurring out of nowhere and I couldn’t see anything. Imagine sitting at your desk reading emails when all of a sudden all of the letters look totally jumbled. It scared the crap out of me! When I visited the doctor, I found out that the magic pill that cleared up my acne also increased my chance of stroke so significantly I had to stop them immediately (and my UCSF doctor -- a neurologist -- also told me that anyone who gets motion sick easily is at high risk of stroke from taking the pill and that he has seen many 20s- and 30s women come in with strokes because of this, but no previous doctors had ever told me this).

After going off the pill, my acne came back worse than ever. It felt hopeless because the one thing that seemed to fix the problem had been banned.

The thing is, we’ve been trained to think that there are tons of health problems out there that can be fixed if we just find our “magic pill”. But those magic pills usually only address one issue, without taking into account that our bodies are faced with a number of stressors everyday: processed food, lack of sleep, work stress, chemicals found in our beauty products, lack of movement, and more. The more stress we face, the more our bodies have to deal with. Usually by the time poor health hits us, it’s because our bodies have been dealing with so many issues from all sides that it can’t keep up, and so fixing one problem will only slightly lighten the load.

In the case of my acne, it turned out to be a combinations of the skin products I used, wearing too much makeup, eating dairy and drinking coffee (both of which my body was sensitive to), not switching out my pillowcases on a regular basis, picking at my face, and the inflammation in my body as a whole. That’s a LOT of things. But correcting all of them ended up working: 

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I see this with a lot of our clients, too. Someone says they’ve cut out gluten but they still feel terrible, not realizing that many of the gluten-free products they’re eating are highly processed, contain tons of lectins (toxins that plants create to get you to stop eating them), and/or are filled with sugar. Another client who has diabetes might be frustrated because they’ve stopped eating pretty much all carbs and still have insulin resistance, but they don’t realize that working 12+ hours a day has raised their stress levels so high that it’s keeping them in an insulin resistant state.

It’s frustrating (and honestly, overwhelming) when we fix the thing we’re told to fix and the problem still exists or is only temporarily fixed.

With all the healing journeys I’ve taken to get my body to where it is today, the most important thing for me to remember has always been that finding my best health takes time, a holistic approach that considers every aspect of my lifestyle, and a good amount of experimenting. And that’s okay. Every step leads me one step closer to feeling my best.

These are some of the concrete steps I personally use to continuously improve my health (because it’s a never-ending journey!):

1. Try one thing at a time

There are a few reasons for this. First, it helps you to see whether what you’re doing is actually helping, hurting, or just adding a useless task to your plate.

But even more importantly, it helps ensure that you’ll stick with the task long-term. Taking on too many tasks at once is like juggling six plates when you haven’t really learned to juggle in the first place. You might keep a few of them in the air, but one by one they hit the ground and you end up with a lot of broken plates.

This happens a lot with diets. People who don’t eat very well suddenly try to cut out all sugar and processed food, and sometimes other items as well, and they don’t have any system to deal with the cravings and detoxing that naturally occurs as a result of that. They would be much more successful to first cut back on the soda they drink, then get a healthier breakfast in place, then add more vegetables in at lunch, etc until they finally reach the place they’d like to be.

If you start with one change, you can take the time to master it and establish it into your routine before trying the next habit.

2. Don’t go for extremes (unless you have to)

In the same spirit as the last step, your goal is to establish a long-lasting habit, and if you start with something too hard (like trying to run a marathon or even a 5k the day after deciding you’ll break your five-year couch potato habit) then you’re very quickly going to end up in the same place you started.

Smaller habits (like walking a couple of blocks a day) are much more likely to stick and then can be built up over time to where you’d like them to be.

Of course, there are a few instances where extremes are very important. Someone who is diagnosed with celiac disease, for instance, has to go to the extreme of cutting out all gluten if they’d like to get better. And for me, even one bite of cheese or yogurt gives me pimples on my forehead, so I never ever have any dairy. But for if you’re not in a situation where you need to make an immediate drastic change, then take advantage and build up from a small change to a larger change over time.

3. Don’t just focus on one area

Remember that the body is affected by many areas of life, and not just one. Someone who spends all their time and energy focusing on eating the perfect diet might still have plenty health issues that they just can’t seem to get rid of. And when we believe that the solution to finding amazing health comes from a single area of our life, it gets frustrating when we don’t reach our goals and makes us want to give up on getting healthy altogether.

According to one of our medical advisors, Dr. Frank Lipman, there are 6 areas of health you can focus on for overall health:

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Exercise/movement
  • Protection against toxins
  • Stress relief
  • Relationships with loved ones and yourself

The truth is, all of these areas require some attention if we want to live our best life. And there are a few ways you can tackle this so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

You can either try establishing a couple of improvements in one area until your feel good about is and then move on to the next one, or improve/add one habit in each area before circling back to the first area to start another habit. Neither way is wrong as long as you remember to spread the love around to every area of your life.