Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Happy List

In an effort to "heal" during my time of ppd (postpartum depression) I am trying to create a "Happy List".  The things that make me happy, well or maybe just less miserable. Of course winning a million dollars or going an a vacation without kids would make me happy, but I also need to be realistic! I am stuck at home or near home, we don't have much/or any disposable income and all other conceivable limitations due to my circumstance apply... yada yada yada...

  So when the deep dark abysmal place hits me I can re-read this post and try something, anything that might help!  So here goes!

My Happy List

1) Well currently I am in pretty good spirits and that can be attributed to:

- Tea
- Blogging
- A Gluten Free cinnamon treat
- (and who am I kidding, two peacefully sleeping kids that I successfully put down for naps, at the same time!!!)

2) I find I am very content when I'm at Indigo in AM with only the baby; this can be a combination of;

- Free refills on coffee and tea (at the Starbucks, because my card is registered)
- Ability to read my book (mostly uninterrupted)
- Some very friendly locals who know me and the baby pretty well by now

3) I enjoy myself when I am surrounded by like minded individuals like:

- Play dates with my kids/friends
- OEYC groups (my PPD group) -click for the link!
- Hot Yoga

4) I feel like I'm shining when I am teaching people about:

- Food (health tips,recipes, ideas for integrating health and clean food into anyone's current diet )
- Wellness
- Fitness

5) And last but not least my list of self-indulgences that do cost money and that are somewhat shallow but I'm learning not to care what anyone thinks;

- a nice long pedicure
- an hour long massage from Ed (at Goodlife Burlington, ask for him, I highly recommend him)
- dark chocolate (pretty much on anything, peanut butter balls, strawberries, bacon...)
- a meal at The Naked Sprout
- putting the kids in daycare so I can actually sleep for a couple of hours during the day AND not do the laundry! 

 I guess I could have added stuff like a hot bath, nature walks and cooking and baking!  Those are free but do require alot of prep and work!  Do you know how much work it is to actually take a hot bath when you have 3 kids who can hear the sound of a tub filling up from a 10 mile radius and all try to jump in at the same time, regardless of the poor mom who is trying to take a relaxing soak!!! Or packing everyone up for a nature walk? Snacks, availability of "potties", extra clothing, diaper bag, baby carrier... the list goes on... sometimes not even worth the effort! And even though I love to cook, I really truly love to do it when 6 extra little hands aren't trying to "help"!  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Veggie Pulp Crackers

So again I was juicing today, basically to empty out the fridge of the veggies that were starting to go bad.  It was either juice or make soup.  And usually I just compost the pulp but today I was feeling the need to experiment.  Of course I didn't record my ingredient amouts... intuitive baking has it's drawbacks, but I can tell you how I created mine.  And know that anything goes here. Crackers are crunchy so you don't want to add egg, you will need oil to help bind everything and of course some type of flour, or you will pretty much end up with veggie leather! 

Here is the juice that I made: I used a cucumber, celery, spinach, apple, lemon, carrot, zucchini and a bit of ginger.

Ingredients: (again you have to be able to play around here)

  • veggie and fruit pulp left over from juicing 
  • half an avocado (because I figured the dough needed some healthy fats)
  • flax seeds (every good cracker has them right?)
  • coconut oil (melted, about 2tbsp)
  • a splash of agave
  • italian herbs
  • arrowroot flour (or any other type you want) I was going for GF
  • a tiny bit of baking soda


So basically I mashed the avocado into the pulp, added the flax seeds, oil and agave.  I mixed all the wet ingredients first.  Then combined the dry ones separately and then added them to the mixture. It's important to tell you here that I have no idea how much flour I actually added. I was adding it mostly till I got a dough consistency.  Which means I did have to add a bit after I had pre-mixed the original dry ingredients.  Next I flattened out the mixture on the parchment lined baking sheets. I tried to make it as thin as possible, but even so, some places were thicker than others, to deal with this, I basically cut the thin pieces out of the pan and put the thick ones back in for longer cooking time.  I had the oven at 350F and initially put them in for about 15 minutes.  This wasn't nearly long enough, so I basically stood around the oven, cutting out the crispy pieces and putting the rest back in the oven until the whole lot was nice and crunchy.  I had two cookie sheets full.

At first I tried to press the batter onto the cookie sheet with my hand but soon realized I needed to find a much better way to flatten this out.  So I added a sheet of parchment paper on top and pressed it in this way. 

Pressed and rolled with a cup (sure a rolling pin would work too)

Very flat and very thin. And Green!!!!

They baked.  And the parchment just peels right off!  easy peasy!

Cooling off on rack before putting them away. 

Pretty thin :)

Crackers topped with plain greek fat free yogourt, cucs and cherry tomato.

Crackers topped with almond butter and sliced strawberry.  Yum!

Friday, April 20, 2012

You ARE Beautiful!

I want to share this idea with you.  Something that will slowly help to heal me.  I have post partum depression and lately everyday has been a struggle.  But my brother shared this sticker with me along with its message. I felt so strongly about it because the truth is I don't think I am beautiful but I am determined to believe it, even if I have to stick this sticker on nearly every available surface.  You can get them online at  

So if you don't bother to go to the website I wanted to "copy and paste" the story.

You Are Beautiful is a simple, powerful statement aspiring to create moments of positive self realization. The intention behind the message is to be received as a simple act of kindness, an innovative approach to a fundamental concept.

The vision of the You Are Beautiful campaign is to focus on the utmost truth that unites us as a people:  each individual is intriguing, complex and beautiful. With this realization, we are impelled to pass it along. Not following the status quo or daily norm, the objective is to look for a new manner to engage one another on a deep meaningful level, creating a new methodology of unified social consciousness.

The You Are Beautiful message has spread throughout the world, dispersing hundreds of thousands of stickers, and generating countless community based projects to beautify neighborhoods in cities globally. The project and the message are completely open. Anyone can participate, engage, and act. Empowering each of us, to choose optimism with clarity, and remind ourselves, that you are beautiful.
 So this is how it works...  It's guerrilla movement, so donate any amount (ie. 10 cents each so 20$ for 200 stickers) and stick them everywhere. Give them away, put them on your cell phone, on your mirrors, in public washroom mirrors, any place people might read it!    Think of it like sowing seeds.  A way to help heal other people. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Healthy Easter Baskets (filled with fruit snack and organic dark chocolate)

Ok well these don't look like much but alot of love went into them!  I looked up some healthy Easter treats and a recipe for these baskets came up but they used loads of brown sugar and butter (blah, hardly healthy) so I thought I would try to clean them up a bit and with some success I managed a basket that only uses dates to sweeten it and coconut oil to keep it together.  It's really cool actually, I was convinced when I started these I was wasting my time, how could they stick together without sugar... Ha ha, but the oven worked it's magic and voila they held! So there are quite a few steps to these so I'll walk you through them via pictures.

These are not GF so I couldn't taste them but I trusted the ingredients and had some faith.  I used 2 cups of shredded wheat (no sugar which I like).  I crushed these in the zip lock bag.

About 1/2 cup coconut oil.

Which needs to be melted, I did this on a small pot of boiling water.

Next I boiled some water, made tea and soaked 7 or 8 dates.

While the dates were soaking I added 1/4 cup of shredded coconut to my smashed shredded wheat.

I was also making chocolate at this time so these soaked about 20 minutes.

I added the dates and the melted coconut oil to my food processor.

Processed it until all visible chunks were mixed in.

Here I just mixed the dry with the wet ingredients.  (all 4 of them) and I knew it was ready to start to mold when I grabbed some and it stuck together enough to form a ball.

Formed in greased muffin tin. bake at 350 F for 11 minutes (or 10 - just until the edges are starting to turn light brown).  Let them cool in the muffin tin, then carefully remove!  These can be filled with anything.  But I wanted chocolate so here is the process I used to make chocolate shapes.

I used the same bowl that I melted the coconut butter in (why make more dishes)!

I could only find these silly molds, they worked well, I chilled them in the freezer and they popped right out!

I added some fruit snack also!

This is what I made my kids for Easter morning!  I

Healthy Easter Treats (crispy rice bunnies)

 Come on they are sooo cute! and they don't have stupid marshmallows! Have you seen the Lorax? The part where the kid is throwing marshmallows out to all the animals and it completely "tranquilizes them", it's like he's feeding them drugs.  Well that's how I saw it and that's what I personally think about sugar (the refined stuff mostly) some sugar is ok, in small quantities and in it's pure form. (like maple syrup, coconut sap or honey). Right"o" back to the Bunnies...

1/4 c agave
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 c rice crisps
1 c of mixed seeds (I used sesame, pumpkin and sunflower)
dried currants/raisins and apricots (I like the organic ones because they don't contain sulphates)

Add agave, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla in pot and bring to a boil and let simmer for 5minutes.

Add dry ingredients (just not the dried fruit), mix well. (you will notice it takes a few minutes for the mixture to "get sticky" but it will as it cools.

I used some oil and rubbed it into the muffin tin and pressed the mixture into these. (I also made little balls, which I then cut in half to made the noses)

 Once the rice mixture starts to cool it becomes easier to press and mold.  I also used a sharp knife to cut the apricots in half then made the ears and the wickers.   Enjoy and have fun!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Get Happy Buzz Planking Oatmeal

 GF Oats
unsweetened vanilla almond milk
chia seeds
greek yogourt
almond butter

Annaliese painted this super duper awesome coffee mug for me!

Planking my tea and protein smoothy!

Buzz rocks!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What is Dahl???

It's vegan  (or can be) and it's Indian, but I just made it with my own ingredients.  Meh who cares, I made my dish even before looking up what dahl is.  I had tasted the dahl made at The Naked Sprout. and decided to see if I could replicate it, without knowing what was in it.  I'm proud to say I'm happy with the results.  Now I just need to find out how off or close I actually was.  I know mine was slightly different because I didn't have any chick peas or lentils left in my house (apparently those are the main ingredient) go figure I make dahl without them..
I used crushed tomatoes, a can of beans, and a can of coconut milk, then I just added sweet potato, carrot, celery, onion, grated zucchini, parsley (I'm not sure why, it just looked so pretty in my fridge I wanted to use it) and curry powder. 

Well it looks weird I must admit, it tasted fine. But I think if I did it again, I would cut back on the tomato and add something to make it sweeter.  I would also steam the sweet potato first and obviously add chick peas and lentils.  It's kind of more like Dahl Soup!