A pledge of allegiance to my body

Yesterday I had to weigh myself and prep a blog (set to be posted for tomorrow)

As part of our challenge, we are required to have progress check-ins and this one was to share our weight and waist measurements.

It left me ….. Unhappy, depressed and frustrated with myself and my body and saying some not so great things about myself.

I found this pledge today (noted below) and it seemed to come at a perfect time!

I think many people spend too much energy focusing on negatives about their bodies and their own self image. I know for me it is a daily stress and I am never happy.

It is time to change! It is time to get rid of all that negativity and embrace life and embrace ourselves no matter what point in our life journey we are at ! It’s time to know we ARE good enough. And for me, it just time to friggin accept me and love me!

So to all you people out there that question yourselves or your body image … You are amazing the way you are. Love yourself and find the positives in each and every day!
…….

I have decided that it is my desire and conscious CHOICE to walk through each step of this journey ahead of me by honoring and respecting the body given to me.

My Body Pledge of Allegiance:

Today, I vow to start loving my body – no matter how I am feeling, how I look, and wherever I am in my journey.

I promise to stop the self- criticism, negative self talk, and to be present in each moment to stop and acknowledge my negative thoughts, and how I am feeling. This will help me realize that almost everything my inner critic says is not true, and to change my beliefs.

I pledge to never again to participate in a barrage of bashing of myself. This includes picking myself apart when I make an error in judgment or a mistake – no matter how big or small.

I promise to begin treating my body with respect by feeding it what it needs, and taking care of it so it can function as efficiently as it can – no matter what my age.

I promise to recognize that I can only ask so much of my body, and that it deserves to sleep and rest in order to prepare for the next day, and I will honor by giving it at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

I promise not to consciously or unconsciously compare my body to others.

I promise not to be influenced by the media, or the fashion industry in what makes a woman beautiful, or the right size. I know that the media does not set the standards for beauty or my self esteem, and is there only to further their own agendas, and line their pocketbooks.

I vow that I will no longer let the scale or a certain size define me.

I promise to recognize that all body types can be beautiful – including mine.

I pledge to recognize my strengths, achievements, and attractiveness. I will affirm to myself every day that I am wonderful just as I am in that moment.

I promise not to criticize myself, punish myself, or feel guilty when I make a mistake. I am human, not perfect; I know that my mistakes are a way to help me learn, which then helps me become stronger.

I pledge to be true to myself and others because it is who I wish to be.

I promise to stand up, and speak up for myself and others when I hear something harmful or emotionally demeaning said. We all deserve the respect and love of others.

I vow that I will remember that I deserve to love myself right here and right now – in every moment.

Today, and every day from here forward, these are my choices!

Here is where I found the pledge: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5267578

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Holidays, a time to relax or a time to exercise?

Exercise or Relax?  In Hawaii… hmmmm?  Maybe a combo?

I knew in the back of my mind that the day we returned from holidays was the day I had to do my “official mid-way weigh in” for Kin’s Green Fighters… this stayed with me the entire trip – I couldn’t let it go.  My weight has constantly gone up for the past 6+ months and I’m not exactly enjoying that fact.  However I did NOT let it deter me from having a fantastic family holiday.

I did do active things on holiday… snorkelling, swimming, body surfing, walking, being conscious of what I ate (most of the time!), tennis, pickle ball…. it was a great holiday!  I even got to read TWO novels, I miss reading and it was awesome to have some quiet time to read. I did bring my purple exercise band… apparently rubber does deteriorate over time, because I broke the band and it snapped a good one on my foot! OUCH!

As for the weight thing… you will have to wait until Friday to get the dirt on that one (we can’t post until then)

I do know that I need to continue with my workouts at home, I will keep going to Hot Yoga and go on more walks… perhaps even a jog?  I haven’t been able to take a full stride without an excessive amount of pain for the past 8 months or so.  I finally had a CT scan just before we left for holidays & I’m hoping that this will give me some answers as to why I’m in so much pain.  I have sciatica, and I’ve dealt with that for 16 years, but this is even worse and it gets quite frustrating feeling limited to what I can do for exercise.  I know if I do anything that entails too much jumping, or longer strides (tennis, jogging etc) I pay for it later that day or I just can’t even do it at all because my body revolts.

So far Hot Yoga and weight training have saved me, when I’m able to be in control of what my body does I can usually modify to make it work.  My trainer offers alternatives to certain exercises if my back is really bothering me on a certain day as well.

And so, I do the best I can.  I stay conscious of what I eat and I try to keep up with exercise and being active as often as possible.

Now it’s back to reality.. a one day “break” and then we are off to the cabin to celebrate my oldest daughter’s 13th birthday.  She’s bringing 3 friends with her.  So it will be me and 6 kids…. wish me luck!

 

Challenge #4 – an Easter Fitness/Health Challenge

Easter and Health aren’t necessarily words you would put together… there’s chocolate, candy, more chocolate, large meals, hot cross buns … but all of that doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy Easter (and enjoy some chocolate! – 70% dark is my favourite!!)  All can be enjoyed… in moderation of course.

The challenge this week for us Kin’s GreenFighter’s is to share some tips on how to make this Easter a healthier one.

So here are my tips:

1.  a healthy and fun breakfast (bunny pancakes anyone?)  I’ve shared my pancake recipe below

2. a fitness inspired easter egg hunt.  We have sports themed eggs and fill them ourselves.

You don’t always need to fill these with candy! why not try some of these ideas:

      • miniature cars
      • silly putty / play dough
      • little jewelry
      • littlest pet shop animals
      • fun shaped erasers
      • Home made coupons i.e. “movie night with mum” or “a trip to the park” etc.
      • Bath beads
      • stickers
      • a loonie or twoonie
      • magnets
      • hair accesories

3. go on a different type of hunt…. a GEOCACHE HUNT … never heard of Geocaching? It’s a free outdoor treasure hunt.  You try to locate hidden containers using your smartphone or GPS… a fun family activity!

4. do an Easter inspired fitness circuit & break a sweat:

      • HOP
        • Plyometrics baby!! (Plyometrics is a series of explosive movementd:  jumping, bounding and hopping exercises they fire up your fitness level and will also help with coordination and agility)
        • jumping jacks
      • SKIP
        • grab that skipping rope!  it’s a great way to work up a sweat
      • JUMP
        • jump lunges
        • jumping jacks
        • burpees
        • skaters
    • My littlest one LOVES joining in on my workouts when I’m at home… create a “little kid friendly easter workout” 
        • hop like a bunny
        • roll like an easter egg (somersault)
        • bend down and pretend to pick a flower then hold it over your head
        • flap your arms and tweet like a chick

5. eat like a rabbit (wear your bunny ears!). you can usually find some fun easter dress-up ideas at your local dollar store.  Put on your bunny ears and see who can eat the most bunny food.

        • Snack on carrot sticks, celery etc. and dip them in hummus
        • fresh fruit salad
        • bunny trail mix (dried fruit, seeds, some pretzles and maybe a few jelly beans)
        • make a fun little salad (like my little cottage cheese bunny salad)

I hope you enjoyed these ideas!  And don’t forget to share what YOU will do to get in some extra fitness and some healthy foods this Easter!  I hope you all have a fabulous Easter.

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancake

(again, I tried to remember to write down what I used…. but sometimes I just “wing it”… sorry!)

I do use pancake mix in these so maybe they aren’t as “clean” as they could be but I figure with all the other good stuff in them (and the kids like them!) that for us it works!

half a banana mashed and some applesauce1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup steel cut porridge oats (Rogers) it has steel cut oats, oat bran, wheat bran, & flaxseed
1 cup pancake mix
2 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
2 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla that we brought back from mexico… couldn’t live without it! lol)
milk and water, as needed to the consistency you prefer

mix … cook on the griddle and Enjoy!  Top with some fresh berries and a little fresh whip cream…. yummm!

my crush on kale

I was rather dubious when I decided to try kale last year, I love spinach, I love cabbage, I love a variety of greens – but I had heard that kale was bitter.  However since it’s insanely good for you. (packed with Vitamins A & C, and is also rich in beta carotene, potassium, calcium, and phytonutrients that are believed to help fight cancer and repair cells) Kale is like the Hulk of cruciferous vegetables, bulging with nutrients and antioxidant properties… I figured I’d give it a go….. I love it!  I could eat it in every meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks!

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and has zero fat.
  • One cup of kale has only approximately 33 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium
Kale is high in Vitamin K.
  • Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Kale is high in iron 
  • Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more
Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants
Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food
 
Kale is high in Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
Kale is high in Vitamin C 
  • 17 times more Vitamin C than carrots and four times more than spinach
Kale is high in calcium
Kale boasts a relatively high protein content for the number of calories it contains. You won’t reach your daily protein needs eating kale, but when you’re running low every little bit counts
There’s more than one variety of Kale
  • Curly is the most common variety of kale and may even be found in mainstream supermarkets – I find this to taste better if softened by cooking, steaming, sautéing, adding to stir-fry or blending in my smoothie (delicious in a wintery type soup or stew)
  • Varieties of curly kale can range in color from a light green to a dark purple, though most common is a dark green leaf

Nero Kale | Lacinato Kale | Tuscan Kale | Black Palm | Dinosaur

  •  oblong shape and deep green bubbly leaves.   Grows in tall long stalks. For raw preparations, like salads, I much prefer Tuscan kale

Red Winter Kale | Red Russian Kale

  • resemble oak leaves with their soft sage color with red vining.  mild tasting and may have hints of sweetness

Today I made Kale Chips (these get devoured the second the kids see them)

START OF BY WASHING THE KALE AND DRYING IT

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SEPARATE THE LEAVES FROM THE STALK

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PUT ON A BAKING SHEET AND DRIZZLE WITH OLIVE OIL

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ADD SPICES (THIS TIME I USED PAPRIKA AND SEA SALT)

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POP INTO PREHEATED OVEN (350 degrees) FOR ABOUT 12-15 mins (until edges are browned & kale is crispy)

ENJOY!

kale chips

kale chips

Other ways to enjoy kale:  in a salad, in soups, sauteed with garlic, in a stir-fry,  blended into a smoothie, shredded onto pizza … so many options!

Everyday I’m Chauffeuring …….. (definitely not shuffling)

Yesterday I had a “day off” … the plan:

Morning

  • Make a fun breakfast for little E
  • Dishes
  • complete my upcoming 2 challenges for Kin’s GreenFighters (St. Patty’s day & Easter Challenges – as we are away on holiday)
  • Laundry
  • organize packing for holiday

Afternoon

  • Make lunch
  • Dishes
  • More Laundry
  • clean bathrooms & vacuum
  • older kids get home & then off to their hockey games

Evening

  • Finish up laundry & packing
  • more cleaning house
  • dinner
  • bed before 10pm (HA!)

************************************************************************************************************************

THE REALITY!

Morning started off somewhat as planned.  Dishes got done, I made a fun healthy pancake breakfast for E (albeit in a rush)  

E loves her special Easter Pancake

E loves her special Easter Pancake

…. (oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes, you will get the recipe at Easter!).  I started a load of laundry and sat down to do some blogging, while distractedly adding to my list of “what to pack”. And of course the odd distraction from the 2 year old (that never happens right?!).   I set up my couple projects for the Easter Blog and get ready to take photos….

  • She was too quiet!
  • She decided to “Help you packing Mum!” …. so I tidy up that messTWICE!…
    clean for 5 mins

    clean for 5 mins

    …..we recently got rid of her dresser as we are re-doing her room, and so her clothes are in boxes right now – easily accessible

  • “mum it raining out I need blella”  … I walk into living room she has changed her clothes (totally normal, when home she goes through 5 outfits a day!) she’s dressed herself (backwards) and is dancing with an umbrella

    I need a blella

    I need a blella

  • try to sit E down to watch a bit of a movie and distract her so I can get my housework/challenges done

    PLEASE sit & watch TV for more than 2 mins

    PLEASE sit & watch TV for more than 2 mins

  • Phone beeps it’s the familiar “text tone” for son:  “not enough drivers for field trip can you come to school”  His Gr. 10 Spanish class was to go to the local Mexican Restaurant as a field trip and speak only Spanish
    need drivers ASAP

    need drivers ASAP

    How do you say No?.. It would mean they couldn’t go on the field trip

  • dress E in some clothes fit for our rainy day

    rainy day in March

    rainy day in March

 

  • Go pick up students at school… WAIT … there really aren’t enough drivers……………. “mom can you make 2 trips?” ………………………. And so I do, drop off at restaurant, back to school, back to restaurant…
  • Okay well while I’m out I’ll pop by my Aunt & Uncle’s for a little visit.  E starts to fall asleep in the car. We arrive at Aunt & Uncle’s “I close my eyes I sleep mum”.  I have a quick visit on the front porch.  E is fast asleep in the car.

    I close my eyes and sleep mum

    I close my eyes and sleep mum

  • Arrive home.  Unload child, PRAY she stays asleep  – NOPE!
  • go for a  walk in the rain

    rainy day walk

    rainy day walk

  • get back home
  • Attempt to start up with blog where I left off

TEXT: “mom can u come back & pick up 1st group” 

  • back to restaurant – get kids, drop at school.
  • rush home – attempt to feed E lunch (LATE!)
  • throw more laundry on
  • dishes
  • finish blog

Oldest daughter “Mom I have hockey evals”… RIGHT! …… EAT…. QUICK!!!!

Son: I can get a ride home BUT can you drive me to ball hockey” (same time … different hockey rink, other part of town)

Thank god C was home from work  in time so I didn’t have to load little E into the car!  SUCH a relief! … a quick “HI” at the door as we pass by each other

  • Drive to daughters hockey
  • drop her off
  • take son to his hockey
  • turn around go get daughter
  • cancel yoga as I wasn’t going to make it in time

HOME!

  • dinner
  • dishes
  • finish writing packing list
  • start packing

A fairly normal busy day – things rarely go as planned.  I’m sure many of your households are like this as well!… it’s nothing new for families to be busy!

WHAT I LEARNED

I didn’t eat when I should have, I forgot to drink water until about 3:30, I let the TV babysit E for a while … I didn’t get exercise in, I didn’t get to bed by 10pm.  I won’t call this day a “failure”.  It wasn’t.  I DID have healthy food when I ate (few bites of E’s healthy pancake, a quinoa salad, turkey avocado lettuce wraps).  So that’s a bonus, this healthy eating challenge is really helping me not just “give in and give up” and reach for junk.  My son and his classmates were able to go on their field trip, I was able to have a quick visit with my Aunt & Uncle, I got SOME packing done, both kids got to their respective hockey rinks on time. I got my blogs done for the challenges.  So, instead of dwelling on the negative (yup I tend to do that!) I looked at the positives that happened.  No, it wasn’t a “perfect” day – but in reality, no day can possibly be.  There’s always something thrown in, and that is what makes life fun (okay and frustrating & hectic at times too!)  And so bring on the next challenging day, I’ve learned from this one and will be even more prepared next time (I hope!) 

OH NO……… She’s quiet again! …… signing off!

is it too early to have a glass of my favourite wine?

Satruna Island Family Winery

Satruna Island Family Winery

Green Meals for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the Saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.   Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Green is the colour of the day for many!  So why not have a green meal (or three)?  No, I don’t mean throwing green food colouring into your mashed potatoes (but you could mix in some yummy kale to make it green!).

Many people associate St. Patrick’s Day with Shamrocks, Leprechauns and Four Leaf Clovers and, of course, the colour green.  From what I remember, if you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day you are bound to get pinched!  So don some green, search for a four-leaf clover and try to catch a leprechaun.

And while you are at it…. share with me what YOUR green meal will be! …..

Challenge # 3 for us GreenFighters is to make a “unique green meal”… and so – here are my submissions:

Breakfast:  a green smoothie using green fruit and veggies (apple, kiwi, avocado, celery, kale)

Lunch: a deconstructed green salad with a variety of fruits and veggies (Kale, celery, green pepper, romaine lettuce, avocado, green apple, kiwi, honey dew, pumpkin seeds, cucumber, lime)

Dinner: spinach pasta, fresh basil pesto with sauteed kale and brussel sprouts

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
–Irish blessing

A healthy vacation…? is it possible?

A healthy vacation…. can that happen?   We will soon find out!  

As I’m madly running around the house attempting to pack, trying to complete (ahead of time) 2 weeks worth of challenges for Kin’s GreenFighters, juggle the kids’ hockey schedule, work schedule and my own attempts at getting regular exercise in this week…. I’m wondering if this whole “fitness / healthy eating regime” that I’ve stuck to so well over the past while will stay that way!

Vacation is for relaxing (well as relaxing as a 2 year old allows it to be!)  We go-go-go non-stop every day of the week when we are home.  So this is a very welcome change to our everyday lives.  Do I want to exercise?                                 Actually, YES… I DO!!! 

I will be packing my exercise bands… I intend to workout – but will it happen?  Instead of lifting weights, will I be lifting a pretty drink with an umbrella?

One thing I’m HUGELY thankful for, is that we are staying in a condo – this means I can control my own food intake and don’t have to rely on restaurant cooking.  Yay … too bad I can’t pack my Vitamix!

I will have to ensure that I get in some form of regular exercise while on holiday; swimming, going for a walk – maybe even hitting the gym at the condo?  Any suggestions ?

Maybe the fact that as soon as I get back from vacation I need to weigh in and measure my waist and submit it to the Kin’s Challenge…. YIKES!

Personally I actually detest weighing myself and having a number define me, I can go up and down by 6lbs in a day!  Anyone else like that?  I think the fit of my clothes, and the way I feel are better judges as to how I’m doing.  The weigh in is a requirement and I understand the concept behind it, however I don’t find weighing myself motivating at all – it has the opposite affect on me.  I avoid the scale at all costs!  So I will just keep up with what I’m doing, fitting in exercise and healthy eating.  I feel better, more energized – so this MUST mean I’m doing something right!?

Let’s see what happens…………..

update on week 2

I’m approximately 2 weeks into this challenge as a Kin’s Greenfighter with Kin’s Farm Market. I’ve learned that my keywords on this challenge are “plan & prep”. 

I can tell you that having this challenge hanging around my mind has, in a very positive way, helped increase the motivation and drive to improve on my health and fitness.  I’ve been making sure that I do some form of exercise for a minimum of 30 mins every day. Last week I was able to get in 4 one hour hot yoga sessions, 2- 45 min intense HIIT Training sessions and 2 walks over 5K.

Scheduling in exercise, just as if it were a Dr. appointment or such, and pre-planning my week of exercise has ensured that I can fit it all in. Even on the busiest day I’m making sure to take some “me” time. No more excuses!   Certain days it may just be a 40 min walk around the hockey rink neighbourhood while one of the older kids is at the rink getting ready to play, either way – I’m finding ways to make exercise happen! I’m feeling stronger and feeling that this new “habit” is going to stick. I love the energized feeling I get from working out!  Things are coming together!

Eating healthy has also been a big focus. Planning ahead for the week to come has really helped with making sure I’m not just going through a drive through, grabbing “whatever”, or making a frozen pizza. When I plan ahead I alleviate the stress of “what’s for dinner?!” (the biggest question of the day in our house!) and when I have a plan and my foods are prepped, it really doesn’t take much time at all to make a healthy meal. The other day when I was so tempted to run through a drive-through because I only had 30 mins between getting home from work & having to leave for the hockey rink, I quickly fired up the BBQ and bbq’d chicken, tomatoes and peppers. Having a lot of fruits and veggies on hand helps with healthy snacking as well!

All that being said, there is no way I could do this all on my own.  My family has been amazingly supportive.  The older kids have volunteered to watch the little one while I go work out & my partner always makes sure that I have time in the day to accomplish my fitness goals!  It’s a true team effort!  AND the healthy habits are rubbing off on the kids as well!  A complete WIN WIN situation!

 

Sneaky Sodium

Sneaky Sodium

I’m no nutritionist at all… so take all this with a grain of salt!

I know that certain individuals must keep track of sodium for specific health reasons. However until recently, I never really paid attention to sodium levels. I rarely ever salt any of the food/meals/soups I make so I figured I didn’t have to worry much about it. I started doing some reading, and after having some chats with my trainer/nutritionist I’ve learned how high many diets are in sodium!

It is estimated that Canadians one year of age and older eat an average of about 3400 mg/day of sodium. This is more than twice the recommended AI (Adequate Intake) of 1500 mg/day for individuals from 9 to 70 years.

Probably one of the main reasons people choose the foods they eat (over convenience and health) is flavour wouldn’t you say? An easy way to make food taste “good”? add Salt! Seems innocent enough doesn’t it? And a few salty foods probably won’t do you any harm, however I’m willing to bet that many individual’s diets are fairly laden with sodium, and they may not even realize it.

I’ve learned that not all foods that contain sodium have that salty taste. Did you know that celery is fairly high in sodium? approximately 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk – that actually surprised me!

When it comes to purchasing packaged foods, soups etc. it most definitely pays to read labels. I used to just glance at “serving size”, “# of calories”, “grams of fat” and that is all I would look at. There’s so much more to a label than just that! Even if a product says “no added salt” still read that label & the ingredients! Don’t fool yourself by thinking that the sodium content listed on a nutritional label is for the entire package. Before you blow your entire day’s worth of sodium, determine exactly what one serving equals

Look for the percent (%) daily value of sodium in the Nutrition Facts table on food packages and try to choose foods that contain 5% or less. In the ingredients list, watch for other forms of sodium under these names: monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda, baking powder, disodium phosphate and any compounds that have “sodium” in their name.

Excess sodium intake can be one of the culprits that leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to the risk of heart and kidney disease and stroke. Though it can’t prevent high blood pressure, cutting back on salt can help regulate hypertension. It seems that even people who are otherwise healthy should moderate their sodium intake.

Get Balanced

Try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times! I try to get in a good variety (i.e. don’t just reach for that banana or apple or carrot stick) Why not try something new this week? What will you try?

Some foods that tend to have high sodium:

• All prepared foods (such as pizza, Chinese food and Mexican food)
• Packaged foods
• Chips
• Pretzels
• Popcorn
• Cottage Cheese
• Bread
• Cereal
• Canned soups and vegetables, broths, gravies
• Soy Sauce / Salad Dressings
• Sun Dried tomatoes
• Frozen meals
• Cured and smoked meats
• Bacon ham and sausage
• Smoked fish
• Natural and processed cheeses

Surprise it’s Sodium

As we move into the spring and summer months, iced coffee drinks top the list of people’s favourites. But the 220 mg of sodium lurking in your 16 oz Coffee Frappucino® from Starbucks will all but quench your thirst. Instead, try getting their 16 oz Iced Coffee with milk, which clocks in at only 30 mg of sodium!

People normally avoid bagels because of their high-carb count and not the 500 mg of sodium. Keep in mind, that’s 500 mg of sodium for a plain bagel (no cream cheese)! Breads—in general—are pretty salty, but if you’re craving carbs, reach for an English muffin, which has only 180 mg of sodium

Ready-to-Eat Cereals They seem safe enough, right? But take a closer look. Some brands of raisin bran have up to 250 milligrams of sodium per cup!
Maybe make your own Raisin Bran with Bran Flakes and less sugary raisins… or mix half of your favourite cereal with half of a sodium-free choice. Look for low-sodium cereals.

Hold that Salt Shaker – don’t pass the salt

Taste your meal before you decide to add salt! Maybe it will take a bit of time for your taste buds to adjust, but just think of all those other wonderful flavours out there that salt masks.

• Use citrus juice, like lemon and lime, to brighten up the flavor of food.
• Add fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, thyme and rosemary to your foods/soups for a savory punch without added salt.
• Use plain yogurt and dill on potatoes or flavour them with a drizzle of olive oil and rosemary.
• Try a new spice – add it to your Quinoa or rice – curry? Tumeric? Lemongrass? … why not?
• Use onions, chives and garlic to add flavour to sautés, stir-fries and sauces.
• When in doubt GARLIC …. ohhh I love garlic!

Label Jargon
Here’s a cheat sheet:

“Sodium-free”indicates that a product contains less than 5 milligrams (mg) sodium per serving.
“Very low-sodium”indicates that a product contains 35 mg sodium or less per serving.
“Low-sodium”indicates that a product contains 140 mg sodium or less per serving.
• “Reduced sodium”or “less sodium” indicates that a product contains at least 25% less sodium than the standard version. Note: Some “reduced sodium” products are still very high in sodium, so you’ll need to check the actual sodium content on the Nutrition Facts Panel to see if it fits into your low-sodium diet. For example, “reduced sodium” canned soups, though considerably lower in salt than regular canned soups, can still contain almost 500 milligrams sodium per 1-cup serving.
“Light in sodium”indicates that the product contains at least 50% less sodium than the standard version. Note: Some “light in sodium” products are still very high in sodium, so you’ll need to check the actual sodium content on the Nutrition Facts Panel to see if it fits into your low-sodium diet. For example, “light” or “lite” soy sauce, though considerably lower in salt than regular soy sauce, still contains 500-600 mg sodium per tablespoon.
“Unsalted”or “no salt added” indicates that no sodium (salt) is added to the product during processing, but the product still contains the sodium that naturally occurs in the product’s ingredients.
• If a product is labeled as “healthy”, it must contain no more than 480 mg sodium for an individual food item (like a snack food), or no more than 600 mg for a meal or main dish (like a frozen dinner).

breakfast in a blender

If I don’t eat breakfast, then I’m not exactly the happiest person by mid-day (just ask my family!)   So I had to find something that I really enjoy, I’m not really a fan of a “sit-down-meal” in the morning.  I like something I can make and  eat (drink)  on-the-go.  I LOVE my smoothies .. about 90% of my breakfasts are smoothies.  This doesn’t mean that it’s the same smoothie every day though.  Variety is key! And you can even hide veggies in a smoothie if your kids (or you) aren’t a big fan.  I bet if you put a carrot and a handful of grape tomatoes and some spinach in with berries etc, you probably won’t even notice.  A little hint when it comes to veggies, if you put in a small amount of raw beet, the smoothie goes nice and pink (hide the green/brown look!)

I find that making sure there is protein in my smoothie means that I’m not ravenous by 10am as well.  So what do I put in my smoothie? A lot of that is dictated by what I happen to have in my fridge/freezer/pantry that week.  Now of course, smoothies can also become high in calories so I find that keeping a log in my myfitnesspal account can help me keep track.  Once you get the hang of making smoothies it can be quite fun to play around with the ingredients!  I’ve compiled a list of a few of the smoothies I enjoy (I’ve attempted to put in the amounts that I use).  As well I have made a little chart that you can mix and match, I try to get something from each column if possible.  I don’t often use honey/syrup etc, however find that some people need this to start out while adjusting their taste buds.

got questions?  comments?  ideas? I’d love to hear from you!

Pumpkin Pie smoothie

1-2 cups coconut milk (you could use any milk, I just prefer coconut)

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

1 frozen ripe banana

2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

spinach

maple syrup if this isn’t sweet enough for you

sometimes I add a bit of avocado

P-nutt Butter yumm

1-2 cups coconut milk

frozen ripe banana (doesn’t have to be frozen)

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 tbsp natural peanut butter

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

ice, if desired

Berrylicious

1/2 cup-1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

handful raw spinach

5 grape tomatos

1/2 carrot

1 small banana

½-1 cup frozen blueberries or any berries

1 tbsp. chia seeds or hemp hearts (you can also use flax seeds)

¼ – ½ an avocado

Tropical Smoothie

Approx. 2 cups frozen mango

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup cottage cheese

tbsp shredded coconut

1 carrot

1 tbsp chia seeds

Choco Monkey

1 small banana cut up and frozen

3/4c. coconut milk

1/2 scoop – 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 Tbsp. Flax seed can also add hemp seeds etc.

P-Nutt Choco

1 cup Coconut milk

1 tbsp Natural peanut butter

handful spinach or kale

scoop Chocolate protein powder (or 1 tbsp approx unsweetened coco if no protein powder)

Banana

Ice

Orange Mango Cream Smoothie

1 orange

Half cup of ripe mango

Half a banana

handful grape tomato

2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

**** Soak the chia seeds in some of the juice from the  orange  for 10 minute to let them swell and soften Put all ingredients in your blender Blend well until creamy.

Pina colada chia smoothie

Half banana

Half an orange, seeded, peeled and chopped

Half a cup pineapple cut small

a couple of slices of ripe mango

Half cup coconut milk

Half cup pure water

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Coconut spinach smoothie

 1 and 1/4 cup of coconut milk

2 tbsp of chia seeds or hemp hearts

1 cup of spinach

1 scoop vanilla protein powder if you wish (I don’t normally have vanilla on hand so dont’ use it)

some avocado

ice cubes

tropical smoothie

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup sliced kiwi

1 banana, cut up

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/4 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp. chia / flax or hemp seeds

Banan-a-vocado

1  banana

1/2 small-medium ripe avocado

1-2 cups of baby spinach

1/2 – 1 cup coconut milk (or whichever you like)

Ice if you wish

Date smoothie

2 dates

kale or  baby spinach

1/4 avocado

1/2 banana

1/2 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tbsp flaxseed

some lemon juice

water

Fruit Veggie Grain Protein spices/other
apple kale oats greek yogurt (low MF%) cinnamon
orange spinach oat bran your choice of milk (coconut, almond etc) fresh ginger
lemon carrot spelt nut butter pumpkin pie spice
berries grape tomato hemp hearts molasses
banana avocado flax seed honey
pear celery chia seeds (pre-soaked) maple syrup
grapes zucchini pumpkin seeds nutmeg
pineapple beet
peach
pumpkin
 pomegranate
cranberry

 

 

As some of you are aware I am currently in a 13 week competition to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society, as well bring awareness to increasing fitness and health in my daily life.  Should the CCS be something that you wish to make a donation towards, here is a link for my personal fundraising site.  Thank you  🙂  http://cancerevents.kintera.org/angiebunnell