Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Meatball Problems

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with ground chicken but it’s not normal. You know that rumor that a certain fast food chain’s chicken nuggets are made out of pink goop? article-0-1B2DDB7B00000578-134_634x630

Photo courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2551238/McDonalds-reveal-EXACTLY-chicken-nuggets-note-not-pink-goop.html

It’s not goop, that’s fricken ground chicken!

I tried to make these chicken meatballs stuffed with goat cheese. Key word: “tried”. I used ground up rolled oats in place of breadcrumbs and added 1/8 cup of almond milk instead of 1/4 cup of regular, but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. The mixture was very wet and sticky and I knew there was no way of forming little balls out of this goop!

I ground up extra oats to, hopefully, dry the mixture out a bit, but it still wasn’t forming balls. I dumped all the oats in my cupboard into the blender and ground them up but still ended up with a giant bowl of pink goop that would not form.

Ready to give up and order a pizza, my chef husband jumps in to save the day.

He threw the large glob in a large skillet and scramble fried it until it resembled crumbled sausage.

Meanwhile I made a basic tomato sauce:
In olive oil, sauté one medium, diced white onion and two minced cloves of garlic in a large pot on medium for 3 minutes. Add one diced red pepper and continue to sauté until softened. Add a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, one bay leaf, pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and simmer for half an hour.

I asked my Facebook friends for help picking a delicious alternative to white pasta and, thankfully, my good friends Jax and Brooke pointed me in the direction of brown rice pasta. I tossed the brown rice linguini with the chicken, the sauce, and the goat cheese, topped with fresh parsley and grated Grana Padano.

It was fantastic! Thank you Jax and Brooke! The brown rice pasta tastes like the white wheat pasta! And if you use the gluten free rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs you have yourself a delicious gluten free meal.

20140804-201239-72759832.jpgYou can feel good about going in for seconds of this clean eating pasta dish.

Do you have a favourite gluten free, go to? Leave me a comment!

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Confessions

I have a confession… I haven’t been so good lately with my clean eating.

There were temptations lurking all around my kitchen just begging to be consumed. And I really wanted a steak… or three.

Since starting my clean eating experiment I have cheated in the following ways:

  1. I had one ginger ale per week in weeks 2, 3 and 4. Sometimes I sneak a sip of my husband’s coke.
  2. I drink beer once in a while. Like, one after my son goes to bed and only two or three times a week. And its not some gluten free, craft beer either. It’s good ol’ fashioned Lucky Lager. (Hey, I am an islander.)
  3. I sometimes skip meals and my snacks have become non existent. This has only been happening for the last week or so.
  4. I bought some steaks two weeks ago and we BBQ’d a couple of them up. They were so good I had them again the following week. No the cow wasn’t grass fed. Actually, I don’t know what the cow was eating. Probably a shit ton of hormones and chemicals.
  5. Last night I had white bread…AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!
  6. Last night I also had enough meat to last for a whole week. There were prawn skewers and chicken covered in bruschetta and thick juicy steaks! In my defence, we were at someone else’s house and you can’t turn down what your host puts in front of you, it would be rude…There was also chocolate bunt cake.
  7. I had white pasta, but you already knew that if you have been keeping up with my blog. Go to the post about Day 30 to find out why I will keep white pasta in my pantry.
  8. I drink coffee. Once a day. I need that morning jolt! I finished the artificial coffee creamer I had left in my fridge and have vowed to never buy it again.

This last week has been the hardest trying to stick with a clean eating plan because we have had family in town visiting and there was a lot of eating outside of my kitchen and only so much I could control.

Also, I think my son is teething and he’s turned into a little psycho, making my nerves a little frayed and little to no time to do elaborate meal planning. I’m surprised (and quite proud) I haven’t hit up McDonald’s yet.

Even though I am down to 127.2 lbs (from 135.6 lbs), I have been feeling a little run down lately and that just goes to show you how much our diet affects our energy stores. I’ve realized that, if I am not careful with what I choose to ingest, it doesn’t just affect me, but my son as well.

I feel like it was easier when I had the meals already planned out for me and so now I am on the hunt for a new clean eating challenge. Perhaps, when you are perusing Pintrest, you could keep an eye out for me for a new one or, if you already have one leave me the link in the comments. Thanks for reading!

 

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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Day 5: My Husband Cooks Better Than I Do

Wow! I never thought I would have made it this far! Today I learned that I should leave the omelet flipping to my husband. Actually, I should leave all the cooking to my husband.

I was a little skeptical about today’s breakfast, as there was no cheese involved in the cauliflower omelet, but it turns out it didn’t need it. The cauliflower took on a really creamy texture amongst the egg and it was actually quite nice. I would have liked some bacon and hash browns alongside it but that wasn’t in the recipes.

After lunch we decided to go for a walk. The City of Nanaimo puts on this Golden Bucket challenge every summer where, each week, they hide a child’s yellow beach bucket around various parks and give clues on where to find it. The bucket has a question in it, usually pertaining to the location it is at, and you send in your answer to be entered to win prizes.My son and I have been doing this for the last two weeks.

Today brought us to a sea side nature park where you can walk a trail that runs along the ocean. The sea air did wonders on my sinuses and I felt more energized, albeit sweaty, than I have all week. Also the crashing waves and the bouncing of my steps (I had my baby in a carrier) lulled my son to sleep.

After our walk I decided that, since I was doing so well in this clean eating experiment, that I would reward myself with a glass of wine. The challenge says I can limit myself to two glasses over the two weeks. Well they didn’t say how big the glasses had to be! I had the 9oz. Red, of course.

I felt a little tipsy afterward. It wasn’t my first drink since giving birth so I was quite surprised how hard it hit me.

By the time we got home from our drinks and shopping for more diapers it was 7:00pm. I needed to cook more lentils since I used up all the left overs a few days ago. I forgot that they take an hour to cook so the salmon dinner wasn’t ready until after 8:00pm.

Since I didn’t get my first snack in after lunch, I snacked on my carrots and hummus as we prepared dinner. My husband brought home a large fillet of salmon bought locally from the marina in French Creek, BC. Caught right off our very own coast.

Not only is it clean and fresh, but sustainable as well.

We decided that we would bbq the fillet instead of baking it in the oven. It gave it such a different but tasty flavor. I would say that we had an 8oz portion of salmon and half a recipe of the big batch of lentils each. So, needless to say, dinner was filling and there was no need for an after dinner snack. Plus by that time is was 9:00pm.

Even though I drank way more than the recommended 60oz of water today, I ended up with a migraine that has been trying to rear it’s ugly head for three days now. I’m not sure if this is another one of the side effects of changing the way I eat or that maybe I was just due for a migraine. It has been a while since my last one (since before I was pregnant).

It’s now 4:15am as I am writing this and I am wide awake. But I feel great after day 5 of my clean eating experiment!

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Not today’s bucket, but an example of the Golden Bucket Challenge

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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Day 2: Cravings

I won’t go into too many details today about the food but you can follow along with these recipes for day 2.

I just want to say how great overnight oats are! I discovered these a few months back. So quick and easy: just throw a few ingredients in a jar, shake and leave overnight in the fridge. Breakfast is waiting there for you in the morning. And tasty too!

I will admit that I’m not entirely sure my oats are gluten free but I already had them on hand and I wasn’t going to buy more.

What I find most difficult so far in the clean eating experiment is the cravings. I am the girl who doesn’t care a lick about what I eat. I eat what I want, when I want it. McDonald’s or some other fast food take out once (or twice even) a week, always some sort of desert (chocolate) after dinner, loads of cheese and sour cream on almost everything and always morning Tim Hortons coffee.

So I found it really hard to run my errands whilst refraining from burning through Timmy’s drive thru. Or when I passed the cake pop maker in Walmart.

Word of advice for anyone trying to eat healthier: stay away from Pintrest and the food network. I found myself salivating at the pin about the Oreo cheesecake squares and drooling worse than my infant boy at Bobby Flay’s fabulously delicious looking T-bone grilled to perfection in a heaping wad of butter.

Tonight I strayed away from the menu for dinner and snack #2 as it was Father’s Day and we had a BBQ at my in-laws.

Luckily for me, my MIL is supportive of my quest and is also health conscious as well. So while the boys ate steaks us girls had chicken thighs, I still used the same proportions as was recommended in the challenge, chose sweet potato instead of russet and passed on the bread. There was one point, just before dinner I was tempted to sneak some bread and spinach dip but I held out.

Desert or snack #2 was three chocolate covered strawberries and a rendition of a peanut butter cup. Now before you walk away from me and think that I failed, I will let you in on a secret: the chocolate was made from three ingredients: Cocoa, coconut oil and maple syrup. The peanut butter cups the same plus all natural peanut butter so no harm, no foul! All natural ingredients. Homemade. Clean eating. Curbed cravings.

It’s ok if you have to stray from the plan once in a while just choose better options: pure maple syrup instead of sugar; lean, white meat instead of red meat; veggies instead of starch; always whole wheat over white breads.

I have to say I still don’t feel more energetic but my son sure does. He just won’t sleep anymore. Day or night! Tonight was another late one as I didn’t get him to bed until after 11:00pm again. Tomorrow is going to be hard without that coffee.

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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Day 0: Shopping and Prep.

I wanted to see if this challenge was affordable first before I decided to commit to anything (being on maternity leave has left us very conscious of our spending habits and bank accounts).

I wrote out the shopping list (probably should have just printed the PDF and saved time) and priced out all the ingredients from online prices and the flyers I had, just to get a rough idea of what I would be spending.

Some items I already had on hand like eggs, oats, chia seeds and carrots, so I didn’t include those in my pre-pricing. The rough estimate was $200 for just the first week! So I took to the internet and tried to find some coupons. Do you know how hard it is to find coupons for whole, non processed foods? Impossible it seems!

So it was looking pretty bleak. However, I started to think smarter. I thought to myself: if I shop in the bulk section I can shave a few bucks off and if I only get two large tomatoes instead of four and use up the cherry tomatoes I have already and only get three chicken breasts on the bone and get the rest later or use the boneless frozen one I have the freezer, I can save a few more bucks on this trip, etc.

So off I went to the store! With a baby strapped to my chest, an empty cart and no coupons, I got almost everything on my list. I couldn’t find the Napa cabbage at this particular store nor could I find clementines but I know a different store carries these items. I’ll get them a different day.

In total I spent only $135. I did redeem 2000 points to get $5 off my blueberries but because I spent over $100 I got 4000 points so there was no net loss there. (I am a points hoarder, I plan on saving until I can get either an iPad or a trip somewhere.)

Upon returning home, I threw the turkey in the freezer and prepared my smoothy packs. There’s only six, each with only one or two ingredients in them. The mango I have bought seems a little on the underripe side. It is hard to pick a good mango! Don’t judge.

Tonight is the last night before the challenge so I cooked the last of the bacon in the fridge (so I don’t waste, of course) and toss it in my salad. Tonight I will enjoy my last cheese burger from McD’s. Tomorrow the experiment begins! Wish me luck.

20140613-174436-63876369.jpg my fridge is stocked with fresh fruits and veggies!

 

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

My Clean Eating Experiment

I gave birth to my son two months ago and he’s an angel.

However… like any and (almost) every mom can attest it’s really hard to find time to prepare and eat good, wholesome food.

My husband and I are constantly complaining how tired we are and (even though it’s only two months in) my weight loss has plateaued.

I started out my pregnancy at 110 lbs and finished at 167 lbs. I ate anything and everything I wanted while pregnant and I continued to do so for the first two months of postpartum.

While I lost 25lbs immediately after birth, I am nowhere near the weight I want to be.

Recently, while cruising through the “Everything” category on Pintrest, (who has time for Pintrest with a newborn??!!) I came across a clean eating challenge. You can view the post here.

What attracted me to this post right away was the promise of more energy. If there’s anything new moms need the most it is energy. Energy for those 2:00am feedings, the house work, all the laundry (does it ever stop?!), etc.

The post is great. It plans out two weeks worth of meals, includes shopping lists and a schedule.

What I like the most is that it uses leftovers from the previous days and the meal plans use a lot of the same ingredients from one day to the next…

There’s nothing I hate more than having to buy the jar of some condiment that you only need a teaspoon of for one meal and then the jar sits in your cupboard for 6 years until it goes bad or you decide to finally throw it out.

Or that you have to buy a large bunch of parsley when your one recipe only calls for a 1/4 tablespoon. Plus, cooking and preparing large batches of stuff like chicken or dressings ahead of time saves time in the long run.

I figure what have I got to lose?

Follow along with me in my clean eating experiment and watch me succeed or watch me lose my shit! Thanks for reading!

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This is the face that inspires me to change the way I eat and what I make for my family.

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