Friday, December 30, 2011

This Moment

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  (idea taken from )

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Twas a few days after Christmas...

With my kale and berry protein smoothy in hand, I reflect on how merry my Christmas was.  Which I might add is much easier since my wonderful husband took the 4 kids out to play at Indigo this morning.  Allowing me to sleep in till 9:30!!!!  I walked down the book filled stairs, dodged a few cars and trucks on the floor, ignored the bowls of half eaten cereal on the table and walked straight up to my new Tassimo brewer.  I choose my coffee, made it, put two GF pancakes in the toaster and put together my protein smoothy.  sigh****

Twas a couple days after Christmas, when all through the house,
Not creature (or kid) was stirring, well possibly a mouse..
The stockings were sprawled all over the floor, without care
In hopes that mom or dad wouldn't notice they were there.

The children's eyes glued to their brand new toys
While I see visions of sugar and chocolate smeared all over the boys
And mamma in her yoga pants, dad in his sweater
Had just nestled away our credit cards for hope of a long winter's break

When browsing the net their arose such good sales...
Mark sprang from the chair to see the price match scales
Away to the van, kids in tow, like a flash
Tore down the highway and braving the rush

The moon on the breast of the future shop sign
Gave him courage to continue with loud children all aglow
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear?
But a parking lot full and no space to steer clear.

With his grown man pride, so lively and quick
I knew he would make me wait in with the kids
More rapid, he promised, he went running full force
And I whistled and shouted and tried not to call them names

"Now Annaliese!, now Luke!, now Patrick and Ellie"
Stop fighting and whining and crying and screaming
To the top of my lungs, I yelled at them all
Now come on Mark run back with your haul

As God is my witness, I love my four children
But give me a break here, I'm still only human
So finally he gets back, with me close to tear
He's laughing and grinning from ear to ear

And then as we pull out of our spot in this mess
He tells me he got most of the stuff from his list
But still needs to make one more little stop
Ha!, I say, you stay while I shop!

He agrees, we've done enough, Time for lunch then a nap
And when they awake, we'll  do it all over in a snap
But, we heard them exclaim, as they fell asleep in their beds
Happy Christmas to us and we can't wait till the next!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baby steps... in the gym!

I thought I would let everyone know that I did make it to the gym this AM.  Saturday mornings are normally swimming lesson time so I never get to go.  However, I was late for combat...  Boo! someone changed the schedule and bumped combat up 30 minutes, but I got one hell of a burn while I was at it.  So because I lost part of my workout and had extra time I decided to give the weights a spin.

It's been a long long time since I've pushed any heavy weights (body pump uses weights, but lets be realistic here, they aren't heavy... because the focus is on endurance and strength).  Honestly I was nervous, it was like that "first time you put on your skates after the summer kind of nervous".  I knew logically that I could push weights around, but emotionally I was scared..." what if I get hurt? what if I can't do it as well as I remembered?w hat if I get hurt AND someone see's me messing up? how much weight to push? I bet I'm sooo much weaker now, this is embaring... I hope no one recognizes me"...  These are honestly some of my thoughts...  But...

I did it!   For 35 minutes I pushed around some "somewhat" heavy weights!  I was more or less testing the waters,  I felt good because I was nice and warm from combat.   So that being said, I don't really feel scared anymore.  I'm not venturing into man zone anytime soon but at least I know I can do it and will now add a circuit of weights into my routine.  Funny... I guess in the end,  I'm glad I was late for combat... If I had done the whole class I would have been way to tired to venture towards the weights!~  huh!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My attempt to defy all logic and reason!!!

"Come on now... losing weight during the holiday's?" " You have got to be kidding!"  How is that possible you ask!  Well for one, yes I am trying to do that.  I'm not actually sure it will work but I'll let you know how I plan on doing it!  I am going into this feat fully knowing that I might not lose weight, but I sure as hell am not going to gain any!  Unlike most people!!! Relax, unbunch your merry little stockings... you know it's true.  Everyone gains weight over the holidays, more booze, tons of parties, cookies, giant meals with booze... and not enough time to exercise because SOOOO many things to do for the holidays.  I get it, I've said it and done it!  But not this year, this year I have extra baby fat to chuck out the window so this is my game plan...

1) Business as usual: I will continue to eat my regular lean protein laden 5-6 small meals a day, with my spinash smoothies and giant salads!  I mean the big day is just that... one day...
2) But the parties you say...  Well honestly who in their right mind wants to invite me and my giant crew of little monkeys... I mean... we are a party... 6 of us!   But truthfully we are keeping close to home this year!
3) I will avoid adding the "only one pump" of peppermint sugar shot in my coffee from Starbucks (unless I'm going to the gym that day) then I can calorically afford it.  (did I just make up a new word?)
4) Being GF helps this but: I will have to make my own christmas cookies if I want to eat them (so they will be healthy and low GI (glycemic index) because I'll use coconut sugar and chia seeds.
5) To fend off temptation I'll keep dark chocolate (my favorite is the Camino 71% cocoa)  near at hand, like when Mark walks in the door with his boxes of home baked cookies from his students. 
6) I will continue my gym routine as best as I can! or add to it.  Mark will be home for the next two weeks so no reason I can't work out in the morning.
7) drink tons and tons of water!!!!  I am aiming for 3 Litres a day!
8) I will try to avoid consuming sugar for as long as possible throughout the day... so the goal is to avoid temptations until the end of the day, that way I don't get a spike in my blood sugar (then the spike in insulin)... resulting in the next drop in blood sugar... which always makes me want to have more sugar... always... best in my case to just have that cookie after diner or dark chocolate with my tea at night... 
9) Ok now I'll see if Mark is reading my blog... but I think I'll be playing the kinect game he bought me that I accidentally found under the passenger seat in the car... It was an honest mistake, I was moving the seat back to reach my water bottle and found the game and looked at it...  It's one of the fitness ones :D  I wonder if I can challenge him...  ha ha ha.. a fitness duel between husband and wife... could be epic!  (yes ok I am that dorky) but I am super competitive so this could be really great to burn off extra cookies!

I've become so distracted wondering who would win this made up competition,that I can't think of #10...  Mark is strong but I'm pretty fit so my endurance is good, I am way more kinesthetically aware so my posture is spot on... but Mark can use his brute strength and stubbornness to win most competitions... however I'm used to fitness routines... I don't know... 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Herbs are growing NOW!!!

Gorgeous rosemary... perfect for roasted potatoes! 
I couldn't believe it, but I guess it makes sense.  This weather is extremely warm for this time of year.  Today we are officially in winter and here are the pictures I took of my herbs!

Sage... this is the star ingredient in my stuffing!

Out in front I have oregano and parsley growing nicely! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mini Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes....

Oh yes I did... You read right... I made turkey into cupcakes :D 

I'm not sure how you make your turkey meat balls or meatloaf.  But I just went with my gut.  I knew it needed a great flavour, moisture and a way to hold it all together (the glue so to speak).  So I grated 2 onions, added some pulverized GF Mary's crakers, sage (from beleive it or not ... my garden!!!, I literally picked it today), some garlic powder, egg whites and a bit of low sodium ketchup.    I topped these cute little cupcakes with mashed potatoes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hot tubbin' and snugglin'

One of Mark's co-worker's has a hot tub outside and invited us over!  They babysat Ellie-Lynne while we hit the tub and had a great time :D 

Ok I am struggling with my weight... as per usual but I'm also trying to gain confidence and just "be happy" or good with the way that I am (see Jen I am trying!!!).  So here are some pictures 4 weeks after Ellie-Lynne was born.  My daughter wanted to strut her stuff too!

And now the cuddle pictures...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lunch is less than 2

When I got home today after my morning out... I was starving,  I needed something FAST!  Nothing in the fridge to re-heat... AHHHHhhh what to eat, what to eat!  Ok so after calming down, I realized I had TONs of food available to eat.  So this is what I did, opened a can of tuna, added fresh salsa (and threw in in the microwave for 1 minute), I grabbed a bowl, filled it with spinash, cut up some cucs, and orange pepper, and grabbed the greek yogourt out of the fridg... BEEP... Ok tuna out, mix in greek yogourt, add to spinash, top with veggies and rice chips!  sigh... lunch...  NOW....  If I had taken something frozen (pre-made, processed) oh I don't know, a frozen pizza or something it would have taken me way way longer to get food.  

Ok so I'm not perfect...  I do eat deserts, this is a GF danish from the Oakville Bakery (Voila)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Painting

I'm not really a fan of little junky toys from the dollar store, but I am all over the consumables you can get.  How cool is it to buy paint and brushes for 1$.  Now don't get me wrong, just because crafts are affordable doesn't mean I like them sprawled all over my house!... are you aware that sparkles are like little virusous... they go EVERYWHERE!.  We have a craft bin, it sits very high up (out of the reach of the kids) and it comes down when they are NOT HYPER!!!  When they are acting like normal little people, I take out the bin and set them up at the table.  Here are the cute pictures of my kids crafting it up! Paint and sparkles!

Patrick's finished canvas... and Luke's! 

Annaliese's work of art!  so pretty

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turkey Chili and Chili Taco's!!!

It's all about saving time in the kitchen, I get it!  It's all about making food that takes no time, that is nutritious and that tastes good enough for toddlers (and husbands) to eat! One of my absolute favorites is chili.  Really you can make it anyway you want.  This time I had ground turkey in the fridge, some leftover bacon, oh and the rest of the halloween pumpkin (pre-cooked), and some cans of chick peas and beans.  I also had the spouted bean mix.  So here are the pics.

Ground turkey and mixing in pumpkin. I added alot of chili powder at this point (when you add the seasonings early they tend to soften up, so I also add some later in the cooking process)

... pretty much all the ingredients!

My absolute FAVORITE brand of canned beans... no salt added and BPA free lining of the can!!!  woot, the crushed tomatoes also have no salt added.

These carrots are still from our garden!!! seriously pretty awesome, and the bacon is low sodium (Kirkland brand from Costco)

After adding all the veggies, tomato sauce and canned beans, I added a can full of water and the dehydrated sprouted beans.

Sshhh my secret ingredient!  (I also add more chili powder, garlic powder, paprika and cumin)  Simmer for 30 minutes!

sooo good!
 Now the next day's meal took only about 5 minutes to prep. Actually it was ready even before the oven was fully pre-heated.   
Organic blue corn chips, chili, tomatoes, spinach and some mozza cheese.

Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Turkey Sausage Stir Fry... no soya sauce!!!

Who says you need soya sauce in a stir fry.  I don't have it in my house, because Mark hates it but it has way way too much salt.  Here is my version of an Asian inspired stir fry.  Yummm...
I used leftover GF turkey sausage (from Longo's) original flavour, orange peppers, green beans, snap peas, matchstick carrot slices, extra virgin olive oil, sesame seeds, garlic paste, ginger paste and toasted sesame seed oil.

1 tsp of the garlic paste, 1/2 tsp ginger paste and good drizzle of the sesame seed oil.

Digging in!!!  except about 5 seconds after I took this picture the baby woke up...  I am now eating this cold, but it is still fantastic! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sprouted Bean Dip(s)

I bought this package of beans at costco yesterday and I've been thinking of a way that I wanted to try it out.  I've been craving hummus lately so I thought I would whip up a batch of bean dip.  I used 2 cups of beans and 6 cups of water, followed the directions on the bag and then couldn't decide how I wanted to make the dip.  So I Googled healthy bean dip recipe and found this one..

Super Healthy Bean Dip

submitted by Katherine Lawrence of
This bean dip is packed with fiber, calcium, protein, iron and vitamins A and C.  The flavor of the spinach is masked by the salsa and cumin, so it a great way to add nutrition to a delicious snack.
1 1/2 c. cooked Black Beans
1 c. Spinach
3/4 c. Salsa
1 t. Cumin
Pinch of Salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Serve with vegetable pieces or homemade baked tortilla strips.

However I didn't have cumin so I added a tbsp of Tahini *(because I was looking for something a little creamier)

The next recipe I just played around with creating something that looked and tastes like hummus but I used some tofu and greek yogourt to really boost the protein content.

 Bean dip that looks like hummus
2 1/2 cups beans
1/2 cup greek yogourt
1/2 cup firm tofu (get the kind that is non GMO and possibly organic if you can)
1 tbsp tahini
3 cloves of garlic (that was boiled in the water with the beans- to soften up the flavour)
1 small sauteed onion (to release the sugars)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
a tiny splash of lemon juice
a couple of shakes of curry powder, garlic powder and chili powder (for a little kick) - or any spice YOU like!

 I am going to be packing this as my mid-morning snack with a bag full of celery and snap peas!!! For a pumped up clean snack!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Clean out the fridge Roasted Veg. Soup

We had so much stuff in our fridge from the final garden clean out: carrots (regular and heirloom), celery, leaks, potatoes and I didn't want any of it to go to waste so today I got out the cutting board and went to town.  I decided roasting the veggies would really bring out some intense flavour *mostly the sweetness* since I can't seem to get enough natural sugars in my day!  Here are the pictures of the process.  The quantities are not really important because anyone can clean out their fridge and cold cellar to make soup. 

While the roasted veggies were finishing up, I sauteed the left over sunday brunch bacon with the leaks.  Ohhh the smell ....

I added a bit of pumpkin (in the measuring cup), I only used about a 1/4 of the measuring cup- Thyme from my garden and the celery.

Roasted veggies, cut into big chunks, coated in olive oil and some herbs (basil and oregano), oven at 400F for 45minutes

Add these to the pot with some no salt added broth and water.

I added chick peas for some extra protein, I let this boil on Med for 25 minutes.

Puree and serve!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Because having a baby isn't enough...

You would think, having a baby, dealing with sleep issues, evil engorgement, cranky 5 year old, and a two year old is enough....  well I'm here to tell you NOPE!  Not enough, last night I spiked a fever... I've been to the Dr's and it's confirmed I now have mastitis...  bloody hell!  However it's one of those things that knock you on your behind but you have to get right back up.

My kids have been bugging me to make rice crispies with the Christmas coloured ones so today I finally threw in the towel and used real marshmallows to make them...but alas they aren't your typical rice crispy squares... I've beefed them up a bit!  
 I used coconut oil rather than butter, I added chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dried fruits and shredded coconut.  My motto is, you've got yourself a blank slate with this recipe (or any rice crispy recipe) why wouldn't you add to it!  Well it also helps that my kids think chia seeds are like sprinkles :D