Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: Spring Detox 2012

Ahem...

Hello and Welcome to the Two Thousand and Twelve edition of... Spring! It's that lovely time of year when we no longer have to shovel the snow, might start to get a little color on our pasty white skin and start to get rid of junk we don't need!

Junk we don't need? Now that can mean the shoes in the back of your closet that you bought for your cousin's wedding in 2005, or it could mean the emotional baggage you've been carrying around since your prom date ditched you... Or it could mean the residual waste hanging out inside your intestines from all that "comfort food" you've been scarfing through the winter months. Even if your junk scarfing has been kept to a minimum your body can definitely benefit from a bit of a cleansing. Being cooped up inside buildings circulated with the same air over and over for months on end can take a toll on your body. Even if you use natural cleaning products, water & air filters in your own home, commercial buildings (your workplace, gym, grocery store, hospital...) often use tons of chemicals that are less than ideal for anything aside from cleaning. With repeated exposure, many of these compounds can build up in your body and cause serious damage.

Taking a break from as many chemicals and unhealthy items as possible is a nice thing to do for your body. Especially your liver, which is who gets to deal with all that kinda stuff.


This year our detox is:
-a 7 day program
-vegetarian
-dairy free
-sugar free*
-alcohol & drug free
-banana free
-gluten free
-whole foods based

*No sweeteners, whole foods only such as unsweetened dried fruit like dates & raisins.

Some of what we're having includes: Curried Lentil Soup, Moroccan Coconut & Chickpea Soup, Black Bean Taco Salad, Nori Snacks, a variation of Nom Bites, Zucchini Hashbrowns with poached eggs, Baked Coconut Lentils and the list goes on!

Moroccan Coconut & Chickpea Soup

I'll be sure to share with you along the way, as some of the recipes we've got planned we've never had before! You can subscribe on facebook to keep up with me!



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Meal Planning: Come On, It's Easy Peasy!

At some point every Friday, we sit down to something that looks like this:


Which eventually turns into something that looks more like this!

 
Saturday: Pizza crust mix & excess leftover daiya with crumbled chicken sausage.
Sunday: Coconut crab curry.
Monday: Soft tacos with refried beans from the pantry & corn tortillas from the freezer with avocado, tomato, mixed greens & a healthy dose of Cholula.



Tuesday: Mung bean vermicelli noodles, carrots, cucumber & rice paper- salad rolls with peanut sauce & deviled eggs.
Wednesday: Steak quesadillas with corn tortillas from the freezer, avocado, onions, garlic & more of the leftover daiya.
Thursday: Crispy cajun chickpea cakes a mixed greens salad topped with dried cherries & a honey citrus vinaigrette.
Friday: Cajun Salmon with yogurt dill sauce, greek salad & brown rice. 



How do we do it?

Right now we're working on using up a pile of things that have accumulated on the shelves of our kitchen, our freezer and cold room. Call it spring cleaning... Our recipes are based on utilizing these items primarily. Within each week, we always aim to include one dinner featuring poultry, fish, red meat & beans. The other 2 are flexible, and Friday is always a meal based on cleaning out the fridge and using up anything that might be leftover. A few Friday mornings ago our fridge looked like this:


Top shelf: 3 dozen eggs fresh from our "egg lady" (there's more in the stainless steel bowl as well); leftover pad thai, extra perogie filling, fresh mint, goat's feta, some extra stock, goat's milk, cheddar & mozzarella daiya, other goat cheese, coconut water, blueberry liqueur & jalapeno monterey jack cheese.

Middle shelf: almond milk, fresh salsa, sardines, greek yogurt, lemon & lime slices, homemade greek salad dressing, mixed salad greens, edamame, homemade cranberry apple sauce, leftover gravy, gerolsteiner water, meyer lemon mustard sauce.

Bottom shelf: orange pepper, carrots, celery, green pepper, ginger root, cucumber, nugget potatoes

Whew! (Anything else you might have spotted in there is a regular item in the fridge. There's a pile of condiments on the door too, but they're always there.)

Realistically we're not going use up all of those things in one day of meals. The coconut water has been there for months. I bought it for a recipe I didn't end up making, and it's still sitting there. I should probably just drink it. The perogie filling is definitely past its time and will probably get thrown out. Same with the salsa & probably the sardines. But the peppers, cucumber & celery can definitely be used- for snacks if nothing else!

Quinoa salad is kind of a catch all for a fridge clean out like this. I could throw some of the edamame in with the greek salad dressing and a squeeze or two of some of the lime slices (usually for water, or in this case pad thai), shred a few carrots & chop up the cucumber. I suspect it wouldn't be too bad!

On this particular day (by the end of it) we managed to eat all of the: orange pepper, cucumber, almond milk, goat milk & blueberry liqueur. Plus most of the gerolsteiner water, edamame, yogurt & cranberry applesauce.

I threw out the: salsa (about 1/4 cup), perogie filling, sardines (not so great recipe), pad thai, mint (okay, they bunny ate it), gravy, meyer lemon mustard sauce.
 
What can I say? She likes her greens!

That's a lot of wasted food (and dollars!) which isn't cool.

P.S. She did throw all that salad mix all over the floor all by herself!

I've been seeing lots of meal planning talk in other blogs lately and the reoccurring theme seems to be that people think that it's hard. So you should pay them for a meal plan tailored to your needs. And for some people that might be the right fit, but honestly? It's not difficult at all!

In addition to basing our meals for the week off of things we need to use up in the house, we also aim to have one meal based upon poultry, one red meat, one seafood/fish and one that includes beans as the protein. As you can see from the meal plan we ate last week (above) we included all of those plus one with beans, one with fish and one with eggs as the protein in addition the 4 "requirements" (to make up a 7 day week).

We choose to only plan our dinner as breakfasts are different for both of us since our days start and end at different times, and we have different nutritional goals between the two of us. But we always make time for at least one meal together every day. Sometimes his dinnertime is my lunch if I'll be working late that night. Sometimes we only have half an hour together between our two schedules, and sometimes we get to spend hours cooking a meal together. That's part of the planning too. While his schedule is regular (during the school year anyways) mine is all over the map. My "weekends" are on weekdays, I work days, nights, and some days both! But despite whatever might be going on in our lives we commit to spending that time together, that meal together, breaking our proverbial bread together.

I hate seeing families eating on the run, racing to get their child(ren) to soccer/hockey/dance practice after school. It's an unhealthy lifestyle I very much do not envy. I miss sitting down to a meal with my whole family, and will be sure to make it the status quo when we are raising our own kids one day.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: March 21st, 2012

First of all, happy spring everyone! Yesterday marked the official spring equinox, which means that the hours of day & night (nox) are just about equal (auquus/equal). The days are gettin' longer and I'm lovin' it! But at the same time I do still have a 2for1 lift ticket coupon in my wallet, and we did spend an hour or so snowshoeing on the weekend! The weather's been great in PG lately with lots of sun, and I'm even starting to adapt my eating habits toward the warmer season- check it out!

These definitely mean springtime is here!

Spicy things offer a cooling effect in hot weather...

LDL Cholesterol lowering almonds!

These would be great on a patio in the sunshine :)

Post hot yoga blueberry banana protein smoothie.

And a cucumber!

Make sure you visit Peas & Crayons for lots more WIAW action!



Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This clearly should have been a St.Patty's day post...


I didn't even realize the green themed-ness of it all until afterwards, despite the fact that it was in the meal plan last week. Go figure. Nonetheless this soup is tasty & awesome for a day like today when it really should be warmer than it is. I'm daydreaming about short shorts & fresh fruit for breakfast in the sunshine on a daily basis.

Yes already.


This soup was veganized from Looneyspoons with a little help from these items!

1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp coconut oil
2.5 cups homemade stock
3 cups broccoli florets, frozen is fine
1 cup cubed potatoes
1/2 cup full fat organic coconut milk
1/2 cup cheddar daiya
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp vegan worchestershire
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sriracha

In a medium saucepan, saute onion, garlic & celery in coconut oil for a few minutes, until soft.
Add stock, 2 cups of your broccoli & potatoes.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer cooking until the potatoes are done.
In a blender (or with an immersion blender) puree the soup and return back to the pot.
Add remaining ingredients into the pot on low temperature, and stir to combine.
Cook on low temperature for an additional 5 minutes until broccoli is done to your desired consistency.




Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 50!

Progressing to a less-plastic lifestyle as we have been over the last 13 months has led to the learning of a number of new things. There is a facewash that we both like (without plastic), buying fruit "bulk" rather than in prepackaged bags (no matter the price) isn't hard (and usually results in less waste), peanut butter in glass jars tastes better and our bunny much appreciates that we now buy bunches of carrots (with the tops) rather than bags. Amongst other things of course.

When we first started this journey we had no idea what it would bring or that it would have become a part of our lives for this long. Despite an uncountable number of positive changes The Plastic Trash Challenge has brought to our household and our environment, we're taking a hiatus. Regrettably it has become one more thing to stress about, which was never the intention. We all grow and progress through our lives and are naturally at a different place today than we were a year ago. Or ten. While we will continue to use our bulk bin bags and travel mugs (and use "the rules" as leverage not to hit up the Dairy Queen drivethru) we're going to quit counting our plastic for awhile.

But I certainly encourage you to! (Always feel free to ask questions if you're stuck with something.) I like to think of myself as a student of the great Beth Terry who runs MyPlasticFreeLife.com Here are a few things we happened to amass this week:


1. Steak package
2. 2 Cereal bags
3. Triscuit bag
4. Cheese wrapper
5. Stickers from fruit from the week
6. Trash bag for the week
7. Vermicelli bag
8. Blueberry bag
9. Hair product bottle
10. Celery bag
11. Pizza mix bag with accompanying yeast packet
12. Bandaid wrappers
13. Bread bag
14. Credit card (fraud... they're sending a new one)
15. Seal from protein powder tub
16. 2 Yogurt tubs
17. Mayo jar
18. Seal from new mayo jar
19. Cheese sauce mix packet
20. Almond milk carton pull tab
21. Deli container
22. Inside of wooden lid to glass bottle of hot sauce
23. Wrapper to new hot sauce bottle
24. Cumin seed packet

Things that we have eliminated from our household in the last 50 weeks: Cereal, Coffee, Plastic Wrapped Cans such as sardines, Deli Clamshell Containers, Pizza Crust Mix, Facewash, Saran wrap, Styrofoam meat trays, Icing Sugar, Deodorant, Jars encased in plastic (such as multi-packs of pasta sauce), Chicken (or other) Stock cartons, Kale Chips,Vega Preworkout, Cream Cheese, 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)

Kind of impressive, right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My ABC's!


Thanks to Shannon for commenting on this post recently. I creeped her profile & checked out her blog (but don't let that deter you from commenting)! I totally yanked this from her:

A is for age: Twenty six, but hey it's just a number right!
B is for breakfast today: A banana blueberry chocolate protein shake with almond milk.
C is for currently craving: A run (but not on a full stomach!)
D is for dinner tonight: Refried bean tacos with tomatoes, cholula, avocado & greens on corn tortillas.
E is for favorite type of exercise: Yoga!
F is for irrational fear: Standing backbends, despite being able to do wheel like a pro...
G is for gross food: Not a big oatmeal fan... ever.
H is for hometown: Calgary, Alberta (but I was born in St. Albert)
I is for something important: Not doing it all. I've tried, it can't be done... I'd rather take care of myself than worry about pleasing everyone else.
J is for current favorite jam: raspberry for sure!
K is for kids: one furry one!

Yep, she's chubby!

L is for current location: Prince George, BC... on the couch
M is for the most recent way you spent money: A dollar at work for dried cherries & salad dressing to put on my organic greens I brought from home!
N is for something you need: a solid 8 hours of sleep every night. I'm a nightmare unpleasant otherwise...
O is for occupation: Registered Holistic Nutritionist here! And a server here! And a writer here (but that's more of a hobby I suppose...) 
P is for pet peeve: People who don't acknowledge when someone sneezes.
Q is for a quote:  I don't have a favorite, but there's quite a collection of some that I do love here.
R is for a random fact about you: I'm pretty far down the scale of OCD... I reorganized bookshelves as a child, and still do (amongst other things!)

 
S is for favorite healthy snack: Ants on a log!
T is for favorite treat: There are so many desserts that I could indulge in if I was still able to eat gluten (or had the patience to convert) which is what I think this question is suggesting. In my life right now, it's a treat to get to see my family.
U is for something that makes you unique: I don't sing in the shower. I feel like it's one of those things on everyone's lists of things that make them happy, but I don't really get it.
V is for favorite vegetable: Fresh peas, red peppers, asparagus & kohlrabi.
W is for todays workout: There's still a run pending in my schedule today!
X is for X-rays you’ve had: The last one was at the dentist about 4 years ago. I've never broken anything *knock on wood*
Y is for yesterdays highlight: Sweaty hot yoga class!
Z is for your time zone: Pacific

You're next! Answer one of these questions about yourself in the comments below.

(Wordless) What I Ate Wednesday: March 14th, 2012









Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 49

Not much to report this week, just keepin' at it!


1. Lid to can of coffee we bought 3+ years ago
2. 2 Salad tubs
3. 3 Sardine wrappers
4. 4 Ziploc bags, died & gone to heaven
5. 5 Stale GF granola bars, received at Christmas
6. 2 Plastic container lids, reused to death
7. Bag for the weeks trash (not shown)
8. Stickers from fruit & veggies
9. Almond yogurt container
10. Rice noodle package
11. Cheese wrapper
12. Bread bag
13. Chip bag
14. Fresh basil bag
15. 3 Mini Eggs bags
16. Edamame bag
17. Chapstick tube
18. Meyer lemon bag
19. Lid to spray can of carpet stain remover
20. Bandaid & wrapper
21. Lululemon garment bag

How much plastic did your household generate this week? Visit My Plastic Free Life to participate in the plastic trash challenge with me!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Has A Surprise!

I just wanted to share with you my excitement! Today I bought my ticket to Wanderlust in Whistler, BC in August. I then proceeded to find an amazing deal on flights via Westjet.

That is all.

I'm just so friggin excited!

Join me there?

 
I've got a lot of work to do to be able to do this in 5 months!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Perogies for WIAW: March 7th, 2012

 
 Yum!

This week's What I Ate Wednesday started out with:

5 Pounds of potatoes (yes with the skins on!)

5 Pounds of cheddar Daiya

His & Hers dough ingredients...

And ended up with...

The Filling:
350ml Goat milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
800g Cheddar Daiya
5 lbs Potatoes
644g Onion
44g Garlic

The Dough (Gluten Free):
1 3/4 cups Big Star Bakery's GF Flour Mix (plus extra for dusting)
3 tsp Xanthan gum
2 Large Eggs
1 tbsp Goat Yogurt (or sour cream)
1/2 cup water (more as needed)

The Dough (not GF):
2 cups AP flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 Large Egg
1/2 cup Goat yogurt (or sour cream)
1/4 cup Butter

We should have enough to get us through for awhile!

Have you ever made perogies? What kind is your favorite?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bitlets For You This Past Week: Feb 27th- March 4th, 2012

HOW is it MARCH already!??! Easter's on its way... here's a list of easter candy that is safe in the US. Canadian list is here!

Cravings getting the best of you? Here's some insight.

What's new on the list of things BPA will wreak havoc on?

What you put ON your body is just as important as what you put IN your body. Your skin (your largest organ!) absorbs everything you put on it (yup, just like your body absorbs everything you put in it)

What is (and isn't) a drug, and why.

5 Words the food industry destroyed.

Everyone should know where their food came from.


A list of brands that if aren't directly owned by Monsanto, they at the least contain ingredients produced by the hellish company. I highly suggest keeping these out of your home (and mouths).

A Week Worth of Plastic: Week 48

This week I'll leave you with a bit of "food for thought" on just how unsafe plastics are.


Here's how we contributed to the problem this week (in a limited sorta way):


1. Garbage bag from the weeks trash (now biodegradable!)
2. 3 Pasta packages
3. Stickers from fruit & veggies
4. Large spice bottle
5. Salad tub
6. Cap & seal from glass bottle of maple syrup
7. 7 bags (plastic or with plastic on them) from flours & grains
8. EnjoyLife chocolate chip bag
9. Realfruit gummies bag
10. Bandaids & related blood donating plastic
11. Ravioli bag
12. Toothpaste tube
13. Bronzer compact
14. Bread bag
15. Mini booze bottle
16. Coconut sugar bag
17. Packaging from glass food storage containers
18. Price tag ring from metal basket
19. Deli container from goat's feta