Sunday, December 11, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: January 4th, 2012

Hey guess what... it's the very first edition of What I Ate Wednesday 2012! Welcome back!

Since we returned home from our nearly two week adventure over Christmas, I've been on a driven mission to consume the mass amounts of chocolate that I received over the holidays. Mr.C usually would assist me with the ominous task, however he can no longer tolerate hardly any cows dairy in his diet, so I'm on my own this year. Thus, breakfast:

Okay, here's real breakfast:

Crumbled My Favorite Granola Bar with Almond milk

We spent this afternoon taking down the Christmas decorations including the tree. This also required festive snacks along the way:

It wasn't long until dinner was calling my name. Cream of Mushroom soup was on the menu for today, using up some of the dried mushroom medley we purchased from Costco a few months ago.

2 cups dried mushrooms, rehydrated as per directions reserving liquid, chopped to preference
1 white onion, chopped
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 can reserved mushroom liquid
1/2 tsp gluten free & vegan worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tsp corn starch to thicken if necessary

Saute onion in 1 tbsp coconut oil or other fat of choice.
Add remaining ingredients.
If needed, mix cornstarch with a bit of cold water before adding to the soup to thicken to your liking.
Puree some or all of the soup if desired.
Makes 4 cups.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 38

Whew it's been a busy week! Pair using up the last of stuff in anticipation for our "12 Days of Christmas" adventure with baking my little heart out & that results in the following:

1. Daiya mozza bag
2. itunes giftcard
3. 2 placards from cream cheese packages
4. Baking mix bag (incl. yeast packet)
5. Toothpaste tube
6. Bacon package
7. Beads from earrings modified instead of tossed
8. Garbage bag for the week
9. Duck fat container
10. Small candy wrappers
11. Bread bag
12. Pasta bag
13. Cheese wrapper
14. Spice bottle
15. Protein powder tub
16. Stickers on fruit
17. Lid & seal from (glass) bottle of liquid calcium
18. Emergen-C packets
19. Price tag loop from new (non-plastic) laundry hamper
20. Wrapping from card envelopes
21. Wrapping from rubber stamps & ink pads
22. Marshmallow bag
23. Support tube from daisy in bouquet of flowers
24. Cream cheese container from ages ago

Here's our (Kicked The) Bucket List:
Hair Conditioner, Sour Cream, Beverage Containers, Olive Oil, Shampoo, Packaged Mushrooms, Plastic Toothbrushes, Coconut Milk (packaged in plastic), Processed/Prepared Foodstuffs (ie dumpkings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc.), Packaged Fish, Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks, Tubed Polenta, Jell-o Cups, Avocado oil (in plastic), Ziploc bags (new), Plastic coated picture hanging wire, Alfalfa sprouts, Packaged fudge, Gnocchi, Baking powder, Replacement laptop cord (hopefully!), Bagged frozen veggies, Individually wrapped candy, Peanut Butter (in plastic jars), Cooking spray, Spices packaged in plastic, Pre-packaged lunch meat, Plastic salad dressing bottles, Instant noodles, Prepackaged granola bars, Plastic unrefillable spice grinders, Coconut milk fudgesicles, Dairy Queen, Citrus in bags, RealLime & RealLemon juice, Honey Bunny ketchup or their other sauces (unless their packaging changes), Bean sprouts (unless sold bulk), Starbucks (unless in a travel mug)


This week we're kicking cream cheese out of our house. Mr.C can't tolerate cow's dairy (I would love to see more goats dairy products!) and I don't do particularly well on it either, so this is really a no-brainer. Soy's not welcome around here either (sorry tofutti). Mysteriously this week we had 2 entries on the list that were cream cheese! One was from some Christmas baking I did, and the other has been in the fridge for probably a few months. I didn't look inside.

In other news, we've officially kicked off the "One-Week-Til'-We-Leave-Better-Eat-Everything-In-The-House-Extravaganza". The fridge is pretty bare already... We nearly had "taco's" for dinner last night that would have consisted only of:

corn tortillas
canned refried beans
sliced black olives

Fortunately for everyone involved we did a grocery store trip first. And yes, they were quite good thankyouverymuch! Just you wait til' What I Ate Wednesday... it's sure to be interesting!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Eating Out in Prince George: Part 1

With the holidays coming up quickly, many of you (like us) may be traveling to see family. We're gone for 12 days over Christmas (how cliche...) and will be eating out a LOT during that time. I know that it can be difficult to try to plan meals in a city that you're maybe unfamiliar with, and with allergies to contend with to boot. I've compiled a list of restaurants here in Prince George where my gluten free needs have been addressed. Our experiences have varied greatly between the different locations (and dining occasions) but overall most restaurants have been very accommodating! Here are the details:

Boston Pizza: While definitely not exclusive to PG, BP's is my pizza fix spot! With Kinnikinnick crusts, you can customize your pizza up to 4 toppings (they even mark which ones are & aren't gf on the menu) plus cheese. Also, when ordering wings you can opt for no breading & oven baked rather than fried. I thought I was never going to be able to have wings outside my home again (plus they deliver!) As this is a national chain, the menu does vary by location, so always double check. They also have a few more menu items such as the cajun rice bowl, but nothing spectacular- I always get pizza & wings ;)

UPDATE: March 2012 
UPDATE: January 2013 BP's now has gf pasta as well, though many of their pasta dishes & sauces are not gf.

Crave: There aren't too many restaurants out there with a gluten free symbol (next to the vegetarian symbol) on the menu, especially in a place like PG. Crave, however is one of those places (along with a lactose free symbol!). An impromptu Monday night dinner for two led us to try something new after our first choice was strangely not open (despite what the hours listed on the door indicated). Located in the Treasure Cove Hotel, Crave did not disappoint. Our server was very well educated on the options facing a couple with gluten, dairy & soy allergies and had no issues double checking with the kitchen on several items.

Their calamari is dusted with rice flour, but they do fry their taco shells which contain some wheat in their deep fryer. If you're not very sensitive this may be a great option for you. We chose the mango prawn tower (not dairy free, crostini's on the side) as an appetizer, which I don't think I would have again, but their carpaccio was fantastic (no crostini's). Their mixed greens salad was one of the better ones I've had. Mr.C quite enjoys their Shepard's Pie. I jumped all over the most fantastic gluten free chocolate mousse cake. It's probably the best gf dessert I've had to date. Our new favorite place for dinner! Also awesome? Nineteen different Caesars on the menu along with a wide selection of mojito's, bellini's, martini's, beer, scotch....

Update: They have since gone out of business (sadface) and been replaced with a chain restaurant.

Earls: Also not exclusive to PG by any stretch, Earls has a funny way of approaching gluten free. Their "Gluten Aware Menu" has the oh-so predictable steak, salmon & plain chicken options in addition to their chicken tacos which I feel leave much to be desired. I have gotten sick from the tacos before, as they are grilled on the same flat top as their garlic bread. I highly recommend the summertime "WestCoast Prawn Salad" or "Spinach Berry Salad" & the standby "Sante Fe Salad" without the tortillas (cross contamination in the deep fryer). Many of their standard menu items are gluten free and yet not listed on their GF menu such as Ribs, Cajun Chicken & Ribs combo, Cajun Chicken Entree, Jeera Curry (without naan), Mediterranean Linguine (on Jasmine Rice), Spicy Seafood Linguine (on rice, no breadcrumbs). Beware however that the brown rice does contain soy sauce, whereas the jasmine rice does not. All sandwiches & burgers are okay without the ciabatta or bun (no onion rings on the bronx burger) with a side mixed green salad. The ranch, or "parm dip" is not safe either, nor are most of their soups (except the tuscan white bean, cream of tomato & tortilla soup- but always double check as recipes could change). The only dessert choice is straight up ice cream with sauce of your choice (without the candy snap basket) or a milkshake if your location offers them.

Update: The Jeera sauce is no longer gluten free, the tomato soup is being made with chicken stock again (contains gluten) and the bbq sauce on the ribs (not available without) does contain gluten as well.
Hummus Brothers: With origins in the catering business, Hummus Brothers opened up in downtown PG last year with fantastic decor and an even better tapas menu. Earlier this year they began offering Sunday brunch with a stellar menu. As with most brunch spots, the only gf choices on the menu are centered around eggs, accompanied with fruit. For those not on a gluten free diet, seriously consider one of their french toast offerings- they look amazing!

For lunch one of their salads are likely your best choice. The Proscuitto Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp are phenomenal as are their soups (which change regularly- but I have yet to try one I didn't love!) Every time we've gone in, the staff has been very knowledgeable about the ingredients and more than happy to double check with the kitchen.

As of December 2011, they have gluten free pasta!

Keg: After nearly two years of closure, PG's Keg location is scheduled to be open in February! The Keg is somewhere normally reserved for dinner with Mr.C's dad & brother as we all know what we can eat with a variety of allergies between us (gluten, dairy, soy, shellfish, eggs, nuts...) A giant hunk of meat is safe for all three of us... Mr.C & I went to a location in Calgary this summer for a light dinner and shared two orders of Bacon Wrapped Scallops, a Shrimp cocktail (with melted butter for me) and a Mixed Greens Salad. As a large chain restaurant, the servers are well versed & trained in allergy awareness. Last Christmas our server actually sat down with me (after telling her I worked in the industry) and their allergy book to go over my options.

Moxies: In my experience (I worked there for 2 years, several years back) this Calgary based chain has always been exceptional as far as allergies go. If you request any dish without something on it they should be asking you if it is an allergy. Should the answer be yes, a manager will handle the rest including bringing your food to the table. The vindaloo is my favorite dish, however the beef comes in a marinade containing gluten, and must be replaced with chicken for this dish (also without naan bread). I have had the Mayan Chicken Salad, but wouldn't order it again, but the Kitsilano Sandwich (without the bread) is a favorite of mine. Moxies also offers brunch on Sundays, but your choices are limited to egg based dishes (not that there's anything wrong with eggs!) I've been told that the Chocolate Espresso Mousse (without the biscotti) is the token gf dessert option, but I have yet to indulge.

Sendo Sushi: Our favorite sushi place in PG! While we have yet to try anywhere else, this little sushi joint was recommended to us by the family who owns our house before they moved out (the dad is Celiac!) and we love it. I think the best part is being able to order a California roll made with real crab (imitation crabmeat is not gluten free). This is also where we buy our gluten free soy sauce from. Generally by the time we get around to coming up here for dinner, we need soy sauce for the house anyways, so I just crack a bottle to use with my sushi then take it home!

Thanh Vu: The closest thing we've found to the type of Vietnamese food that we became accustomed to in Calgary & Edmonton. I tend to have a curry dish when we go to this restaurant, but tasty none the less. Thanh Vu has a copy of their menu with gluten free dishes highlighted along with any changes that may need to be made to dishes (substitute rice for noodles etc) in order to accommodate a gluten allergy. In my experience, most restaurants employing staff whose first language is not English can cause communication problems. Which when dealing with an allergy is kind of a big deal. The staff at Thanh Vu is very clear on what "we" can & cannot have off of the menu.

Twisted Cork: I went to the Twisted Cork for dinner for the second time recently and have nothing but good things to report. Both appetizer & entree I chose (Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken) were checked & confirmed to be gluten free. Their online menu is not inclusive of all of the choices listed on the menu in the restaurant, but it was a good place to start looking before going for dinner. On my most recent visit, our server mentioned to me that a staff members son was Celiac, so all of the staff have a good handle on what is available for someone who cannot tolerate wheat or gluten. Somewhere we will go again for a nice dinner out.

Veggie Q Cafe: This one was a toughie... I had no idea that the "bubbles" in a bubble tea contained gluten... one learns something new every day! Two things on this particular day however... it seems that some tofu is also made with wheat protein (Mr.C has a soy allergy, so we generally avoid it). So the veggie protein at the vegetarian place is out too. Go figure. Not a lot of options as you likely suspect. 3 soups (with no tofu or "veggie ham") opting for the mung bean or rice noodles instead of udon is about all you can expect. And the soup was just okay. Unless you're going there with a vegetarian who is dying for something off their menu, I would choose a different venue.

The opinions expressed are solely mine, and I received no discounts or free meals for my reviews. Always ask your server about their gluten free offerings & tell them about your allergies or intolerances.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 37

Oh boy, we're way over our weekly goal of 20 plastic disposed items this week! Some of the items below were the results of birthday gifts, which couldn't be avoided, some of them (like mascara) only go on this list once or twice a year, and some of them (seal from glass omega 3 bottle or peanut butter jar) are an improvement on the status quo. Nonetheless, I still am way over my goal.

1. Omega 3 bottle
2. Mascara tube & wrapper from new one
3. Hair conditioner tube
4. Hair product bottle
5. 2 Baking mix bags
6. 2 Salad tubs
7. Stickers from fruit & veggies
8. Green bean bag
9. Carrot bag
10. 3 Chip bags
11. 2 Pasta bags
12. 4 Restaurant straws
13. Label & seal to soy sauce bottle
14. Emergen-C packets
15. Seal around jar of greens+
16. Plug from wheel off of bed frame
17. Pull tab from bottle of sesame oil
18. Lululemon package & tag
19. 2 Tetley canister lids
20. Styrofoam to-go container
21. Seal around package of containers for Christmas baking
22. Seal around glass bottle of fish oil
23. Coconut yogurt container
24. Bread bag & tag
25. Seal from jar of peanut butter
26. Bent bed frame wheel
27. Plastic bag from bouquet of flowers
28. 4 small candy wrappers
29. Pull tab from carton of almond milk

We have an embarassing amount of tea stocked in our kitchen and are working diligently to go through it before buying any more (let me go put the kettle on!). We managed to empty out two containers of it this week! Once we get down to a managable amount, we'll be buying without so much plastic (sorry Tetley).

This week is supposed to be looking more like a health kick kind of week than a 3 chip bags kinda week, as we break into the last two weeks before we head home for Christmas. What can we do differently next week?

-The candy wrappers are from the advent calendar we have going. The candies are old and need to be used up anyways. Some of them are restaurant mints!
-We'll be baking bread this week rather than buying (but we do have a loaf on the go right now) along with lots of other treats coming out of the oven!
-The emergen-c packets will likely make another appearance since we're trying to ramp up our immune systems before the big stress-fest (but what you didn't see was the box of organic mandarins we went through!)
-I'll be popping in to Lush this week to pick up another pot of conditioner for my hair. When you return 5 of their black pots, you get a fresh face mask! Plus, they reuse the pots, so no plastic goes in the garbage!
-We have a bag of tortilla chips were trying to use up before we leave, but that should be the last bag of chips until the big departure day!
-We bought a big jug (plastic, yes) of gluten free tamari rather than buying a small bottle every month or so. Maybe once we go through it (it wont be for awhile!) we can reuse the jug for something!

Speaking of reusing plastic bottles... Here is the bag of empties were taking with us on our visit to The Earth's General Store in Edmonton. We'll stock up on concentrated vinegar (for laundry) and anything else that catches our eye. They always take extra bottles for people who forget theirs, or it's their first time at the store. I didn't bring a bottle the first time I visited & I still have the 'donated' bottle half full of toilet bowl cleaner in the bathroom! Cleaning supplies in bulk- I don't know why this hasn't caught on elsewhere. Or maybe it has, but just not here? They also offer hair care & other personal care products, dishwashing & laundry soaps and lots of other cleaning products (such as the aforementioned concentrated vinegar & toilet bowl cleaner) including baking soda & borax.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: November 30th, 2011

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of What I Ate Wednesday c/o Jenn at Peas & Crayons! Unlike all the rest of the beautiful food bloggers out there, I lacked greatly in putting together a proper meal, but here's what my day looked like anyways:

1 oz walnuts
organic mandarin orange

homemade cranberry applesauce

quinoa crunch cupcake muffin

jalapeno havarti cheese

quinoa with gluten free soy sauce

I also had some stirfry veggies sauteed in garlic butter with prawns for dinner... Do you ever have those days where incessant snacking gets the best of you?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 36

I hope all of my American readers had a fantastic Thanksgiving this past weekend! While we did cook a turkey this week (Tuesday) it wasn't any sort of celebratory bird. We managed a turkey dinner with the only plastic being the bag that the turkey came in. This wasn't any huge dinner for extended family mind you, just mashed potatoes & Brussels sprouts accompanying the bird, but it was sure good! Here's what else we racked up this week:

1. Turkey bag
2. 2 Daiya bags
3. Chocolate bar wrapper
4. Garbage bag (not shown)
5. Stickers on fruit
6. Pancake mix bag
7. Battery package (for garage door opener)
8. Light bulb package
9. Realfruit gummies bag
10. Pull tab from carton of almond milk
11. 3 Drink sample packets
12. Gluten free flour bag
13. Pasta bag
14. Packaging from 2 cell phone cases
15. Shipping bag cell phone cases came in
16. 2 cell phone screen protector accessories (not shown)
17. Mailer envelope
18. Sour cream container
19. Dead turkey baster
20. Envelope containing Christmas gift tags

Yep that's right... the Christmas plastic is creeping into the weekly tally already.  And (regrettably) there's more to come. For whatever reason, I have enough tape to wrap gifts for the rest of my life. Actually. 

We've finally gotten around to accessorizing our new iphones that we bought last week. I feel that something that contains my whole life deserves some protection. We chose Bioserie cases which are made out of Ingeo; a biodegradable plastic based on plant sugars rather than petrochemicals. We also purchased InvisibleSHIELD for the screens, as we had them on our last phones and were happy with their performance. I would much rather "consume" the plastic to protect the device now than to have to buy a new one sooner because it needed to be replaced. There are much worse ingredients in a cell phone than plastic, but we'll save that chat for another day...

How are you planning on keeping your holiday plastic to a minimum?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yoga November: Part 2

Sadly the second half of my month looks worse than the first half did... Note to self: don't try to do a daily challenge anywhere near Christmas in future. While there are lots of people just jumping into Christmas now that it's officially December, we were definitely one of the ones with the tree up three weeks ago. Yes, three weeks ago. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

16. 10 minute yoga for abs video
17. 60 minute hatha class
18. fail
19. fail
20. 60 minute moksha class
21. 60 minute core class
22. 90 minute hot class
23. 10 minute abs video
24. 60 minute hatha class
25. fail
26. 75 minute yin class
27. fail
28. fail
29. fail
30. 60 minute yogaworks class

It seems that I always fall off the bandwagon close to the end of any sort of challenge that I do...

I guess I can chalk this up to a learning experience if nothing else. Mr.C has taken notice that I am a considerable calmer person when I am practicing regularly, and I can't help but agree. My work schedule doesn't have any sort of routine to it, so it is difficult for me to always work some "me time" into my days (but I certainly try!). I'll be spending the next 18 days (until we leave on our 12 days of Christmas journey) gearing up for (and calming down for) a few thousand kilometers on my car paired with lots of eating, drinking & being merry.

Between the 1st & 17th of December my goals are to:
-eat salad every day
-practice yoga as much as my schedule allows
-consume no alcohol
-take my vitamins every day

This is in addition to the gigantic list of Christmas "to-do's" already in existance including baking & shopping among others. I am confident that I will be as prepared physically and emotionally/mentally for this hectic Christmas by the time we walk out the door on the morning of the 18th.

What kind of stresses do you face over the holidays and how do you deal with them?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: November 16th, 2011

Guess what... WIAW time again! Now usually I post "What I Ate Wednesday" on Wednesday, when it's actually from Tuesday. But this week I forgot. Tuesday was pretty ugly to be honest, you didn't want to see it anyways. So here it is: What I Ate Wednesday in it's true form!

Sweaty hot yoga hair from last night paired with a hairbrush that is very mysteriously missing lead to an early morning trip to the drugstore to get a new one. I managed without it yesterday, but it's not happening more than once. Needless to say, my morning was rushed. But as per my plans, eating something was a priority.

Without further ado, from the back of the Magic Bullet "10 Second Recipes" Cookbook, I bring you Breakfast: 1 small organic banana, 1/4 cup organic blueberries, 1 scoop Progressive chocolate protein powder, ice, 1/2 cup goat milk

oh yeah, and I took my vitamins too!

I took the last of my walnuts with me to work to snack on...

And the last piece of my citrus cheesecake from my birthday LAST YEAR (my birthday's this month, so I figured I had to polish it off before a whole year had elapsed!)

Oh yeah, and that's a glass of eggnog... As far as mother nature is concerned, 
Christmas is heeeeeere!

 Yes this was actually today.

Dinner was a stirfry with chicken, carrots, broccoli, celery, bamboo shoots & red pepper mixed in with brown rice and a modified black bean sauce.

After dinner I had a bit of bruschetta goat cheese wrapped in the last of the schinkenspeck we bought from our deli on the weekend. So tasty!

I was still munchy and a fierce sweet tooth crept up on me later in the evening. Luckily I had some dried fruit stashed away! A few apricots & banana chips later I was satisfied.

Oh yeah, and this too... plus another round of vitamins- Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 34

I sort of feel like I'm banging my head against the wall these past few months because my plastic list still looks like this.

On the upside, I noticed this weekend that there is someone who returns the rings around the glass milk jugs along with the lids. I will join that someone. Also, I've decided that yogurt isn't going to continue to be a regular purchase around here (which it has become lately). And at this point I feel like I have cleaned out just about every nook & cranny of the house of old plastic that we no longer have a use for. Except Mr.C's office. And the Christmas stuff... coming soon.

1. Fruit gummies bag (from camping)
2. Lid to (glass) hot sauce bottle
3. Furnace filter bag
4. Stickers on fruit & veggies
5. Seal from glass jug of goat's milk
6. Bandaids & wrappers
7. Dish sponge past its prime
8. Stew bison meat package
9. Old shampoo bottle (intended to be reused as part of a bunny halloween costume)
10. Old food container & 2 lids no longer with a mate
11. 3 Yogurt containers
12. Udi's bread bag
13. 2 fresh herb packages
14. Seal around new container of protein powder
15. 1 vitamin bottle & 3 lids
16. Seal around glass jar of peanut butter
17. Homemade tamales package
18. Salad tub
19. Green bean bag
20. Fedex bag
21. Plastic bag containing items in the Fedex bag
22. Card envelope
23. Straightening iron package (free w.hairdryer)
24. New hairdryer packaging
25. Dead hairdryer (what do I do with this?!?)
26. Smoked salmon package
27. Sticker backing for freezer labels
28. Tortellini package
29. Plastic packaging from fruitcake
30. Olive oil pull tab

A refresher however on what we have omitted from our lives since February:
Packaged Mushrooms, Plastic Toothbrushes, Coconut Milk (packaged in plastic), Processed/Prepared Foodstuffs (ie dumpkings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc.), Packaged Fish, Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks, Tubed Polenta, Jell-o Cups, Avocado oil (in plastic), Ziploc bags (new), Plastic coated picture hanging wire, Alfalfa sprouts, Packaged fudge, Gnocchi, Baking powder, Replacement laptop cord (hopefully!), Bagged frozen veggies, Individually wrapped candy, Peanut Butter (in plastic jars), Cooking spray, Spices packaged in plastic, Pre-packaged lunch meat, Plastic salad dressing bottles, Instant noodles, Prepackaged granola bars, Plastic unrefillable spice grinders, Coconut milk fudgesicles, Dairy Queen, Citrus in bags, RealLime & RealLemon juice, Honey Bunny ketchup or their other sauces (unless their packaging changes), Bean sprouts (unless sold bulk), Starbucks (unless in a travel mug)

Turns out we bought packaged fish without even realizing that we gave it up last month. Whoops. I think this means that I need to keep a copy of this list on my iphone for grocery shopping reference. I didn't even think of smoked salmon when we gave up packaged fish actually...

But hey, I'm being honest, because I'm only letting myself down here. And I know- I'm not perfect. I know that we have some "individually wrapped candy" in the house from who knows how long ago (and a stash of emergency oh henry's in the car from last Halloween) and really, I didn't need to take the free straight iron that came with my new hairdryer that I bought this week. But in real life I did. I don't always take the freebee, but sometimes I do. That cliche saying about things in moderation.... yeah, that.

What I Ate Wednesday: November 9th, 2011

Howdy WIAWers! Go visit Peas and Crayons to get the scoop & join in on this! Here's how things are looking in my life:

I polished off the last of my Liberte Organic Vanilla yogurt for breakfast & grabbed a pile of carrots & homemade applesauce on the way out the door this "morning" (around 11:00) to take with me to work. I had planned on having a Westcoast Prawn Salad for lunch, but sadly it didn't end up happening. It's my fave!

Sweder Road, is only about 20 minutes out of town!

By the time I got home around 5:00 my bloodsugar was crashing & I was starving (I was looking forward to dinner & trying not to spoil my appetite!). I made some bad choices and had some Dare RealFruit Gummies, a chunk of creamy havarti cheese & a handful of walnuts. But it wasn't enough, I had to get going on dinner!

When we did up our meal plan for this week last Friday, we scheduled in Fish & Chips for tonight since there was a piece of halibut burning a hole in our freezer (?) So we did it up! And then I went to hot yoga to burn it all off, which ended up being a bad idea let me tell ya. It was rough. No eating (in at least the hour & a half) before yoga! Especially greasy foods like this...

Yoga November: How are we doing?

Hey yogi's, how is your Yoga November practice going so far? We're half way through the month already, can you believe it! Here's what I've been up to:

1. 90 minute hot vinyasa class
2. fail
3. 60 minute vinyasa class
4. 10 minute yoga for abs video
5. 75 minute yin class
6. 20 minute "hips, buns & thighs" yoga video
7. 22 minute cardio yoga video
8. 90 minute hot vinyasa class
9. fail
10. 10 minute yoga for abs video
11. This 17 minute yoga workout
12. 75 minute yin class
13. fail
14. fail
15. 90 minute hot vinyasa class

Okay, so everyone's not perfect, especially me. And sometimes life happens. On the second day of a month long challenge life happens. Go figure. But here's what's going on that's halted my previously driven effort to succeed at my own self appointed challenge: Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I'll admit I've been slacking on my vitamins lately... okay for the last year or three. I used to be so good and couldn't for the life of me understand how someone could just not get it. And now that's me. Last winter was harsh, and this one's not off to a great start so far so I'm really going to have to step it up a notch. I know from experience that getting enough vitamin D into my body on these short, dark winter days does make a difference in how I feel. I'm just going to have to make it happen.

Exercise is another extremely helpful "coping mechanism" when it comes to S.A.D. and I am trying to make it to every class that my work schedule permits (hope to be seeing you at ChinookYoga soon!). I had a "yoga date" tonight with a friend from work, and her unlimited monthly membership paired with mine should make for a serious amount of endorphin inducing sweaty fun!

I have noticed a general reduction in having any interest in anything lately as well, which is leading me to not really want to do anything. Which in the workplace or when it comes to keeping the house tidy can be perceived in a very negative manner. Oh, and did I mention that I had a nap on Saturday and Sunday this weekend? Classic symptoms...

This is actually more of "angry" because we took a 120km detour

Craving carbs (yes, even homemade granola bars) is a biggie!

So the plan is to:
-Keep up with my yoga challenge; I committed myself to this 2 weeks ago, there's no quitting now!
-I'd love to get running again, but outside is out of the question. I need to find me a treadmill
-Set regular reminders on my iphone regarding vitamin taking
-Try to create a regular schedule despite shifts being all over the map. At the very least I'd like to be in bed by midnight every night
-Use my iphone to accomplish things on my "to-do" list (v.s. losing the paper list that I have made in past) I have a serious amount of dishes & vacuuming to do!
-Yesterday I started a list of "Things That Make Me Happy" and I'm adding a bit to it every day. Focus on the positive, people!
-Maintain weekly meal planning & stick to it (not doing so great with that last part lately)
-Possibly start light therapy, but I'd like to get on board with the above strategies first

I would love to hear about your SAD or depression stories. You're not alone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bonus Round: A Secret Stash of Kristin Approved Recipes!

I've come across a handful of amazing recipes in the last few months that I'm starting to feel guilty about not sharing with you. Christmas came early for you this year!

Green Beans, Potatoes & Spinach in Coconut Curry

Seafood Chowder

Mexican Rice Casserole

Roasted Eggplant Tapenade

Thai Red Curry w.Chicken on black rice

Raspberries & Sour Cream

Zucchini Cheese Pancakes

Perfect Bread

Taco Seasoning

Chimichurri Sauce

Zucchini Baked Eggs

Spicy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Miso and Ginger

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

Braised Short Ribs

Turkish Lamb (Bison) Stew

Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs

Boy that made me hungry!

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 33

We hit 20 items on our list on Tuesday this week. Can you tell we just finished the October Unprocessed challenge & binged this week? Not that it's all "binge food"... I spent some time this week going through our "bulk" pantry stuff & pouring the last of various bags of stuff into their proper containers. Damn you Costco for selling packaged quinoa for half the price than I can get it in the bulk bins for...

1. Salad tub
2. 2 Chip bags
3. Digestive enzyme bottle
4. Tortellini container
5. Olive oil carton pull tab
6. Soy sauce label & lid (jar is glass)
7. Seal from bottle of peppercorns
8. Packages from jack-o-lantern carving kit
9. 2 Cheese wrappers
10. Bandaids & wrappers
11. Chicken package
12. Pancake mix bag
13. 2 Yogurt containers
14. 2 Pasta bags
15. Pull tab from carton of chocolate almond milk
16. Fruitcake wrapper (from last year!)
17. Sushi to-go container
18. Package from stypic pencil (for shaving)
19. Stickers from fruit & veggies
20. Truwhip container seal
21. Protein powder container
22. Quinoa bag
23. Deli meat bag
24. Lid to giant container of nuts
25. Cane sugar bag
26. Printer ink cartridge package
27. 2 rechargable battery packages
28. Tag from pineapple
29. Mushroom container
30. Empty pen
31. 3 Restaurant straws (not shown)

On a related note we're on our last garbage bag (from an old stash) and have no back up plan whatsoever. I'm not terribly thrilled at the idea of having to buy plastic bags for the purpose of throwing them in the garbage, but we're getting mighty close to not having a choice. I've bought the biodegradable ones before, but have since learned that they don't break down anyways. Not in landfill conditions at least. We're not yet at a point where we can do without, although we often use things like chip bags from our weekly plastic stash as garbage bags.

All that stuff compacted into this!

I keep all of my vegetable scraps for making stock and compost the rest, but compost season is coming to a close for us. What you can't see in this weeks picture is that the backyard beyond the blinds is covered in our first snow of the year. That means the ground is almost too frozen to be able to bury our compost. We'll use up as much of the warmer space in the greenhouse as we can before winter really sets in, but in no time all of our compostables will be going into the big black bin on the curb.

I'll be honest, it's mostly bunny poop.

It's great fertilizer, and in general she's a very low (environmental) impact pet. But much like an infant, all she does is eat, sleep and poop. A lot. Even if we weren't generating as much garbage as we are, once it gets to the point of keeping her litter in the garbage can we have to "take the trash out" more often. It doesn't "keep" very long & I'm not particularly fond of my house smelling like a barn thankyouverymuch. Last years bear "situation" in our backyard doesn't exactly have me being a fan of keeping a bucket 'o' poo outside either.

Sigh, remind me to put garbage bags on the grocery list.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yoga November!

Hey, remember when I mentioned a while ago that I would be taking another stab at 30 days of yoga this month? Guess what- it's this month! I'd love to hear about your yoga practice and how you're improving it this month!


P.S. I know someone else who's joining me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: November 02nd, 2011

Welcome back to What I Ate Wednesday, friends!

So what did we eat on our first day post-October Unprocessed?

Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled with fresh local salsa & sundried tomato havarti along with 2 slices Udi's Millet Chia Bread

Lunch: Leftover Holiday Soup

Snack: Walnuts

Dinner: Ginger Beef with (gasp) white jasmine rice & steamed broccoli

Snack: Lindt dark chocolate

No halloween candy for our house this year. We gave (individually wrapped candy) up weeks ago. Don't panic mom-I can certainly still find (dairy free!) chocolate sans-plastic.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bitlet's For You This Past Week: October 24-30, 2011

Celiac disease has a way of seeming like a digestive issue, but think again.

Artificial colors: not vegan! Who knew?

Love is all you need... to run a few highly successful vegetarian restaurants?

Wheat Lobby = Tobacco Industry of the 80's?

1 million baby cows are taken from their mothers (annually) at 5 days old. Then we eat the babies & drink the grieving mothers milk. Something's not right here.

The importance of buying local.

I've been doing this for awhile now instead of buying ingredients (or pre-made). Do you do this too?

What NOT to drink after a workout (oh, and win an ice cream maker too!)

Take some time this weekend to be conscious about your meals :)

The scoop on paleo.

Chinese medicine on the blood type diet.

A good read on raising a healthy child.

Must Read: 1"People have gotten used to eating cheap food and it is killing them."

 This is my FAVORITE! I can't wait!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One Year Ago...

... today, after much deliberation I finally started a blog. Thinking no one would read it, I threw caution to the wind and decided I didn't care. If nothing else, it would be a personal development thing. Something for me.

I have certainly learned a lot about myself; about what I do & don't like, how to balance what I eat with how it makes me feel and what really doesn't taste good together. It's one thing to indulge in a guilty pleasure when you think that no one is looking, but when it shows up on the weekly WIAW post or the evidence is blatant in a weekly plastic tally I know that someone else knows. I'm accountable to you whether you know it or not. You keep me from eating things that a "good nutritionist" shouldn't eat sometimes. So thank you for that.

As we head into the colder parts of the year, by nature there is less and less natural light (especially in our house!). Since starting this blog, the photography has always been my weak point. And my writing skills (Mr.C I'm blaming you for my poor English 12 marks), but those have certainly improved since this time last year. I am certainly going to be working on these. Gone are the days of stepping outside to take a decent photo in the sunshine. A light box is certainly on the agenda- we'll see how it works out!

Even if the critters are getting my zucchini, at least I can take a decent picture of it!

Next month I'll be focusing on maintaining my newfound eating habits and supporting a daily yoga practice with them. Many days in my September Yoga Challenge were painful because I wasn't feeding my body enough. I just didn't have it in me to do anything more than meditate some nights. I want to have enough gas in the tank for some sort of physical practice every day in the month of November. I'm a nutritionist for goodness sakes- I know how to eat properly! In fact, people pay me to tell them how to eat properly (easier said than done I suppose?) I'd best be practicing what I preach or I'm in big trouble!

I hope that my wee little blog can continue to grow as it has been (I've got plans... ) There will always be space for changes on SlightlyIrritating&Inconvenient, just as there must always be space for changes in our lives. And just as there will always be changes in my diet and in my beliefs as a nutrition professional. Maybe one day our little household will be grain-free, maybe paleo, maybe vegetarian- who knows, but what I can tell you is that this blog will follow it.

I hope you do too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: October 26th, 2011

Good morning WIAWers! Head on over to Peas And Crayons & check it out! This will be my last WIAW for Unprocessed October, but don't worry- our eating habits wont be changing too dramatically next month. We've learned a lot throughout October about what we eat (even though I'm an avid label reader to begin with) and the effects it has on things like our energy levels. The cheat days we've been taking make me realize how crappy junky food makes me feel!

After I took Mr.C to school in the morning, I crawled back into my warm bed with some almonds to stave off my hunger before I was ready to face the kitchen to make breakfast. We still had some bread leftover from Sunday's cheat day and I was fully prepared to make poached eggs again for breakfast. Is that really a "cheat" breakfast anyways? I'm pretty sure I'm converted to this new Udi's bread -it's SO good! Have you tried it?

A shot of cranberry is something I try to get in every day, but it certainly doesn't happen that often...

I had some leftovers for lunch this afternoon: It was just as good today as it was last night (and vegan to boot)! I will definitely make Green Beans, Potatoes and Spinach in Coconut Curry again.

Before I headed out to my yoga class, I had a piece of Udi's Millet Chia toast with homemade honeyed strawberry rhubarb preserves. It was a blah day & I needed a bit of a boost to even get me out the door...

For dinner we had a variation on this Lentil Shepherd's Pie. We topped it with mashed turnips & carrots rather than yams since we just had yams on Sunday. It was alright, but I don't think I would make it again. My opinion is likely as it is due to my not being a huge Shepherd's Pie fan to begin with. Mr.C gave it higher marks than I did.

I snacked on some pistachios after dinner too!

Looking back at my day, I really failed on the fruit & veggie front- holy moly! I skipped my smoothie today, and we're nearly out of fresh fruit (tomorrow is sale day at our health food store). Groceries are going to be a bit more expensive than usual tomorrow I think!