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!

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 31

Oh sigh, it's been getting cold around here... I'm definitely craving heartier meals with more mashed potatoes & less salad! The urge to bake has been overwhelming & I've been nearly hoarding food in our cold room; we're settling in for the winter it seems. From the sounds of things it's going to be another snowy year. We picked up snowshoe trail map today at the Healthier You Expo. It's coming... Yes, that. Christmas.

Again this year (weather permitting) we'll be traveling down to Calgary to spend 11 days with our families around the holidays. With a jam packed schedule every year, we need to schedule & plan things in way ahead of time. There's a mere two months to go! I should go take advantage of that baking urge right now!

Here's the scoop this week:

1. Salad tub
2. Wrapping from new iphone & applecare cd
3. 3 Spice jars
4. Bag from 6-pack (of steaks)
5. Stickers from fruit & veggies
6. Ring from glass milk jug
7. Realsalt bag
8. EnjoyLife chocolate chip bag
9. Coconut milk carton lid
10. 2 Lids from glass vitamin bottles
11. Lid from glass bottle of rice vinegar
12. Pepperoni packaging
13. Fresh herb container
14. Restaurant straw
15. Seal from jar of almond butter
16. Ziploc with a hole
17. Mailer envelope
18. Contact solution bottle
19. Parmesan cheese container
20. 2 Pasta bags
21. Bronzer compact windows

This week parmesan cheese is kickin' the bucket. Mr.C can't have it & I've finally polished off the last of what we had (took me 10 months!). You wont be finding it in our house from now on. Unless I can get a chunk of it from the deli that is... But no more plastic buckets of the stuff!

Go on now, show the world what kind of plastic you're hiding! I'll bet you'll be surprised at what you're throwing in your trash can... 

The product that comes in this hunk of plastic isn't very good for you either!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bitlet's For You This Past Week: October 17-23, 2011

Tips on how to do Halloween on the Green

I hope they're right...

All my complaints about stickers on fruit could so easily be resolved!

How to put duck on a bun (properly)

What's a fruit snack without, well, fruit?

Your olive oil is probably more rancid than you think

At what point do "they" step in when "we" aren't being responsible about what "we're" eating?

I've started seeing pomegranates in the stores again! I love this time of year, but how do you open a pomegranate without the mess? 

White wine should be really cold after all.

On cancer treatments. Prevention is key!

I had no idea!

Where do you buy your honey from? Read more to find out why the plastic bottle at the grocery store isn't your best bet.

P.S. I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yoga: My Other Love...

Something I don't really talk about and yet is a very important part of my life is yoga. I began practicing yoga about a year & a half ago at Moksha Yoga Edmonton. That's right... my very first yoga class was a hot yoga class. Since then I have amassed a ton of Lululemon items (borderline obesssion), an appreciation for a good grippy towel & a tolerance for tap water (refilled out of any sort of tap) into a bottle that probably hasn't been washed in awhile. You could say that "I've come a long way" but in reality, the last 18 months have included a lot of ups & downward dogs.

Before we moved to B.C., I went quite frequently to classes at the aforementioned studio. In preparation for the big move I did as much research as I could to source out a new studio, but things were looking grim. In nearly the first year we lived here I went to one class. I was so disappointed with the one studio's "excuse" for hot yoga that I gave up. And then a few months ago, Chinook Yoga relocated their studio to a new spot, so I checked it out! And wouldn't ya know... they even have the city's only practicing Moksha teacher.

Tree pose on the shores of Maui in April 2011

At the beginning of September, I began a personal month long yoga-every-day challenge. It was certainly more of a challenge than I think I was expecting. Some days it was just meditation, some days it was a full-on hot class and some days it was a youtube video in the living room. Prince George is a small city not offering a ton of yoga options it seems. My work schedule is all over the map on any given day & I can't always fit a sweat session in between nutrition clients or serving shifts. I did my best to make it work, but it didn't quite. I certainly did miss a few days, but what is failure but an opportunity to pick yourself up from a new low and reach back up?

The month of November will be another attempt at achieving 30 consecutive days of yoga: I invite you to join me! Share your motivation, your experiences & share your sore muscles with me. The final day of November is my 26th birthday & I plan to go out with a bang!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: October 19th, 2011

Happy (What I Ate) Wednesday Friends! Today was a total jumble of eating random bits of stuff throughout the day... no formal meals for me it seems!

Which makes this a whole lot easier!

This was a Strawberry Coconut milk smoothie...

Black Forest Schinkenspeck sliced thin, similar to prosciutto

BC Concord grapes!

Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Potato Leek Soup!

Carrots from P&G organics at our farmers market

Next up? This is for dinner...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taste of The North: A Local Food Gala


This past Sunday night we attended an event that was the first of its kind in Prince George- A Taste of The North: A Feast of Local Flavor. Hosted by & partnered with the College of New Caledonia's Professional Cook Program, Community Futures and Beyond The Market a wonderful feast crafted entirely from local foods!

What a spread!

Spicy Bison Meatballs & Chicken Satay

Braised Rabbit & Sesame Chicken Drumettes

Brewed right here in PG by PW Brewing.

It was dicey on the gluten-free front, but I seem to have made it through unscathed. I inquired about how allergies would be catered to at the event but unfortunately didn't receive much information beforehand. After speaking with a few of the students at the event I wasn't any more ....... It seems as though learning about allergies & gluten isn't something that has been covered in their curriculum thus far. Guys, gluten does not just mean flour.

I should have asked where to find rice paddies in BC...

Wild Mushroom Salad, Smoked Salmon with red onion, dill & capers.

Black Bean Sauced Crab Legs

Sunday night was definitely a "cheat day" from Unprocessed October as we bought tickets a while ago. Worth it though, we're already halfway through the month! On another note, for the techies in the crowd) all of these photo's were taken on my new iphone 4s without ANY editing. Sure, some of the lighting wasn't the best but I did what I could! And that damn chef wouldn't hold still for the life of him...

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 30!

Thirty weeks- wow! That's more than half a year now that I think of it! We started last February after seeing an overwhelming amount of trash sitting at everyone's curb once the excitement of Christmas morning had worn off. I sincerely hope that in the last year our efforts have raised at least a little bit more awareness (if nothing else in our own home) about this disturbing trend. We are a society of consumers going on 7 billion. Where does it end? How far are we going to let things slide before there are more rules regarding the consumption & disposability of nearly everything in our current food system (and in general, really)? And don't even get me started on the health of these people eating this prepackaged "food". Did you see this article? These things are NOT food. Don't eat it if it's not food you guys!

Organic cotton bulk bin bags for our pantry staples.

I am a firm believer that every little bit counts. Walking halfway back through the parking lot to grab my bulk bin bags out of the car is worth it when I know that I'll have to own up to my plastic bulk bin bag in my next weekly post. If they're all in the laundry (I wash them every time to avoid cross-contamination as there are lots of allergies in the family) I'll get whatever I need to get next time. It's usually not urgent (and they're usually not ALL in the wash) and I can get it another time. I also try to keep bulk bin staples (nuts, seeds, dried beans & lentils etc.) on hand in quantities I'll use at home anyways.

Okay so the lids to the milk bottles are plastic...

If everyone did this, think about the effect it would have! Every once in awhile I'll have a cashier at the grocery store comment on my bulk bags. It's usually something positive & they're interested, but sometimes it's someone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I've heard "I don't like your bags because I can't see what's in them." to which I responded "I don't like yours because they're plastic" (I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself that day!) She didn't really have anything to say for herself after that! If for every 100 cashiers that see my bags, only one goes out & practices the same thing, it's worth it. Because there's people in line behind me and readers like you that see them too! Every little bit does count!

1. Dumpling bag
2. Bandaids & wrappers
3. Bubble mailer
4. 2 Yogurt tubs
5. Protein powder tub
6. Chip bag
7. Cheese wrapping
8. Packaging for new tweezers
9. 2 Pasta bags
10. Facial scrub tube
11. Sherbet container
12. 2 Almond bags
13. Stickers on fruit & veggies
14. Sour cream container brought home from relatives containing dessert post Thanksgiving dinner
15. 2 Rings off of a new spatula & new belt
16. Daiya bag
17. Leaky Ziploc bag 
18. Vitamin bottle lid & label (bottle is glass)
19. NYF cup
20. Plastic wrap (not shown) from platter of devilled eggs taken to thanksgiving dinner 
21. Garbage bag from the week's trash (not shown)

Hurray- we kept it under 20 items (by the skin of my teeth!) this week! Or so I thought. Then I remembered the last two items... "Out of sight out of mind" screwed me again!

This week we can add "Processed/prepared foodstuffs ie dumplings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc." to the rest of the list of plastics no longer welcome in our home:

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)

Fresh bread from Pastry Chef in a paper bag.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bitlets For You This Past Week: Oct 10-16th, 2011

Cue music: it's the most wonderful time of the yeaaaarrrrrr!!!!!!!!

Hooray: One up for organic!

Ben & Jerry's newest ice cream flavor since Schweddy Balls. Only that one was legit.

6 Things you didn't think you were eating... Sadly, Tropicana's no longer welcome in my house.

GF Ravioli found at Costco- have you seen it? Tried it?

Check out these humongous kohlrabi we found at the Farmers Market last weekend!

I'm the furthest thing from religious, but I love this!

What's your stance on coconut oil? How educated on the matter do you think you are?

Wonder which is really better; Local or Fair Trade?

How-to prevent the other half of your avocado from turning into a giant brown mess.

Factory farm meat- we're eating more of it. Yuck.

87% of Americans want their GMO's labelled, but how many GMO's are you actually bringing home from the grocery store?

5 places to get your calcium (better than dairy) 

Think twice before you spend a dime on halloween candy this year.

What is "ethnic food" anyways?

A different way of thinking about how we're going to feed our growing billions.

One more reason to avoid BPA like the plague!

More GF treats found at Winners lately!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: A Greek Celebration!

Perhaps you remember what Thanksgiving looked like at our place last year. This year we took the route less traveled yet again and chose to have a Greek feast! Last weekend we had:

Strangely the obvious greek salad was an oversight... But we had lamb...

Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving last weekend, friends!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: October 12th, 2011

I have to admit, it wasn't a very good day. Not "good" in the sense that I rushed out of the house like a mad-woman in the morning, I had an less-than-fruitful day at work, and didn't eat very much or very well which made me feel about the same.

Breakfast around noon: Strawberries & coconut milk smoothie with a teeny bit of agave.

Throughout the afternoon: Food Should Taste Good Multigrain crackers.

Eight p.m.: Adaptation (veggie vegan!) of A Feast For The Eyes's Mexican Rice Casserole.  Sadly, no picture. Sorry bout' that.

Snack: whoops... it didn't happen.

Kind of a Fail Day (Yesterday was better I swear!). It happens to the best of us sometimes, right?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Coq au Vin: Le Creuset One Pot Meals

Last week GoodLife Eats & My Baking Addiction posted the first of 15 recipes for their Holiday Recipe Exchange. While I don't have a US address and wont be able to win any of the fabulous prizes they're giving away I thought I'd share in the fun anyway!

The theme for the week of October 10th is "Le Creuset: Fall One Pot Meals". This can only lead to one thing... I bought my first Le Creuset! *Enter Proud Parent Moment!* Last week we made a fantastic Turkish Lamb Bison Stew. Trust me, this recipe is a keeper (DO have the yogurt with it!). But today we're making Classic Coq au Vin (adapted slightly).

1/2 lb natural bacon, sliced- go visit a local butcher!
3 lbs chicken thighs/drumsticks
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
black pepper to taste
2 cups homemade stock
2 cups red wine of choice
2 bay leaves
fresh thyme
fresh parsley
1/2lb sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp organic butter

Brown bacon bitlets in the bottom of your sunny yellow Le Creuset or other dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot for about 10 minutes.
Remove bacon & set aside reserving bacon fat. Mmm....
Add onions & chicken, skin side down. If you have the burner turned up too high the skin will stick/burn to the bottom & you will be scrubbing it for days. Trust me. Medium heat is probably good. If you can, brown all sides of chicken while keeping skin in tact, adding the garlic & black pepper halfway through.
Add chicken stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme & parlsey into pot.
Return bacon into the pot.
Cover and lower the heat to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
Remove chicken & set aside.
Remove bay leaves & discard.
Add in mushrooms & bring to a boil.
Reduce the liquid to about 25% of its original volume and has thickened into a sauce.
Lower heat & stir in butter.
Return chicken to your Le Creuset until it is saucy & brought back up to temperature.

We had our chicken thighs with boiled new potatoes, but egg noodles seem to be the traditional pairing. Brown rice or brown rice rotini might be tasty too!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 29

I decided to try out something a little different for washing dishes recently. It didn't appear as though there were any options for dish soap not packaged in some sort of plastic. And then I found this stuff tucked down on the bottom shelf at our health food store alongside similar boxes of borax & washing soda. You don't know how thrilled I was when I discovered that the inside of the box wasn't lined with anything, and there wasn't any tape sealing the box! Who gets this excited about a plain old cardboard box???

The company Eco Pioneer seems to be the total package. Environmentally responsible, biodegradable, vegetable based inks, recycled boxes- the works. They also have an ebooklet full of natural cleaning solutions that include their products in addition to other common cleaning items such as vinegar & essential oils.

As usual, you can also find lots of help making your life a little less plasticky through  

1. Bag within tin of laundry soap
2. Stickers on fruit & veggies
3. Bison package
4. Facewash tube
5. Band-aids & wrappers
6. Perogie bag
7. Prices taped on to antique jars
8. Ring from glass milk jug
9. Wrapping from birthday card
10. 2 Bread bags & tags
11. Shipping bag
12. Bag that items shipped were packaged in
13. Tags off of new items (you don't know how hard it is to find dress pants with a 36" inseam!)
14. Fish package
15. Cookie package
16. Mushroom package
17. Lid & label off of our last (glass) bottle of salad dressing
18. Packaging inside our new bathroom scale
19. Chip bag
20. Wrapping from extra pages for my dayplanner
21. 2 Bacon packages
22. Bag that we can't figure out what it's from
23. NYF cup (not shown)
24. Daiya bag (leftover from last month)

Okay, so we didn't exactly make our goal of under 20 items this week. I could have done without the chips. And the cookie. And I probably didn't need to buy my 2012 pages for my dayplanner in October. This is a work in progress my friends...