Happy Eating!

100 days is a long frigging time….if you count it in meals it’s….. 300! THREE HUNDRED MEALS.  From scratch.  So I thought I would post some of the winners that keep me out of hot water.  Obviously I use the Well Fed cookbooks a LOT.  Well Fed mayo, all the Well Fed spice mixes (jerk, ras el hanout, sausage seasoning, sunrise spice).  I didn’t link to all of them because they are in the books and not all available online. Buy the books, you won’t be sad!  When I want something different than the Well Fed recipes I turn to the internet.  And Ye Olde Internet has been darned good to me!!  I’ve listed out some of my winners….things I’ve found that are in The Permanent Rotation.

http://robbwolf.com/2013/01/06/ultimate-paleo-chili/  in my ongoing quest to find a decent bean-free chili, this one comes close. Still not QUITE the same….but it’s close.

http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/11/11/crazy-good-barbecued-pulled-pork/ we fought each other for the leftovers of this one. Ridic! Next time I will buy an even larger pork shoulder.

http://everydaypaleo/smokey-roast/ this is a perfect one for the crockpot on a dreary Sunday. Put in at breakfast time, eat amaaaaazing meat at dinner. VERY good flavour

http://tarable.blogspot.ca/2013/03/paleo-shake-n-bake-chicken.html  excellent spice mix. I did with pre-ground cashews so I just mixed all together in a bowl, dredged chicken in egg and then in the mix. I’ve done this using pecans before (as is stated in the recipe) and I preferred the pecans to the cashews.  Although the cashews were more convenient being pre-ground…but they didn’t crisp in the oven.

http://againstallgrain.com/2012/05/03/paleo-fish-tacos/  just the fish, not the tortillas and can’t speak for the toppings

http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/07/21/sunshine-sauce/ I fry ground pork and when it’s done, drown it in a whole batch of this sauce and then put it over whatever veggies you have (peppers, cabbages, green beans/snow peas is a good combo) that have been sautéed w/ ginger, garlic, sesame oil & sesame seeds. Instant creamy, comfort stirfry

http://paleomg.com/leftovers-curry-meatballs/ next time I would bake the meatballs in advance and then just rewarm them in the sauce. It was delicious but the basically raw meatballs disintegrated when the sauce came. Serve over shredded & sautéed cabbage or cauli rice/mash

http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2013/05/diy-homemade-taco-seasoning.html I add about 1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder when I make the spice mix for the thickening effect. Taco meat over a regular baked potato and then topped with avocado (bonus points for making avocado CREAM) is insane!

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/03/08/indian-pineapple-cauliflower-rice/ this is my hands down, high five, no contest winner in cauli rice recipes. ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE.

The recipes written out below are ones that I found some variation of online in my travels but which I have edited to suite our tastes and which are SO regular in The Permanent Rotation that I have them memorized.


Pork Burgers (8 good sized patties)

2# ground pork
2 tsp Franks Red Hot
2 tsp (or more) fresh minced ginger (get a micro plane, your life will never be the same!)
2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh, whatever)
4 green onions, sliced
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
2 eggs


Chicken Burgers (6-8 patties)

2# ground chicken
2 tsp garlic powder
Handful cilantro
Handful garden chives
½ small can waterchestnuts chopped up
Drizzle sesame oil
As much ginger as you want (I use a LOT)


Avocado Cream Sauce (that you probably have all the ingredients for in your kitchen!)
1 ripe avocado
2-3 tbsp lime juice (or the juice fm a fresh lime)
2+ tbsp coconut milk
Handful fresh cilantro
½ – 1 tbsp garlic powder

Buzz all ingredients in a magic bullet or similar. If it’s too thick to adequately buzz, thin with extra coconut milk.  Should taste limey, garlicky, cilantroey and salty all at the same time.  Spoon over foods with reckless abandon!

If you are going to buy or are thinking about getting the Well Fed cookbooks, our favourites are: salmon burgers, Pina Colada Chicken, Coconut Almond Green Beans, Eggplant Strata, Scotch Eggs, mayo, sunshine sauce, best ever stir fry sauce, best ever chicken (although the brining I can take or leave, doesn’t seem to matter).


Weekend of Nothingness

Happy Monday!  Well……it’s not that happy.  I had a terrible sleep last night, nightmare and then couldn’t fall back asleep.  And I really needed some good sleep because Saturday night I slept like crap also.  Gr.  I’m a champion sleeper so when it goes sideways, I haven’t got a clue how to deal.  But…I will “act as if” it is a Happy Monday and see if I can bring this day back from the brink.

Friday night Ray went for dinner with his mom and I stayed home and had Fridge Scrapings for dinner.  I sautéed a can of oysters, added an egg and scrambled it into the oysters and then dumped the last cup of zucchini soup in the pan until it was all heated through.  Had it with some leftover cut veggies.  I don’t often have to do Fridge Scrapings but when I do, I can get creative! It was actually really delicious and creamy and comforting.  That said, I’m not running out to make it again, LOL!


Zuke soup w/ a can of oysters and an egg scrambled into it. Oddly satisfying.

Zuke soup w/ a can of oysters and an egg scrambled into it. Oddly satisfying.


Saturday morning I had my follow up bike training (finally!) with my new bike (now named “Captain Jack” instead of “Jezebel”).  I did alright with the training; uturns and tight circles and uturns up and down a steep hill.  It was pretty good and I feel a lot more confident riding. But when it was over and I was riding home I felt really awful…..like my head was all fogged up and I felt sick and achy and exhausted.  I think it was probably a result of a lot of mental and physical effort and a big adrenaline hangover.  It’s hard work manipulating 950# around at slow speeds in technical maneuvers!  When I got home Ray took me for lunch and then I went for a nap….which is totally abnormal for me these days but sorely needed right then!  The rest of Saturday I spent in my pajamas watching PVR and baking banana bread while Ray went riding with his son.

Speaking of banana bread, I tried Civilized Caveman’s banana bread because I’d heard awesome things about it.  It’s…….a bit wet…….and not very banana-y.  As it’s getting older it’s getting better….but I’ll stick with my recipe that I love.  Anyway….when the loaf didn’t come out of the pan all the way (didn’t let it cool long enough), I scraped up the bits, threw some raspberries on top and then a drizzle of coconut milk.  THAT was amazing!


Now THIS was delicious!

Now THIS was delicious!


I think we watched a movie Saturday night and then went to bed at 10.  Sunday morning I tried to sleep in but Gracie had other plans and sat on my head, pawed at my face and swatted me in the ass until I got up.  I stayed in pajamas and did my weekly food prep while Ray and his daughter took the dogs for a walk.  While I was cooking chicken bewbs, slicing veggies and baking yams, I also undertook to stuff a pork loin with Apple Walnut Cranberry stuffing…………..so easy, so delicious and rather impressive looking!


Here's the trussed up meat package.  Regular sized pork loin STUFFED with apples, walnuts and cranberries!

Here’s the trussed up meat package. Regular sized pork loin STUFFED with apples, walnuts and cranberries!



Held together awesome and tasted amazing!

Held together awesome and tasted amazing!


And now…..here we are on Monday morning.  The hubby is working a bunch of overtime this week so I’ll have some alone time.  It’s also the first official week of my Night Run training. I did a route on Friday with Gracie but it was too warm for her and she was suffering halfway through so it became a walk home.  To be honest I was suffering a little more than I thought I would also!  Today I’ll take her for a walk after work, get a snack and then go for the prescribed session.

It’s 12 days until I get 9 whole days off and I cannot wait!

Oh, The Food!

As the end of January approaches and I’m starting to tally up my goals, I thought it would be fun to see what we ate this month, here are some of the highlights!

Life of Pi-napple cauli rice topped with brussel sprouts and sliced chicken things, prebaked in paprika & garlic salt.

Life of Pi-napple cauli rice topped with brussel sprouts and sliced chicken thighs, prebaked in paprika & garlic salt. Drizzled with coconut milk

Caramelized shredded cabbage, wilted spinach topped with porkballs reheated in sunshine sauce.

Caramelized shredded cabbage, wilted spinach topped with porkballs reheated in sunshine sauce. Topped with a squeeze of fresh lime!

So many veggies!

So many veggies!

Shredded yam, cauli, peas & tomatos sautéed in garlic salt and topped with flash fried prawns.

Shredded yam, cauli, peas & tomatos sautéed in garlic salt and topped with flash fried prawns.

Spaghetti squash based mushroom & sausage quiche served beside sautéed cabbage & peppers seasoned with ginger, garlic & coconut aminos.

Spaghetti squash based mushroom & sausage quiche served beside sautéed cabbage & peppers seasoned with ginger, garlic & coconut aminos.

Life of Pi-napple Indian Cauli Rice (fm Stupid Easy Paleo) topped with WellFed Citrus Carnitas & avocado, drizzled with coconut milk.

Life of Pi-napple Indian Cauli Rice (fm Stupid Easy Paleo) topped with WellFed Citrus Carnitas & avocado, drizzled with coconut milk.

Chicken Thighs & Chorizo sausage cooked in a red wine reduction in a pan with lots of celery, carrots & potatoes.  Served with garlic-pecan & apple salad.

Chicken Thighs & Chorizo sausage cooked in a red wine reduction in a pan with lots of celery, carrots & potatoes. Served with garlic-pecan & apple salad.

Bananas coated in coconut and fried in coconut oil, topped with almond butter

Bananas coated in coconut and fried in coconut oil, topped with almond butter

Spaghetti squash based sausage & mushroom quiche.

Spaghetti squash based sausage & mushroom quiche.

Sautéed veggies & fried kolbassa sausage topped with Sunshine Sauce and scrambled eggs

Sautéed veggies topped with Sunshine Sauce and scrambled eggs

Mixed greens and chunked apple topped with WellFed "Best Chicken Ever" tossed in Morraccan Sauce & coconut milk.

Mixed greens and chunked apple topped with WellFed “Best Chicken Ever” tossed in Morraccan Sauce & coconut milk, sprinkled with toasted walnuts



Mixed greens topped with canned salmon and drizzled with a creamy vinaigrette.

Mixed greens topped with canned salmon and drizzled with a creamy vinaigrette.

WellFed "Roni's Cucumber Salad" topped with CabSav salt and served beside riced cauli (seasoned w/ Chinese 5 spice) topped with butter chicken

WellFed “Roni’s Cucumber Salad” topped with CabSav salt and served beside riced cauli (seasoned w/ Chinese 5 spice) topped with butter chicken

Wanted: Downtime

So my big plan of taking Gracie for a walk between 7 &8pm in the evenings fell through before it even got started.  Realistically, by the time dinner was over and cleaned up it was 7:05pm and I hadn’t even sat down yet, there was No Way I was taking my jammies off (which I put on the moment I come through the door after work) and going outside in the dark and the cold.  It’s possible that putting the pj’s on right after work is not a great idea for trying to get going, but I also need my own downtime.  Time when I am just sitting, not cooking or working or at the gym or cleaning or dog walking.  Just an hour to sit.  Scroll through Twitter.  Watch a show.  File my nails.

Fortunately when I got home I found that Gracie had been dog-napped earlier in the day and had spent a few hours off leash roaming around the Hatchery site with Kyle, doing what dogs do….so she wasn’t hurting for fresh air at all.  I think she’s going again today too.

I heard from Tara that she might be on board with joining the Century Life Ride goal, anyone else?  It’s totally do-able, approximately 2.5km per day between now and March 1st!  I’ve made a little chart that I’m going to use to track my progress.  It’s a little….er….rudimentary, but if anyone else wants to use it, let me know and I’ll send it along!  I’ve been telling people in real life about it as well….such that I am a competitive sort and don’t like any failure, let alone a public one.


In other news, I managed to serve two “hot plate” meals this week, various and random precooked and stir fried veggies with repeat meat (ie, same meat each time, just different seasoning) and Ray didn’t seem to catch on to what I was doing….so next week I’m going to do it again and try to serve it three times, it’s SO much easier for me and a departure from the “proper” meals that I have to dream up and cook.  Also, there are only so many ways to serve meat and vegetables, got to branch out a bit!

Still in food news, one of our new favourite things to do is take canned (or fresh if you want), pineapple, dice it up a bit smaller than it comes and throw that and sliced almonds into your cauli rice.  Last night was a frying pan full of riced cauli, a handful of shredded yam (thanks, food processor!), several large handfuls of fresh spinach, cooked carrots, celery & potato from the previous night and then I threw the pineapple and almonds in with it, a dash of coconut aminos and some garlic salt.  It turned out SO good and was ready in less than 7 minutes.   Then I let us each pick what we wanted for meat (we had the option of bora bora balls, citrus pork or cooked chicken thighs) and re-fried that in a separate pan with some coconut milk for moisture.

(on a side note, 16 days into January and I have cooked or prepared every single meal we’ve eaten….which is a little new to us, we typically eat at the pub around once a week, the diner on Sunday mornings and once out during the weekend for lunch…..that is a lot and this month’s “no eating out” rule is definitely saving us money and improving our health…..but I dreamed of a burger and fries from the pub last night…..it was so realistic that I had to ask myself if it had been real when I woke up!  I also dreamt of eating a bunch Pot of Gold chocolates….not sure what that means, exactly)  Aaaand….Ray doesn’t know it but this “no eating out” rule will be carrying over into at least the months of February and March.  😉

I am feeling a smidgen of a fraction of a percent better yesterday and today than I have in about 2 weeks….I wasn’t going to say anything because I’m scared to jinx it, LOL!  But….in the interest of being real…………..

Bad to Good

This weekend was a little….rocky.  Shit weather, bad sleeps, Ray was on call and got called out four times.  I need a pick me up…..so I’m going to do Bad to Good.


Bad:  Ray was on call and got called out at 4am on Saturday morning, 10am on Saturday morning, 4pm on Saturday and 7pm last night.

Good:  When he got home from the early one on Saturday, he woke me up and had brought coffees!  And I got to go with him to the one last night and see where he works and what he does.


Bad:  Crap weather all weekend, torrential rain and heavy winds.

Good:  Gracie and I lucked out and got an hour walk in the park during the only reprieve of the weekend.  We also got to have a fire, light the lantern & some candles and watch a feel good movie on TV.


Bad:  Still not feeling tops mentally and the increase in carbs (including higher ones, carrots, beets, squash) is making me feel sluggish and heavy.

Good:  I can see the mental and emotional “feel better” part on the horizon and my pants actually feel looser in the legs.  Go figure.


Bad:  So.  Much.  Cooking.  I was really not as organized as I should have been this weekend so I spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

Good:  We have a great variety of healthy “nearly ready” food to eat which means very little cooking for me this week.  Also, Ray may be coming around because he commented last night on just how long cooking takes and how little I sat down this weekend.  Acknowledgement is a nice start!


Bad:  I’m dealing with some Achilles Tendonitis (self diagnosed…but I’m usually pretty accurate). The treadmill sprints I’ve been doing along with some crappy shoes for dog walking are the likely cause.

Good:  It’s forcing me to sit down a couple times a day with an ice pack and do nothing. It also means that I’ve been forced to foam roll and I’ll be forced to add in some variety at the gym for another week and head for rowing and cycling instead of the treadmill. It’ll heal up in no time.

And, some things that are Just Good.

  • My skin and hair are really enjoying the cleaned up diet…and some natural skin scrub and conditioner!
  • Pumpkin Pudding.  Whole30 approved.  Needs one more test run and then I’ll post the recipe.  It’s quite good…and a nice way to get some extra carbs.
  • I actually have a To-Do list to work off of today, not that I am right now.  😉
  • I’m at work in a hoodie and yoga pants right now.  It doesn’t suck.
  • I’m looking forward to the gym tomorrow morning, I have new lifting & cardio logs.  I am a geek. I also have a new playlist, cannot wait to crank!

That’s about it.  Lunch in a few minutes…leftover cumin carrots, leftover cauli Confetti Rice and leftover Citrus Carnitas.  Hopefully the overpowering lemon flavor has chilled out a bit overnight!  I really want to love this recipe because it’s very cheap, makes a tonne and takes very little effort.  So, I’ll try it again in a couple weeks but with pineapple and orange juice instead of lemon and lime.  One thing that I have to say that I have been incredibly impressed with regarding the WellFed cookbook is how extremely accurate her methods are.  Obviously the food is delicious and varied….but her cooking methods are spot on.  Everything that I’ve made has cooked EXACTLY like she says it will……that does not happen to me very often.  I also feel like, after having read and worked through some of the book, that it’s making me a better cook overall.  When I’m making my own dishes or modifying other people’s recipes to suit myself, I feel like I’m doing a better job of seasoning and timing.  I was already fairly decent but now I just feel like I’m that much better at it. Nice bonus!

Brain Dump

I’ve been feeling a bit distant from my man over the last couple of weeks.  I’m starting to be resentful of his lack of appreciation for all the work and love that I put in for feeding us.  I try not to be because to him it’s just food….but to me it’s a manifestation of the love I have for both of us.  It doesn’t help that I have also been extra tired these last couple of weeks, getting back to a regular rhythm with the gym at 4am, extreme boredom at work, the first 5 day work week in a month, shitty weather, general January blues.  It all spins around and twists us up into a net of unhappiness and I’m ready for that to stop Right Now.

Here’s where I get a little snarky.  There’s a woman who works with Ray, I’ve met her, she’s not my bag.  She’s very loud and in your face and that doesn’t sit well with me.  Regardless, she’s probably a perfectly nice person.  But she’s opted to take some online nutrition course and if I have to hear One More Goddamn Thing that Deanna says about nutrition I’m going to start myself on fire.


Deanna says we should add fat to every meal.  (Oh, WHAAAAT?)

Deanna says two to three servings a day of whole grains is healthy.  (Ya, well she’s wrong.)

Deanna says we should be eating small meals every 2-3 hours.  (Ya, wrong again, have fun with your diabetes.)

Deanna says fdsaioaseo ru ewsa fda szpo  dfsjf (I stopped listening for preservation of my sanity)

This extra adds to my already fragile state of mind surrounding food and cooking right now.  I do not give a whit what some broad in his office decided to believe in and if he says one more time that “but she’s taking a course, it can’t be all wrong” I’m going to set him on fire.  It’s an internet course, more or less based on Conventional Wisdom.  I can take an internet course based on raw veganism, that doesn`t mean that it A) is right for everyone and B) is based in any actual science.

Anyway, I sent Raymond a text today saying that I was feeling that we’d been a bit distant with each other and that tonight after dinner I want to cuddle up on the same couch and listen to music and just be with each other.  It’s a thing we like to do and I think we need it extra right now.  Stupid January blues.

In other news, I did an awesome workout at the gym this morning, 25 Minute Treadmill HIIT and then a lower body weight routine; leg press, ham curls, calf press, squat press (I bonked myself in the head with the weight plate on the first rep of this one…d’oh!) and then abs and stretching.  I am going to replace my third gym workout this week with a 3.5 km run in Mundy Park on Saturday morning.  I kind of want to go to the gym tomorrow because today was pretty awesome…..but that’s an old trap and I can recognize it from a mile away.  It’s wanting everything to be fixed Right Now, it’s wanting to be “that person”, it’s scoffing at recovery.  And it’s not happening.  It’s an important step in my balance seeking to take a step back, know that I did a good job when I was supposed to be there and know that not going every day doesn’t undo all the good.  It’s also an important step in meeting myself where I am, not being so driven to get away from here as quickly as possible.  Where I am now, I am because of some pretty rough times and I have to respect whatever coping I had to do to come out the other side and still be standing.  Can’t be mad or upset about that, really.

And finally, if you’re a Well Fed cook, if you ever make Best Chicken Ever, here’s the ingredients for an AMAZING leftovers salad.


Cubed up Best Chicken

Roast garlic baby potatoes (I would do them the day before)

Put both of these in tinned foil packet and warm in the oven.  Not cooking it again, just warm it up. When it comes out, toss it with:

2 parts Morracan Sauce

1 part Mayo

Toast some walnuts just before you’re ready to take the chicken back out.

For one dinner salad:

Bed of lettuce

Put chicken mixture in the centre and surround it with:

Half an apple, chopped

1 Baby cucumber, sliced

Handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Warm walnuts

Drizzle with Sunshine Sauce thinned with coconut milk and a teeeeeny bit of hot water.  I probably would have topped it with some avocado if I’d had any.

I was stuffed to the gills when I was finished!


That’s it, there’s my brain dump.  A snarky rant, a bit of self-affirmation and a recipe.  Pretty much the contents of my brain on most days.

Things I Love – Tuesday

Morning!  I have a new post up on 90 Seconds of Real; four of us post there daily, short videos (less than 2 minutes) encompassing anything from cooking, nutrition, weight loss, exercise, dealing with depression/anxiety, Whole30 or whatever we’re feeling or dealing with at the moment while trying to live balanced, healthy lives.  If you think you can relate, we’d love to see you over there, take a look around (the About tab tells about each of our backgrounds) & watch a couple videos.  Click the “FOLLOW” link in the top right corner to join our little community!


This morning I was at the gym and did mile-row-mile (run a mile as quick as you can, get off and row 2000 meters and then run another mile….supposed to be for time, I usually am just happy if I don’t puke).  At 0.6 of my second mile I realized I’d taken in too much water after my row and I felt like I was going to be sick.  Since my current feeling is that I do a little every day and build on it, I stopped at 0.6 for the second mile and went to the weight room instead.  There I did assisted pullups, straight arm lat pulldowns, shoulder press, dumbbell flys, chest press, abs and stretching.  There were two other women in the area as well working on different programs and I took a minute to watch each of them and appreciate how we were all doing something different.  I was doing some fairly traditional exercises, another woman was doing some more advanced full body work and then the third woman was….well….flopping about like a landed fish, really….but she was super lean and fit so whatever she’s doing obviously is working for her.    None of our workouts looked like they’d particularly been designed by anyone and that got me to thinking that we all just do the best we can with what we have.  We read and research, assess ourselves and our goals and then try to do the things that will be effective with all of that in mind.  Really levels the playing field, doesn’t it!  It was also nice to see lots of new faces in the gym this morning, women that are trying to push themselves forward, shed weight and baggage and create something for themselves that is better and healthier.  So nice to see!


When it was epically hard to get out of bed this morning I reminded myself that A) you can’t move forward if you don’t take a step and B) the large amount of work that I do and money & time that I spend feeding us as well as I do…well….I sort of felt like that was a wasted effort if I don’t get to the gym. It’s a package deal for maximum success.


So…moving on, I went to the Dr last night after work, had no wait to see her (yay!) and had a nice little chat with her.  I told her about my iron issues and she’s giving me the iron panel again but adding in a B12 test for pernicious anemia as well as a test for celiac.  I do NOT think that I have celiac disease but it’s the number one cause of poor iron absorption so it makes sense to test for it.  In doing my own research I also think I would benefit from taking a Vitamin C supplement with my iron supplement as C assists with absorption of the iron.  Now I just have to find time to pop in and get my blood drawn.


When I got home last night I finished the process of making Well Fed “Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat”.  It was…..alright.  The seasoning mix and the morrocan dipping sauce was great but I found there was absolutely no difference between brined and unbrined meat.  It was a little dry and definitely benefitted from the sauce as well as a little drizzle of WellFed mayo.  It’s possible that since I brined on Saturday and then let it sit in the fridge that it wasn’t as good as it could have been….but she says right in the book that you can brine and then store raw for 2-3 days.  The seasonings & cooking method were definite winners but since this was a brining test for future turkey brining, it wasn’t a winner.  I will try it again though on a day when I can cook the chicken immediately after the brining process is complete.


Well Fed – “Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat”

Tonight I’m going to turn my car over to the body shop for repair for a few days (courtesy car) and then go home, put the stew on the stove to heat up and take Gracie for a walk in the rain.  I have my new snazzy coveralls that Ray bought me for Christmas, they are reflective, waterproof, windproof and flame retardant.  With the addition of polar fleece tights underneath, they are roasty-toasty and I love them!  I may consider wearing them for the “Chilly Chase” run on January 26!


I think that’s all for me today, this blog post originally started out as Things I Love Tuesday….but sort of went another direction!  In order that the title doesn’t make zero sense, here are some things that I love right now:

Ginger Citrus Body Butter by Arbonne.  I actually won this, I never would have purchase it myself.  My legs and arms are so silky soft and it doesn't stay "wet" so you can easily get dressed after applying.  Has a gentle fragrance also.

Ginger Citrus Body Butter by Arbonne. I actually won this, I never would have purchase it myself. My legs and arms are so silky soft and it doesn’t stay “wet” so you can easily get dressed after applying. Has a gentle fragrance also.

The now-obsolete Gingerbread Rooibos tea from David's Tea.  I bought two large cans of it in clearance because I can't imagine not having it!

The now-obsolete Gingerbread Rooibos tea from David’s Tea. I bought two large cans of it in clearance because I can’t imagine not having it!

My Libre tea thermos and I do not spend any time apart.  It's self straining through the lid so you just drop your leaves in, add water and go!  Absolutely love it!

My Libre tea thermos and I do not spend any time apart. It’s self straining through the lid so you just drop your leaves in, add water and go! Absolutely love it!

Elements Botanicals sugar scrub....I use it on my face a couple times a week and my skin is So Soft!

Elements Botanicals sugar scrub….I use it on my face a couple times a week and my skin is So Soft!

They say you're supposed to black out your sleeping environment completely. I can't do that for various reasons so I have this...and I LOVE IT! I've been sleeping solidly every night since December 25th!

They say you’re supposed to black out your sleeping environment completely. I can’t do that for various reasons so I have this…and I LOVE IT! I’ve been sleeping solidly every night since December 25th!


Trust The Process

As I was starting to write this blog I got a text from my sister and we discussed pounds lost.  I told her that I didn’t weight myself before my  Jan 1 Cleanup but that I have an end of January goal that I’m working towards and I’ll weigh find out if I met it on February 1st.  Once again I got to thinking about the scale and whether or not what I’m doing is enough to meet the goal that I have and then my inner voice started getting all manic and panicky.  The fact is, once again (and forever) that if I am eating clean and well and getting exercise in an amount that fits within my life and takes a reasonable amount of effort to achieve, then I can’t worry about the results.  What if eating a clean diet in a proper amount and getting the right amount and kind of exercise doesn’t get me to where I want to be?

Two choices:

A) attempt calorie cutting and more/longer exercise

B) accept that it is what it is, I am where I am and I’ll get where I need to be eventually.

I choose (B) for sanity, reasonability, truth and because it’s the only option for having a life and creating a better life at the same time.


So…..my huge plan of things that I was going to do this weekend?  All got done!  I cleaned the fridge downstairs, went to Gourmet Warehouse with my sister & Andrea, made ceviche, cinnamon beef stew, turkey soup, roasted spaghetti squash, best chicken ever, coffee rub chicken, butternut squash pan fries, breakfast veggies, sunshine sauce, Moroccan sauce & mayo (twice because one flopped).  I also washed all the bedding (ours, guest and dog), went to the mall for tea and vitamins and walk/jogged 6km (3k twice) in the sun.  I actually feel really good about the weekend and more rested and recharged than I do when we just sit about all weekend.  Of note though, I kept to a planned timetable because there are certain parts of the weekend where, if I’m not sitting relaxing, I feel resentful.  So most of my chores above got done by 4pm on Saturday.  All that was left for Sunday was the mall, one load of laundry and a walk/jog in the forest.


If you haven’t seen them already, go back a couple posts on my blog and check out the Frost Flowers.  Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve had the fortune of seeing in a very long time….and exceedingly rare so I feel pretty lucky!


I’ll leave you with a few pictures from this weekend.  I got to work early this morning since I have a dr appt after work….still trying to figure out why I can’t get my iron levels up and why I feel So Tired much of the time.   My guess is a low B12 count which inhibits the body’s ability to absorb iron….and which can be hereditary and my Grampa has.  I take a fairly aggressive iron supplement every day and still can’t get it into a good range.  I’m not really worried about it but I would like to solve the issue once and for all!

photo 2

Couldn’t figure out why Gracie kept covering herself up on the sofa….until we realized that somehow we accidentally turned the furnace off…for two days. LOL!


A Frost Flower!

photo 3

My first kitchen injury in YEARS! Friday night when I was trying to make dinner…..the knife glanced off the cauliflower and straight into my thumb. It ended up being not nearly as bad as first thought, thank heavens!

photo 1

Starting at the top, coffee-rub chicken & butternut squash pan fries; Turkey soup (SO good); sunshine sauce, Moroccan sauce, chicken rub (and mayo, not shown); ceviche; breakfast veggies; cinnamon beef stew. And….my belt of groceries on Friday night!

 And….if you haven’t already, please go and check out our new project, 90 Seconds of Real, where four of us alternate posting 90 second daily videos encompassing pretty much anything to do with trying to live a balanced, healthy life amidst this modern culture that wants nothing more than to make us all overweight, unhealthy and sedentary.  I’m blessed to be joined in the project with three other intelligent, beautiful and well-spoken women, go check us out!


I know you’re not supposed to wish your life away, but this has been a very strange few weeks for routine and I just want to get next week over with because I think it’s going to be a rough one….first 5 day work week in a month, a doctor’s appointment, the hassle of sending my car in for a week of body work….you know, all the things that make a busy life just that much more difficult.

I had a gym fail this morning when, last night, I didn’t turn the switch on my alarm clock to my secondary wake-time.  So…I choose to be happy that I got an extra 2 hours of sleep rather than be mad at myself that I missed out on the gym.  I have a bank appointment after work today to sort out the transfer of all my pension funds from the company I just left to….I don’t know where….hopefully the guy at the bank can help.  And….I have no plans for our dinner tonight.  I don’t normally cook on Fridays but since I put the boots to eating out this month, I guess when I get home I’ll have to figure something out.

Tomorrow Ray’s daughter and I are heading to Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver, her first trip, one of my many.  I need whole cumin and coriander seeds as well as rosemary and I am hard pressed to buy grocery store spices anymore…not when, with a 15 minute drive, I can get exceptional quality and decent cost.  Plus, that store is an emporium of what is possible if you like to cook.


About a quarter of the paradise that is Gourmet Warehouse

I’m stopping for groceries tonight after work and I’ve already hit Costco because tomorrow after the Gourmet Warehouse trip I’m going to do my cooking day.  I wouldn’t normally do it on a Saturday but instead of feeling resentful about having to spend 3 hours in the kitchen cooking, I’m going to embrace it and turn the tunes on and make it my own time.  I’ll be making:  turkey soup (w/ homemade stock), ceviche, best chicken ever (wellfed), cinnamon beef stew (wellfed) and then the standard egg boiling, veggie chopping/grating and maybe a big batch of sausage making.  By the time I’m done we should have a fridge FULL of food for next week.  Speaking of a full fridge…we actually have two.  One upstairs and an older one downstairs that gets random crap chucked into it.  I am going to be taking my bucket of bleach and detergent down there tonight and doing a good clean on it, throwing out all the condiments that have been in there since before Ray and I got together 6 years ago and then using it properly to store my weekly pre-cook.  Our fridge upstairs will then be used for breakfast ingredients (eggs, chopped veg), milk, regular condiments and our lunches that I pack the night before.  Right now I can barely get our lunches into the fridge at the end of the day, it’s ridiculous.  I’m going to put a small whiteboard somewhere in the kitchen and that will have our weekly menu on it and the contents of the precook downstairs.  I have to find a way to be more organized and prepared and to make food preparation take less time this year if I ever want to get anything else done.

On a positive note, as we drifted out of 2013, we did so with Ray having adopted all of our laundry duties.  He now has a job where he has to be well-pressed and spiffy and that means that the weekly wash up has become a priority for him. His “spiffy” requirements came at the same time as my “wear whatever” happened and the laundry became much less important to me.  He quietly adopted the weekend loads and even goes so far as to deposit my folded laundry on my dresser every Sunday afternoon.  I absolutely love it.  He’s also declared that when I’m in my weekly pre-cook, that he will do housework for the same duration as I’m cooking….so the vacumming, bathrooms, mopping etc is getting done much more regularly.  All good things that we will continue to cultivate in 2014!

So, after the fridge blitz tonight and the cooking blitz tomorrow, I’m planning a looong sit down on Saturday night (maybe with a glass of wine).  Then on Sunday I’ll be doing a big tidy of all the remnants that we haven’t gotten around to from Christmas….washing the table cloths, putting the empty gift bags away, washing all the bedding (dog, guest and ours), finding homes for new gifts.  I want to go to the gym on the weekend at some point to make up for today but I feel like my weekend is already going to be full and busy and I’d rather get (to quote Tara) “my house in order”.  We’ve given ourselves until next weekend to get the Christmas decorations down and put away.  I wanted to do it this weekend but the Christmas tree is not bothering anyone and there are other things that need to get done first.

Going forward into January I want to get my side garden plot measured out and drawn up and start planning where and what I’m going to plant.  We’re going to need to buy supplies to build the raised beds and fill them with soil so I need to get a supplies list for Ray as well as figure out what I can start as seeds, when and how much.  I’m really hoping my Home Farm this year does well, I have high hopes and big plans for it!  One whole bed is going to be herbs and then there will be beds with beans, kale, baby cukes, tomatoes, beets, carrots, lettuce, radishes and maybe peppers, depending on how much room I have.  I also have my blueberry bushes and my raspberry plant from last year, hoping that they survive the winter since I only “kinda-sorta” winterized them.

That’s it for me today, it’s quite bright and sunny outside which must be, at least in part, helping foster my mood of “doing”.  I’ll take it!

I wish you all a productive and relaxing weekend!


Thing #1 ~ as thrilled as I am for the winner of Biggest L*ser, and I am, she’s managed a huge feat in a short time and she should be impressed with herself, I think it is highly inappropriate for her to be dispensing health, fitness, wellness or nutrition advice on her Twitter account.  I know that a lot of us do the same thing on our blogs and when we get asked questions in person or on social media.  I just think…..I would rather get my nutrition and fitness advice from someone who actually went through it legitimately and with real life and real troubles and in real time.  How can you preach that “if I can do it anyone can do it” when you didn’t really DO it the way the rest of the world would have to.  It just bugs me. 

Thing #2 ~ I feel like I need to determine how many carbs I’m eating.  I don’t know why I want to know this, it’s just been bugging me lately.  I haven’t weighed myself nor do I plan to so it’s not like knowing this would help me plan different meals.  In fact even knowing it I’m not so sure I would change how I eat/cook.  I just want to know.  I will try to find out this weekend, any tips on a good “counting” app?

Thing #3 ~ I need to go shopping.  The weather is starting to improve and I am almost positive that none of my summer capris and work pants from last year will fit this year.  Because…..I have muscular, monster thighs.  They are lean and I can actually see where each muscle starts and stops….but that doesn’t make them fit into pants any better.  I’m thinking it’s going to be a skirt year.  Also, I need a haircut.

Thing #4 ~ Easter is coming and I have this feeling like if I don’t give myself just one more dark Lindt bunny I’m going to feel totally ripped off and deprived.  I’ve only had one small bunny this year and I feel like there may be room in my life for one more.

Thing #5 (and #6) ~ I have found and made two very kickass recipes in the last couple of weeks!  There are SO many recipes online that are paleo, primal or grain free friendly….and honestly……well……lots of them can’t really be considered “recipes” (cooked meat and a veggie side dish isn’t a recipe) and the rest of them are either kind of bland/dull or so insanely complicated/intense that I would never even contemplate them.  The two that I found recently though?  BIG HITS!  They are both now in the regular rotation.  They are both so good that instead of choosing one for lunch over the other….I brought them both!

Up first was a winner from Juli at PaleOMG (as if she would produce anything BUT a winner!).  Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta


Absolutely delicious, fairly simple to make (I made the pesto portion the day before and then roasted the spaghetti squash that morning so the prep at mealtime was quite short).  My recommendation on this one is to use as much basil as you can lay your hands on!

The other recipe was a delicious sausage and sweet potato stew


I made a couple personal revisions while making this one; one was the use of a combo of chicken and veggie broth instead of water for the liquid..since I had open containers of both that needed using.  Also I added a teeny bit of cayenne and a dump of paprika…to counterbalance the overly sweet flavor of the honey-garlic sausages from Coscto.  The recipe was so good, hearty and wholesome!  It makes quite a bit….and it’s all gone now.  😉

And now a couple of questions about recipe etiquette.

  • If you find a recipe online, do you repost it on your blog?  If you do, do you link back to wherever it is that you found it?
  • If you find a recipe online and modify it, do you now consider it “yours” and post as an original creation?

And on a totally different note, what is your definition of healthy? 

I’ll answer my own questions.  First, if you’re going to post a recipe, LINK BACK to whomever you got it from, preferably the original source.  I also think, even though you’re linking back, that copying and pasting the entire recipe is not OK.  Oftentimes when people post an original recipe on their blog they write the ingredients and method with a big dose of their own personality.  Anything outside of copying the just the ingredients and basic method is plagiarism!  You can and should borrow someone’s recipe, that’s what they are there for.  You should NOT steal their personality in the process.

Second, I think most people make minor revisions to a recipe.  Providing that you maintained the bulk of the integrity of the recipe, the originating poster should be linked to.  Even as I did above with the stew, adding some paprika and subbing broth for water, the basic recipe that she came up with is still hers.  I still made what she created.  Pretending that I ‘created’ anything just because of a couple minor subs that I made would be ludicrous and incredibly misleading.

As far as the term “Healthy”, I hear comments and see commercials and advertisements all the time touting things as “healthy”.  As far as I’m concerned, much of the time I think that companies using that word are using it as a buzzword to increase sales and push people towards what they are selling.  For me, “healthy” refers to anything that is either not processed at all (meat, veg, fruit) or is minimally processed (eg, olive oil, butter).  If it doesn’t require an ingredient list and either grows or roams out in the world, it’s good in my book!  “Healthy” is not a buzzword, it’s something we should all strive toward….and no package of cookies is going to get you there!

Happy Easter to all!  Tomorrow is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL so Ray’s decided that we’re going to insure both motorcycles for the day and go riding.  I’m nervous and excited all at the same time.  Two summers ago I put 30,000km (18,750 miles) on my bike….last year 1,050km (635 miles) so I’m pretty sure I’ll be back to “beginner” starting out this season.  I’ll agree to this motorcycling thing…..as long as it takes me past a chocolate bunny store!  Not “healthy” but definitely required!