Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness

Travelling and Clean Eating: Fail

Last week we decided to go visit my parents, who live across the province. Literally. We drove all the way across the province. With an infant. Yes we are crazy.

Normally, road trips are fuelled with gas station grub including, but not limited to, beef jerky (read: sodium overload), chocolate bars, chips, candy, and pop.  I decided to try and make our trip a little healthier.

The night before we left I cut up a couple carrots into match sticks, created my own trail mix using dark, organic chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds and walnuts. I had my two Brita water bottles filled and chilled, ready to go for the morning.

I forgot the water in the fridge when we left, despite being beside the rest of the food I had packed. The carrots were gone by 10:00am (about 4 hours into our journey), but my husband really enjoyed the trail mix. The nuts really gave him that extra energy needed before we stopped for lunch.

About half way into our journey we really needed to stop to stretch our legs and get the baby some time out of the car seat. It was about 6 hours in and I’m sure it was time to feed him. (My breasts were huge and starting to leak!)

Thats where my clean eating took a nose dive. Not that I went for McDonald’s but it probably wasn’t the cleanest of eating either. We stopped for lunch at a popular sandwich shop that I am not going to name (Hint: it has been said that their bread contains the same ingredients as yoga mats??).

My husband and I shared a larger sandwich of spicy italian deli meats, probably loaded with preservatives and salt.

Once we got to my parents house it was pretty late and my mom had ordered pizza. I cant turn down my gracious host’s offering, so I ate pizza. Four slices of pepperoni goodness.

The rest of the weekend wasn’t much better. I went out with friends for some lunch to catch up. While I did order a spinach salad, I also ordered a cranberry juice which I am pretty sure was cranberry cocktail (i.e., sugar water with flavour).

We went out for a fancy prime rib (not so lean) dinner loaded with homemade spatzle and steamed veggies. I ordered the 10oz cut.

Mom made spaghetti with white (gasp) pasta, and before that we stopped for appetizers and snacked on pulled pork sliders and a margarita flatbread washed down with a caesar.

We did have one good clean meal with BBQ chicken, grilled shrimp and a garden salad.

On the trip home we loaded up on the pop, candy and chocolate bars at the gas stations, Tim Horton’s for breakfast and ended the day with a pizza, because by the time we got home, I was not cooking. Plus we had no food in our fridge.

So not the greatest time to write up a blog post on clean eating. Road Trip: Fail.

However, when I weighed in the next morning I remained at 125.6 lbs. But I didn’t feel good about it, mentally and physically. I know when your on vacation you should let loose and not worry about what you eat. But by the end of the trip, I am back to feeling exhausted, my son is irritable, and I am losing the motivation to keep eating clean and healthy.

My cravings for the sweet and sinful are returning. I must get back on track. We have been back for 4 days now and it’s time to get my (our) butts in gear. I feel like I haven’t exercised in months. I am going to start walking everyday now, eventually leading up to running.

Starting tomorrow.

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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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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness

2 Month Mark

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I was so excited to see this on the scale this morning! Especially after the Blizzards we splurged on last night! If you remember, I started this clean eating experiment at 135.6 and am now down 10lbs in just 2 months while remaining quite sedentary.

I also have a TON of energy today. Here’s how the day went:

7:30am           Get up early and eat my strawberry overnight oats for breakfast.

8:00am          Half-ass watch Rachel Ray while contemplating my new blog post.

9:00am          Enter a few invoices, print off a couple cheques for suppliers and gather the necessary paperwork for a trip to the office.

10:00am        Pack baby in carseat, grab diaper bag and laptop bag and head out the door.

10:01am         Lock the door

10:01:30am   Baby loudly expels his breakfast into his diaper.

10:02:45am   Unlock door and go inside to change baby.

10:45am          Arrive at the office and let co-workers coo over the baby while casually talking about dropping our children on their heads (by accident) and the different types of poopy diapers.

11:15am           Said baby starts fussing and boss is no where to be found to touch base with before the long weekend, so I pack him up to leave (the baby, not my boss).

11:16am           Boss arrives. Unpack baby.

11:45am           Finish touching base with my boss before the long weekend then head home where I completed some more work, getting statements out to all of our customers.

1:15pm              Realize I haven’t had lunch yet so I make fried eggs on whole grain toast with grilled tomatoes, spinach and hummus.

1:20pm             Sit down to eat said lunch.

1:21pm              Baby decides he’s hungry. Feed said baby.

1:35pm              Eat cold lunch. It’s still good.

1:50pm             Get some house work done. Cleaned the kitchen, cleaned both bathrooms, tidied the living room and bedroom, and did a load of laundry.

2:30pm             Enjoy nice play shesh with the little guy.

2:45pm              Monster wants to eat again.

3:00pm              Said monster finally falls asleep.

4:45pm              Fold laundry. Child still sleeping.

4:57pm              Realise I forgot to send out some important work emails before the long weekend. Quickly start up the computer and fire them off. Baby still sleeping

5:00pm              Tired, starving husband arrives home from work. My little angel is STILL sleeping.

5:15pm               Make vegetarian black bean chilli from the clean eating challenge.

6:00pm               Serve up said chilli.

6:01pm               Child wants to feed again.

6:30pm               Finally wolf down dinner. Husband goes in for seconds.

7:30pm               Husband baths the baby while I clean up the kitchen and watch Jeopardy (it’s my guilty pleasure).

8:00pm              Husband wants to retire early but I still have so much energy so I decide to write this post.

8:05pm               The monster wants the boob again.

 

It is now almost 9:00pm and I am just completing this post. The terror is driving my husband nuts, as he is trying to relax and fall asleep, so I better sign off for today.

By the way, I accomplished all of this without any coffee!

 

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Health, Health and fitness

Squash The Preservatives

I’ve been slacking again on my writing. I’ve been so busy catching up on house work, my husbands work, real work and making my blog work that I really haven’t had much time to jot everything down.

I’ve tried a few new recipes this week that turned out great. One was a carbonara made out of spaghetti squash and another was a butternut squash hash.

Kale was on special this week. 2 bunches for $3! I couldn’t pass that up even though I was swearing to swear off the kale. Luckily, I found this recipe for the hash which used up one of my bunches. The other bunch of kale remains in my fridge, begging for a brilliant idea to pop in my head. Or show up on my Pintrest feed.

I doubled the recipe but only cooked half and just stored all the cut up veggies in the fridge so I could enjoy this dish the next day. (Honestly, I made the other half for my husband but he didn’t get home early enough so it made a great lunch the next day.)

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Now my carbonara. I love this dish. It’s a little tricky getting your eggs to not scramble but it’s so creamy and the bacon adds so much flavor.

Now I can hear most of you saying “Bacon?! Bacon can’t be clean, can it?” Well I came close. I found this bacon with no sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, phosphates or MSG added. The only thing is, it doesn’t last as long as regular bacon.

But I think that’s a good thing. Anything that can last in your fridge for more than a week or on the shelf in the store for years has got to be riddled with nasty chemicals to make it do so. Buy fresh and buy often. That’s my goal for my clean eating challenge.

I also decided to try a stuffed eggplant. This recipe calls for you to cut out the pulp of the eggplant, sauté it up with the other veggies and bake it in the eggplant shells.

Well, the recipe doesn’t tell you HOW to get the pulp out. I scored the eggplant in cubes and ran a long filleting knife around the edge of the skin. Kind of like getting the avocado out of its skin, I used a spoon to pop out the cubed eggplant.

I ended up adding sliced mushrooms to the veggie mixture because I had a couple left. When I looked down in the pan I realized that there was A LOT of filling. I thought there was no way it could get into the shells.

I ended up throwing the shells in the garbage and just tossing the filling in a casserole dish, covered with cheese and baked for 15 minutes covered in foil. I removed he foil and cooked for 10 more minutes to brown the cheese (pepper jack, by the way).

Turns out, the filling would have fit in the eggplant and I would have gotten more eggplant out of the deal. It kind of shrunk in size and I only ended up with, what would have been, a side portion.

It was tasty though. The pepper jack cheese added a spicy element and the whole dish really came together. I highly recommend this vegetarian dish but don’t throw out the shells! It will fit.

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I know some of my followers are wondering what I am doing eating cheese, and honestly, I thought I was going to suffer, but it turned out ok! My stomach is apparently ok with just a little cheese, once in a while.

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Health, Uncategorized

Slowing Things Down

It’s been 30 days since I’ve started this clean eating experiment and I feel really good about it. My body is not quite back to where it was pre pregnancy, but it’s getting there.

I am sitting pretty at a healthy 130lbs, my skin is clear, my energy levels are great (for a new mom), and my waist is slimming down. AND (tmi coming up) my poops have gotten so much better! You can always judge how well your diet is by your bowel movements. I found this cartoon that helps explain my point:

20140714-081011-29411129.jpgCourtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/25/poop-and-health_n_5530202.html

Lets just say, I was eating way too much fatty foods before.

I have decided that telling you day to day what I am eating is getting monotonous and, frankly, I am getting bored with it. Because of this, I will not be updating this blog daily unless I find something worth discussing and feel inspired to do so.

Also, until my fridge and pantry has been cleaned out of it, I will sort of, kind of, be reverting back to not-so-clean ingredients. I just can’t throw out food when there are still cliches in Africa. Plus, my budget for groceries is running out and I can’t run to the store every time I run out of something healthy when I have a perfectly good, albeit, not so healthy alternative in my cupboard. I will only do this occasionally and sparingly, however.

For instance: I have some white flour left and I am running low on whole wheat flour. I will use half and half in my recipes until the flour is gone. I still have some artificial coffee creamer in my fridge (notice how these expire like 6 months later?) and I will use it up in my morning coffees before buying sweetened condensed milk (which is the same price!) to make my own. I will keep my white pasta but only because whole wheat pasta is disgusting. I will, however, limit my pasta intake to once or twice a month.

Well I hope you enjoyed reading about my clean eating experiment as much as I enjoyed writing it and I hope you continue to enjoy what I have to say about the clean eating revolution. Thanks for all your support. Happy reading, happy eating.

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Health

Day 24: Sick

My poor babe is feeling under the weather. Unfortunately, I think I’m the one who got him that way. I thought it was just allergies but it had morphed into a weird summer cold. Both of us are sniffling, miserable messes. Needless to say it’s impossible to put him down long enough to prepare anything exciting to eat. Thank god I prepped a bunch of smoothies last week and had my whole wheat pancakes were good to go from yesterday. Today I added organic chocolate chips, ones from the healthy section of the grocery store. They were a little better but still pretty wheaty. (Is that a word?). Lunch was a kale and mixed berry smoothy. Dinner was a chicken sandwich with spinach, hummus, tomato, and melted mozza cheese. I feel like, because I’m sick and it’s wickedly hot out today, a big bowl of ice cream would be amazing right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I am not going anywhere tonight and my husband is not due to arrive home for another couple hours and we will probably be in bed by the time he comes home. So no ice cream for me. I’ll just stick with an apple and some almond butter (and maybe a few of those chocolate chips).

20140707-201519-72919082.jpgThank goodness for babywearing when all he wants to do is snuggle

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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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