Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's been a while....

I feel like I would at confession... Father "or readers" please forgive me, it has been 2 weeks since my last blog post.  Crazy how that happens.  Life happens.  My crazy life happened.  I will be honest, it is my habit to stop blogging when I'm not "feeling right" when the universe and I are not on the same page.  Normally I love to workout, I love the endorphins, I love the challenges and the satisfaction of accomplishment.  But for the last week, I haven't wanted to go the gym.  Clearly something isn't right.  Hormones, chemicals and stress all play a part in this I'm sure.  Last night I skipped the gym, stood up a friend (who thankfully forgave me), and read on my playbook while consuming way too much popcorn (not the good kind!).  I get that it's ok to cut myself some slack and relax every now and then.  But at what point do you need to give yourself a kick in the ass to get out of bed (in my case, since I like to read in bed and eat popcorn) to get back to a regular routine.  Well thankfully I am blessed to have a friend who cares about me enough not to listened to my lamo excuses about not wanting to go to the gym.

I went to my hot yoga class tonight and even though I'm mentally exhausted and down on myself, I had the best practice I've had in like a year!  I didn't listened to the crap in my head, I just did what I was told to do.  Focus on breathing, go 3 inches lower, relax, breath, lower, let go of the crap... I did it.  For once it was amazing not to be a slave to the voice in my own head... I just did yoga!!!! 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oh!!! You Sweet!!!

I love how I eat the meal plan for a week and then I decide to look up the nutritional benefits of a sweet potato.  Of course!  Well I knew it has a lower glycemic index than a regular potato and must have some extra nutrients since it's orange but wow the vit A it has is off the charts. No really it is.  Look! (it's at the bottom of my post)

I'm not sure how much you know about Tosca Reno and her cooler plan, but basically for cooler 1,( named so because you could potentially pack everything into a cooler for the day), is about fast weight loss using clean foods only. Which means, nothing processes, no sugar, no salt, no fatty meats and the minimum requirement of fat, no dairy, no bread, no spreads or salad dressings (except lemon juice and balsamic) = I created my own salad dressings within these limitations and they are awesome, opps sorry getting back to the can't list no spreads or juice.  (well I guess I'm cheating on the juice thing since I'm juicing my veggies because I can't seem to eat the required 10 handfuls- minimum).  You do eat 1 hand sized sweet potato a day and a handful or 1/2 cup amount of whole grains (ex. oats, quinoa, brown rice, millet or creme of wheat). Oh ya and the star of this plan is 5 palm sized servings of lean protein (can be a protein powder also- unsweetened and natural).  Now don't panic, she does have other cooler plan options.  Or make up your own like my friend Maxine does 1.5.  Cool eh!

So here I am again, it's Saturday night and I'm preparing some fast foods for next week.   I tried a sweet potato pancake with oats from this website ( but I didn't really like it so I changed it.  To start I halved the recipe, didn't add the molasses or oil, used only egg whites and instead of yogourt I mixed in almond milk, apple sauce and lemon juice.  I processed everything in my food processor and cooked them up.  The taste wasn't bad (the cinnamon and vanilla are a nice touch) but I found I had to make them really flat for the insides to cook.  So they were more like a crunchy cookie.  My youngest son enjoyed them!   I will have them in the morning when everyone else is chowing down on pancakes at my son birthday party.  This is why I spend time preparing food, to avoid the temptations. 

My second sweet potato endeavor was making more chips.  I feel like they are my saving grace.  They are like junk food to me now! The oven is at 400F, slice them up finely and coat with a bit of olive oil and don't take your face away from the window because when they start to brown they will turn black in seconds.

My third go at the sweet potato was a curry vegetable soup with tofu.  Here are the pics.

The soup is basically the same as my last one, but I modified it a bit.  I used 2 whole sweet potatoes skin on, 2 handfuls of celery, 2 roma tomatoes, 1 cup each zucchini and spaghetti squash,  the container of no salt added broth by Campbells, some garlic powder, ginger and lots of mild curry powder.  I let it boil till the potatoes were soft, took it off the heat added 2 giant tightly packed handfuls of spinach and processed it with my hand blender.  Then I poured the soup over each serving of chopped tofu with some extra curry powder. 

I also made an other batch of chili this time with zucchini and mushrooms (so basically the same recipe as last time minus the broccoli and so many peppers)!

Curried sweet potato and veggie soup with tofu.
ps.  The article mentions how studies show that the vitamin A is better absorbed with the presence of healthy fats (ex. olive oil, coconut oil etc..). I will have to do that!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some of Today's Clean Eats

I had the camera out today so I thought I would take some pictures of the meals I've been eating lately. And how I made it.

Here I have the new bottle of raw apple cider vinegar (acv), which I now take 3 times a day (2 tbsp in water before meals).  I wanted a salad dressing for my lunch salad so I used the bullet to process a chuck of sweet potato, 2 tbsp of acv, 1 tbsp of ground flax, some water and (underneath - sorry you can't see it) a couple of tbsp of leftover chili. 

Clean lunch: 2 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 tomato, 1 chicken breast baked with chili powder and my homemade sweet chili dressing.

Not just any green smoothy: this smoothy has green juice (cucumber, celery, kale and lemon) made earlier in the day for a veggie fix, it also has macha powder and a scoop of protein powder.  This is one healthy bloody smoothy!!!! 

Turkey sausage, cherry tomatoes, spinach and some water.  Just heating it until the juices boil a bit and the spinach is cooked.

Spaghetti squash cooked in microwave (I know it's not as healthy) for 10 minutes. And I added the italian herb to it.
Diner! Pretty darn clean and yummy to boot!

This Moment

A Friday ritual. 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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Green Juice is back!!!

Just look at that gorgeous colour!!!  That my friends is 2 romain hearts, 3 celery stalk, a handful of kale leaves with stalks and a whole lemon (peal and all)... I know... weird right! well it's how it's done in the juicing world so... be it.  I dusted off the juicer today because eating salad today was getting on my nerves, I am tiered of so many veggies in one day.  Seriously I know it's good for me but 12-14 handfuls of veggies????

 I have to admit that cooler plan 1 is tough, not stupid hard.. mostly just annoying.  I want healthy food that I'm used to like peanut butter, berries and avocados, but they aren't in the plan for the next 11 days.. oh yes by the way. I have survived 3 days.  Headaches, cravings, basic detox (well not completely I haven't given up caffeine) but still pretty intense.  I've continued at the gym even though I haven't had my usual energy, I can feel a cold coming on. You know when your neck glands swell up?  and it hurts to swallow in the morning and before bed! Ya that.  Hopefully I can avoid the full on cold though!  Sleep is something in this equation that I am not getting enough of.  Patrick is waking up, because he doesn't like having a wet diaper and the baby is waking up to nurse!  Yay party time in our house at 4 am every day!

Well I'll leave you with a photo of my green juice, in my starbucks cup, with ice and lemon wedges and my cup of tuna (low sodium, jardiniere spice, a small celery, a few cherry tomatoes and a spray of lemon).  Yes this is pretty much what I'm eating a few times a day.  Not the tuna a few times a day but 4 meals with protein and veggies only!  The other two I can have 1 serving of grains and 1 fist sized sweet potato.  But the main point is that you basically eliminate most of the sugar (either fruit based, refined or unrefined)... no sugar and the only oils are from hemp (but I think ones like olive or pumpkin or walnut would be ok) but no more than 4 tbsp a day or less. 

Please direct your prayers my way... thank you... I am in need of strength and will power :D

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cooler 1 preperation - part 2

I baked a whole lot of chicken and sweet potatoes this morning. And this afternoon I made chili!

This doesn't look as good in the picture!  But ti's baked chicken with various seasonings, from left to right: chicken coated in italian herbs (a baked sweet potato in the container also), chunks of chicken coated in chili powder and chicken coated in mild curry seasoning.  (soup in the background)

Chili - C1 ingredients only!

2- handfuls of cherry tomatoes (or other types)
2 peppers (you could sub zucchini - but I didn't have any)
8 small celery
4 small broccoli heads
1 can of eden garden adzuki beans
1 can of eden garden kidney beans
1 small pack of ground chicken (amounts to 2 servings)
chili powder to taste
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp cumin
water to cover everything

This made 7 servings! (each jar contains one serving of protein and 1 serving of vegetables)

Well this is my haul! 

Cooler 1 preperation

Today I've been getting ready for the big start of my cooler 1 challenge.  I've created some meals that will make my mouth and stomach happy for the next couple of days.  Cooler 1 is going to be tough and I know it so I want to be ready when I'm hungry!  Here's some of the pictures of what I've done!

Salad dressing, using a tiny bit of sweet potato (about the size shown), water, some balsamic vinegar, and for spices I used a mild curry and a dash of ginger.  Blended in the bullet.

Soup:  I used a container of no salt added broth, 1 and half sweet potatoes, 2 handful of cherry tomatoes, and 2 handfuls of celery and 1 pressed handful of spinach.  I added more water and some spices, garlic powder, parsley and mild curry after it had boiled.  (I guess about 25 minutes)

I used a hand blended and mixed it all up, then added a cubed chicken breast (baked earlier today) to each jar.

Then just before closing it up I added some chopped kale (I scrunched I tight handful, chopped it up and diveded it among the 3 jars).  So each soup contains, 1/2 a sweet potato, 1 serving of protein, and 1 serving of veggies (2 handfuls).  

Protein smoothy- within the limits of cooler plan 1.  I froze apple slices the other day so these were ready.  This smoothy has 4 slices of apple (is exactly 1/2 an apple), 1 scoop of protein powder (no sugar added), some ice, about 1/4 cup of frozen spinach (the kind that you buy already frozen) and a little squirt of lemon. 

eggs. boiled alot of them! so that come morning I don't have to spend 10 minutes waiting for them to finish cooking.  My C1 breakfast will have 4 egg whites (1 yoke). 

Friday, January 6, 2012

I need a bigger fridge!

And what you can't see: natural peanut butter,tofu, mozza cheese, skim milk, more eggs, celery, greek yogourt, coconut oil, kefir, my other nut and seed butters, nuts and spinach , cucumbers/tomatoes/sweep potatoes/oranges on the counter.  In the drawers: broccoli, sweet peppers, lemons, carrots and more celery. 

Other than my mom's I have never seen a fridge so full.  We will eat all this in less than a week (for sure) and need to buy more.  Is this normal, how full is your fridge? 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cheers to Pain, New Goals and Groups!!!

Well to start off I have to say I have truly the most supportive husband!  He takes care of the kids so that I can go to the gym and get my burn on.  Which today was 1463 calories :D  (Ok I partly cheated, I left my hr monitor on for an hour after my workout and got 188 calories burn while sitting at Starbucks drinking tea with my super awesome pal Sherry!!!  I do know that I don't actually burn that many calories sitting around, can you imagine that is about 4500 calories that I would burn in a day!!!!  But my guess is a little over half that, which is what I had guestimated for myself yesterday.  Ok sorry about the math.  Getting back to the point. 

Ouch!!!!  Cheers to pain:  today I did a yoga class, a body pump class (resistance training/endurance weights) and combat...  Need I say more!  Ouch, from lactic acid during the classes and now from damaged and broken down muscle fibers.   As a side note: it is super duper vital to drink tons of water to help flush out the biproducts of lactic acid (toxic waste), plus it helps in speeding up the recovery process.  I also need to make sure I'm getting enough protein, which is the building blocks (amino acids) for muscle repair/reconstruction.  But as a bonus, muscle fiber that breaks down and is rebuilt, is actually built stronger/more efficient at burning fat when I'm not exercising (so when I'm sitting here typing on my netbook, my base metabolic rate has gone up because of the new muscle fibers that have been created)

Cheers to new Goals: today while chatting with Sherry at Starbucks I decide I was going to kick start my metabolism (and lose some serious weight), I was going to eat Tosca Reno's cooler plan 1 for 14 days!!! 

And so Cheers to Groups: I created a group on fb for this goal of mine, the group is open to anyone who wants to join , it's called Tosca Reno's Eat clean plan 2012.  Please add yourself or ask me to add you!  I am doing this to help myself be accountable.  I know I need support but I can also provide support for anyone who wants to participate.  It doesn't hurt that it's a new year and everyone is ready for some serious changes around this time of year.  So that about sums it up! 

Now I'm going to drink more water and go to bed! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Christmas Gift 2011

This year Mark surprised me with a one night stay in a hotel.  And boy oh boy was I excited for this one.  I left the house this morning around 11 so that I could stop for some gas and free Starbucks' coffee (the one in the January tumbler) and still make it in time to make it to the Goodlife for the 12:15 class.  Alas I misread the schedule and the CXWorxs class that I thought was starting, was actually next week.  Oh well, I ran on the tread mill and did some weights.  After this I picked up some lunch (Thai express) mild tofu curried with veggies which was yummy!   At this point I checked into my hotel room. (I love you Mark!!!) and ate my lunch while finding out what I could do in the evening. 

I decided to visit Starbucks (again) to get some more free coffee and read some of new book.  After this I left and came back to the hotel room, played around on the internet, then got ready for a good workout.

I went back to the gym for 5:30 so I could do an exercise class before the hot yoga I was planning on.  The class was pretty cool (not super hard) but a good warm up for hot yoga.  "On the ball" used alot of equipment: a ball, a flexi bar, some weights, a mat, and these hand held sand shakers (ug I don't remember what they are callled)... but I did 50 minutes of the class and had fun.  The hot yoga was freakin hot... I can't actually remember sweating out so much in a class... ever!  So that was good.   I am happy to report my calorie burn at 1193!

On my way home I stopped at Mint; an indian bistro and bought some fish (marinated in yogourt and mint) and Thai express for some soup.  When I got back to the hotel I chowed down!!!  I also opened my bottle or red wine and enjoyed this with my meal.  After diner I went for a dip in the hotel hot tub, I brought my playbook so I could read some more.  By now it's 11pm, I'm watching some tv and enjoying my red wine and dark chocolat!  Tonight I plan on SLEEPING!!!!  without waking up :D  Tomorrow I'll have breakfast, go  back to the gym for a 10:30 yoga fit class and then head home! 

Thus concludes my most amazing Christmas present!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

after a 2 hour work out...

I come home and eat!  Tonight I had made (before leaving for the gym) an egg white omelet that consisted of mostly leftovers from yesterday's meal.  Yesterday was our big fancy turkey meal, which was of course turkey, homemade stuffing (with sage from my garden), roasted rosemary (also from the herb garden)  potatoes, and roasted broccoli and a mix of steamed veggies.  So I chopped up some onion, celery and the roasted potatoes and fried them up in the cast iron pan.  Mark also asked that I add some turkey so I chopped up cubes of turkey and added that as well as some rosemary for flavour.  I took out about 1/3 of this and added chopped spinach and poured out 1/2 carton (well almost) of egg whites.  I poured my omelett mixture into my smaller cast iron pan, added a layer of hemp hears and a bit of mozza cheese and covered it till it was cooked.

I am now totally savoring this meal as I write this!  I did eat about and hour and half before going to the gym (which is probably too long before a workout) and after the first hour I had a GF  protein bar.  Thank goodness because ouch the second hour was pump (combat was first).  This is my first combat/pump double since having the baby and I am going to be sore in the morning.  But alas... no pain no gain! 

Mark got me a new chest strap for my heart rate monitor watch and I'm pretty proud to share that I busted out 1150 calories.  My goal for the next 12 weeks is to burn 7000 calories a week.  So the math that I'm doing is sort of quasi-acurate but lets say I need 2000 calories as my base metabolic survival (it's 500 calories higher because I'm nursing), if I want to create a deficit of 1000 a day than I eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 at the gym or eat 1500 and burn 500 at the gym or eat 1000 and don't burn any at the gym... (I am NOT a fan of the 3rd method... I like food way way too much for that).  The problem I have is that I'm not a calorie counter, but I guess for the next 12 weeks I'll have to try.  Honestly I find it much easier to eat healthy and clean and just burn the calories at the gym.  Yes I am lazy that way! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A year in 12 photo's

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011