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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Health, Uncategorized

Day 27: Piquant Poached Salmon with Veggies

Worst feeling ever when you realize you’ve ruined your overnight oats. Well there goes breakfast! Not going to lie, I still ate it. First, I realized I forgot to add the chia seeds, so it was rather runny. Second, my fresh oats, bought a week and a half ago at the farmer’s market, have gone bad. Well, bad enough that they are not good for overnight oats. Perhaps they will be ok for toasting for granola, or cooked for traditional oatmeal. It tasted very yeasty.

For lunch I made a wrap with half a leftover bbq chicken breast (sliced), some romain lettuce (fresh from MIL’s garden), leftover lentil and cauliflower taco filling, sliced avocado and diced cherry tomatoes. I spread some hummus on the homemade whole wheat tortilla before wrapping it all up.
I may be biased, but it was delicious!

For dinner my husband brought home salmon, courtesy of my MIL (thank you!). I have a go to recipe for poached salmon I’ve been using for years. It’s from The Best of Bridge series cookbooks. I can’t seem to find the original recipe from them online but it’s in the “That’s Trump” book. Anyways, I changed some stuff around so here’s my recipe:

Poached Salmon with Piquant Sauce and Veggies
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

For the salmon:
1/2lb salmon filet, bones and skin removed
1/2 lemon, sliced (reserve the zest)
1 tsp chicken bullion (I didn’t have any but found a box of Lipton chicken noodle soup mix in the cupboard. I just sorted out the noodles from the soup base and used that)

For the sauce:
3 tbsp mayonnaise (you could sub plain Greek yogurt and I think that would taste just as good and maybe even more healthy and clean. I used Hellmann’s)
2 tbsp Dijon (I used peppercorn Dijon)
1 tsp dried dill
Zest from lemon

First boil 3 cups of water in a large to medium pan. Add the lemons and bouillon and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on. Add salmon fillet and poach on low for 8 minutes (until flakey). While that’s going on you can whip up be sauce by throwing it all in a bowl and mixing it. The recipe in the book calls for capers and their juice but I didn’t have any. So add a tsp, chopped capers and a tsp of juice, if you want, but it’s not necessary.

For sides, I boiled some fresh farmer’s market carrots in some water with chicken bullion (Lipton soup mix) until tender and sautéed some spinach, red pepper and cherry tomatoes in some butter (not margarine) with a pinch of salt and pepper. This was the final product:

20140710-221744-80264969.jpgIt received rave reviews. Well one to be exact. Two, if you count myself, which I don’t because of course I like it: I’ve been making it for years! Try it and tell me what you think.

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Day 10: Sometimes… You Gotta!

Ok, I cheated again. I had a cup of coffee with breakfast this morning. *Gasp* Hear me out: my kid woke up at 6:00am and there was no sign of him wanting to go back to sleep anytime soon. If I was going to get anything done today (and it is a Monday, mind you) and keep my sanity, a cup of coffee was in order. I justified my decision by swapping out my favorite Irish Cream coffee creamer (NO not Bailey’s) for some almond milk and vanilla extract.

For lunch I left out the roasted eggplant because A) I didn’t make enough a couple nights ago because the grocery store only had two small ones, and B) I did not drink enough coffee to want to return to the grocery store for more. It turns out the salad was hearty enough without it.

Instead of cutting up a red pepper for my snack with hummus I used the carrots I had already cut up in the fridge. I figured since they were on the same side of the color spectrum they held the same nutritive value.

I still didn’t pick up any more collard greens, but I had a ton of spinach left over from last week, so I threw in a few handfuls into tonight’s dinner. I had forgotten that I bought easy peel prawns and proceeded to chomp down on one and then promptly spat it into the garbage. Luckily the others were easy to peel as the package promised. I wish I had gotten fresh-off-the-boat local prawns. I probably spent way too much on these. Karma!

I prepped up three hard boiled eggs for tomorrow. One broke in the pot while boiling, one crumbled in my husbands hands when he went to peel it and the other ended up in the garbage due to miscommunication. That will teach me to be cocky and think I know how to hard boil an egg. I will try again tomorrow.

For today’s recipes go here.

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Day 6: You Can’t Call It Chili If There Are No Chillies

I realized I forgot to give the link to Day 5 yesterday so here it is. And before I forget here is today’s recipes. I woke up this morning with the worst craving for chocolate cake so I spent most of the morning combing beloved Pintrest looking for a gluten free, sugarless chocolate cake recipe. I ended up finding a recipe for quinoa brownies. I can’t wait to try them once next week is over.

I had to make some substitutions today because, again, I forgot to take into account my husband’s days off. For lunch we had a ton of salmon left over from last night, which was good in our salad. I didn’t have anymore fresh lemons and I wasn’t making the same mistake with this dressing by using bottled lemon juice so I improvised. I used the leftover lime dressing from day 3 plus a little more juice from half a lime I had in the fridge in addition to the Dijon, parsley, salt and pepper. I also added walnuts to the salad because my husband likes nuts on his salads and I had some in my cupboard that were probably not going to get used anyways. I left out the green beans because I discovered the bag I bought had mold growing on some of the beans. Yup, I ate moldy beans last night.

Instead of a snack we went out for a second lunch, later in the afternoon, to a restaurant that just opened recently. There were 5 salads on the menu but only one that would fit the guidelines of the challenge: a garden salad, dressing on the side. The next best thing, keeping in mind the recommendations, were the halibut tacos. Which they were out of. So I ordered the shrimp tacos with a kale and apple coleslaw on the side. I figured a little gluten (flour tortillas) would be ok this one time. Boy was I wrong. I think I may be gluten or lactose intolerant. That, or the clean eating challenge decided that my walk with my MIL was the perfect time to “clean me out” if you catch my drift. Luckily we were not very far along the trail and very close to her work. I will stick to the menu plan from now on.

For dinner I made a double recipe of the vegetarian chili since my husband was home and I needed to freeze some for next week. My husband brought to my attention the fact that the recipe doesn’t call for any chili powder nor any actual chilies whatsoever. I’m sorry but chili implies there will be some form of chili in it. Otherwise it’s just bean and tomato stew. (I realize there is paprika in the yogurt topping, but I consider that an add on and therefore, not really the chili itself.) It was quite tasty but next time I am adding some fresh chilies.

My after dinner snacks have been leaving a lot to desire, coming from someone who loves her deserts. So tonight I decided to liven up my blackberries and pistachios with some Greek yogurt. The tang of the yogurt was just what I needed to curb my sweet tooth.

I think my tummy troubles after my second lunch was caused by straying from the challenge, as hard as I tried. It just proves that the clean eating experiment is really working. I can’t wait to see what next week brings. So far the pictures look delicious but my cooking rarely turns out like the pictures.

20140619-221429-80069252.jpgThis is one thing I cooked that came out good looking!

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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Day 4: Really, That’s All The Snack I Get?!

If you can flip an omelet, you deserve a medal. This is what my breakfast looked like:

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The instructions said to turn the heat down to low and cook the eggs for one minute until the eggs are not very runny. Well it took me over 5 minutes on low, a lid, and one minute cranked up to medium before I could get my eggs to set. Overall the “omelet” looks like crap, as you can see, but it tastes alright. I would use less green onions next time.

Speaking of using less or more of the ingredients, I wish they would be more specific about the amounts used. For instance this recipe called for 4 scallions (green onions). Well what size are your scallions? Mine were too big.

Today’s lunch, a Greek salad using the left over lentils from last night’a dinner, calls for one red pepper and half a cucumber cut into pieces. Last I checked there is a wide variety of sized cucumbers and peppers. So my salad ended up being huge! It could have fed two people.

Oh, and about lunch: I used up all the lime vinegarette in last night’s cabbage wraps and had no more limes to make more. I thought substituting bottled lime juice would have the same effect. It didn’t.

Word of advice: DON’T USE BOTTLED LEMON OR LIME JUICE IN PLACE OF FRESH SQUEEZED. It does not taste the same and it does not taste as good as fresh squeezed. I know lemons and limes are ridiculously expensive right now but it is sooo worth it, especially in salad dressings.

I had to go grocery shopping again before dinner. Since my husband works from early mornings to later at night, the only meal I have to prepare for him is dinner. However, when I did my initial grocery shop I forgot to take into account that I have to feed my husband too! That is why I have had to hit the store almost every day so far. He is also off for the next two days so I bought more supplies to accommodate him. I will have a running total for all of you at the end of each week.

Dinner was good. I roasted up some more chicken breasts (boneless, skinless because I wasn’t wrestling with chicken on the bone again, plus, I don’t like all the waste) alongside the fennel. I threw some more cauliflower in the oven since I burnt the florets last night that I was supposed to use in tomorrow’s breakfast.

My after supper snack was a joke. If you aren’t following along with the challenge from BuzzFeed, it was two dates and two almonds. You were supposed to stuff the almonds in the dates. F*%# that. I threw a handful of dates and almonds in a bowl and snacked on that while I caught up on work.

I have to say I felt really good today. I never really felt tired or worn down. I got lots of work accomplished, both my paid work and my house work. Although, I didn’t get much exercise or get my full 60 oz of water in. I have I say, though, my tummy is looking a little round with bloat and an unfortunate side effect of the challenge is my body trying to rid itself of poison in the form of noxious gas.

Seriously. And since having gone through childbirth, it’s not as easy to hold it in when the timing isn’t right. Like at the grocery store when there is a line up behind you in the check out. It’s even passing onto my son. His poops have gotten quite explosive and foul. I’ll leave you with that.

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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Day 3: Upping the Caloric Intake

Today’s menu can be found here.

Did you know breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day, I figure that is what is leaving me exhausted by 2:00pm everyday.

Since my main goal is gaining energy and since I need to take care of my sons needs first and foremost, I am going to up my caloric intake. I am still going to use the same recipes and menu plans but I’m going to eat more, if I want to.

For example: half a cup of hummus instead of quarter, the men’s recommended portion of protein instead of the woman’s, etc. But keeping conscious of salt intake and making clean, healthy food choices.

Unfortunately that didn’t start at breakfast. I did not even have enough Greek yogurt to make up a cup that was required in the blackberry almond parfait. (I had to run to the grocery store anyways to grab some Napa cabbage and limes for today’s lunch anyways, so I got to pick up more then.)

I think the recipe had a typo, as there was way too much ground flax seed. I think it should read two teaspoons not tablespoons. Here’s what my parfait looked like:

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As a new mom I did not have time to waste to make it all layered and pretty so excuse the mess I called breakfast. It tasted pretty good but very powdery with all the flax.

For lunch I used a whole breast of chicken rather than just a half and three tablespoons of the dressing (since I never used any for dinner last night) in my salad. By the way, if you are following along and are having trouble finding Tamari, it’s next to the soya sauce.

I think that being cooped up indoors when the weather is gloomy zaps ones energy. Today was a decent day and we got out for a walk. The cool breeze and the fresh air really re-energized me and there was so need for an afternoon nap.

The lemony, avocado snack I had after the walk left little to the imagination. I suppose given a tight time frame it’s a great option as it’s just a scooped out avocado with some lemon juice and salt and pepper. Since I didn’t use the quarter of an avocado in last nights dinner I ate the whole avocado. I still felt a little hungry so I ate some carrots and hummus to tide me over until dinner (not in the menu for today but clean and healthy, none the less).

Even before my roasted cauliflower and lentils are finished cooking I’ve decided to make the Napa cabbage wraps that were supposed to be from last night in addition to tonight’s supper. I’m not planning for dinners for two and I’ve stretched my cauliflower reserves so thin as it is that the cauliflower and lentils is more of a side dish than a main meal.

I don’t think I would make it again. Even as a side. The lentils are alright but the cauliflower is not my thing. The cabbage wraps are alright as well. I was right about my mango not being ripened enough and I ate all my avocado during my afternoon snack, so they were lacking in flavour a bit. I think I would substitute romain hearts next time instead of cabbage.

I was really looking forward to my night time snack: hot chocolate made with almond milk and shaved dark chocolate! It was just ok: needed more chocolate.

I must say I am starting to feel more energized today. After finally getting my son down for the night I actually got an hour and a half of uninterrupted work done! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring and I am looking forward to a hot breakfast for a change.

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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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