Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall and Festive Fitness Challenge

Fall colours are coming to an end. Here is an iphone dump of some of the fall I captured during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Mom always has the house decked out for holidays, Thanksgiving being no exception. 
This was our Thankfulness Tree.

Typical college student response. 
Mine was a no-brainer.
Nothing beats the colours of Fall... NOTHING! However, end of Fall colours means one thing in my books, Festive Fitness Challenge!!! Thats right folks it is here.

Festive Fitness Challenge
(aka "getting skinny for Santa")

Who can join?

Anyone and everyone! The more the merrier.

What is it?

1.) Change something in your diet.
eg: No eating after dinner, adding snacks during the day, giving up soft drinks... etc. 

2.) Do something active 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
Some people may already be doing this and may want to increase to five times/week or pick a new activity like Zumba or swimming. 

When is it?

Nov 1 - Dec 15th
We always start the night after Halloween. Get your last fill of candy and then set your sights on better health.  

Why do we do this? Six years ago it dawned on me that everyone has something they want to change about their health: be it their lifestyle, their fitness or their eating habits. This made me wonder... what stops them? I think the number one answer is motivation! We live in a society of distractions. We may recognize we need a change, however, life gets in the way and we often say "I'll start tomorrow." The problem is tomorrow seems to turn into the next day and the next day and so on. The solution? Well there is no easy solution and if I knew the solution I would probably be filthy rich. So each year we get together for just over a month before Christmas and make purposeful changes to our diet and lifestyles. Changes can be small or big, depending on what you feel up for. 

1.) Sign up by liking this page Festive Fitness Challenge. I would love it if you would post what you will be giving up on Facebook so that we can encourage eachother. 
2.) Write down your goals and put them on your fridge, bathroom mirror, or kitchen cupboard, somewhere you will see them everyday. 
3.) Get friends and family to either join with you or support you in your challenge. Try to have other people you see on a daily basis join with you. Being accountable increases your chances of success in making a lifestyle change. It is hard to keep self control when your partner, friends or family are munching away on goodies beside you. 

I will try to keep posting health tips and recipes throughout the challenge. If there is anything you want me to write about just let me know. 

4 DAYS to start day!!! Here we go. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

High Protein Snack Bread

Entering my third trimester has brought on more changes in my body. My belly is growing, the baby is kicking harder and I can barely fit anything in my stomach before feeling full. Now that the baby lives in a "pouch" that comes up to about 2 inches above my belly button there isn't much room left for my stomach to expand; not to mention the pregnancy hormones slowing down my digestion. Because of this I find myself needing to snack often. I like to keep these snacks as healthy as possible. One of my new favourites is this protein/nutrient packed bread I found here.

This bread is packed with nutrient rich seeds and nuts! What are these nutrients you ask? Well... 
Raw peptia seeds: Beneficial unsaturated fats and the amino acids tryptophan and glutamate. Tryptophan is nature's natural sleeping pill. Turkey is also high in this amino acid, which contributes to the yearly "turkey tireds". These seeds also contain vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. 
Sesame seeds:  High in oleic acid (which helps decrease LDL cholesterol),  high in natural antioxidants, and high in folic acid, an essential vitamin for pregnancy.   
Sunflower seeds: High in linoleic acid and oleic acid, high in natural antioxidants, and vitamin E. 
Almonds: Like the above nuts, almonds are high in oleic acids and vitamin E. 
All of the above seeds and nuts are also packed with B-vitamins and essential minerals. Although high in fat and therefore calories, nuts, in moderation, are a good addition to any diet. 

Baking this bread made such a sweet smell in my kitchen I could barely wait for it to come out of the oven.
While the bread was cooling I made a cup of chai apple tea.
I topped mine with honey and Chia seed for a sweet and nutty afternoon snack. I am so glad I came across this recipe. I highly suggest you make it yourself! If you are looking for reasonably priced almond butter, try Costco.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Recent Eats

Fall has returned and I have had time/motivation to be back in the kitchen. Andrew is back at school and we are into a routine. I have been trying a lot of new things to help decide what to fill my freezer with before baby Ethier gets here! I thought I would quickly share some of my favourite finds.

Both of these muffin recipes are from the same sight. Both are gluten free, dairy free. They both use coconut flour, a recent addition to my pantry, which I have been loving. Blueberry muffin link here.  Lemon poppy seed recipe here.

This was a dinner we had recently. We had leftover chicken and some veggies to use up. I made Andrew's pizza on a normal crust and mine on a cauliflower crust. I have seen people using cauliflower for pizza crust for a while now and figured I should give it a try. Many recipes call for cheese to help hold the crust together, which is no good for me. I found this one. It uses flax eggs.

Last, but definitely not least homemade pasta sauce. This fall, our garden exploded with tomatoes. What was a girl to do other than make some spaghetti sauce for her hubby. I used this recipe and the results were fantastic! I have now made a second batch and stashed it in my freezer. 

Now off to enjoy one of my new fall teas... oh I love this season. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Good Eats

I had to share an amazing meal I had last  week. I went to a restaurant in Waterloo that I had completely forgotten about called Thrive Juice Bar. If you have never been I highly recommend it. 

The owner is always there and super friendly. My first time there he introduced me to my now daily habit of Vegn smoothies. This nutrient packed smoothy powder is the perfect addition to any morning smoothly routine. Thank goodness the powder is now availble at my local Zehrs; I am not sure it would be economical to drive to Waterloo every time I wanted it. 

Now back to my meal. Every time I go here for food I tell myself I will try something different; every time it comes to ordering I get the pad thai. 

I love this pad thai. I mean LOVE! It is made with a cashew based sauce that has just the right amount of creamy texture to spice. All the veggies are fresh and add a nice crunch to the creamy dish. 

My friend ordered the Mediterranean rice bowl. The guacamole at the front was delicious and very fresh tasting. 

It goes without saying you MUST order one of their delicious smoothies or juices while there. I ordered the BIG GREEN, a usual for me. It has wheat grass, spirulina, cucumber, kale, spinach, apple and lemon. 

I really wanted to try their vegan peanut butter cup for dessert, but sadly they were out. Sob. I guess I will have to go back. Don't fret, I improvised for dessert. Grande, decaf, soy, Americano Misto... yum...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

High Tea

Hello all, I know, I know I have been MIA. To be honest I just haven't been feeling nutritionally creative lately. Meals have been boring, predictable but still healthy, for the most part.  This past weekend however, I had such an amazing opportunity and am feeling inspired again.

On Saturday I was invited by a friend of mine to go to high tea at Langdon hall in Cambridge, ON.  We did this to celebrate the newest addition to her family, she is due in a couple of weeks! The food was amazing, not healthy per say, but it was beautiful, tasty and meant to be shared. Langdon Hall was stunning. We were sat in the "Red Room". According to our server this room was built for the ladies to sit in after dinner; It was designed in such a way that the acoustics forced the ladies to whisper. Someone born with my loud voice was never meant to sit in such a room.

Above: Langdon  hall
The Red Room
My tea: I ordered a citrus vanilla tea... yum
This entire two tiered platter was made for me! Dairy free and everything.
This was the regular platter; looked amazing! 

Now time to get back to creative nutrition!


Thursday, February 9, 2012


Right now I am living in the town of Renoville. We are currently putting new flooring in our upstairs. Although I am very excited, I want it to be over!!! The house chaos has meant throw together dinners and little creativity in the kitchen. Having said that, I ran across a recipe for a gluten free, sugar free, dairy free bread. My favourite part about this bread is that it is very high protein and high fibre, so unlike other breads it keeps you full. The recipe can be found here.
This bread makes a great snack. 

I made my own almond meal by blending almonds in the food processor.

I topped mine with almond butter, chia seed and a little dribble of honey. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Birthday fun!

Last week was my birthday week and as usual Andrew ensured that it was full of celebration. On my actual birthday we went and saw...

I bawled!!!! I highly recommend this movie, however, if you are prone to crying wait until it comes out on video. Seriously people I was swallowing my sobs as tears streamed down my face. Andrew thought maybe it wasn't the best choice for a birthday film!

Other birthday festivities included...
Bowling!!! It was my first time 10 pin bowling; I need some practice

We visited some bead stores in Toronto. I left with a little bag of goodies to get my craft on!

Shellac manicure. Attention ladies if you haven't tried Shellac manicures yet get on it! They last for 14 days without chipping. Bonus: they are really shiny too.
And lastly wine, lots of wine... 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet potato salad dressing

I am in love!!! With a new dressing. See below...

On Sunday night I went to my sisters house for dinner. I was cursing myself for not brining my camera; she had a beautiful spread for building our own salads. Although the nephews weren't too fond of it us adults loved it. In an attempt to recreate it, on a smaller scale, I made my own salad bar spread. The new addition to salad bar you ask? The most amazing vegetable based dressing! Although it may not look that special in photographs I promise you it is amazing! ... and healthy!

Making the dressing
Super easy, super quick in the food processor
salad options
fresh veggies
Sweet potato dressing
                                                 the finished product topped with pumpkin seeds

You can find the recipe here. I made the following changes: all sweet potato, no butternut squash, 1 Tbs of EVOO instead of 3, added 2 extra Tbs of water. 

I would also consider decreasing the amount of balsamic vinaigrette next time I make it, which will be very soon.