Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Swirlin’ And Whirlin’

Hey Friends

Another recipe droppin in on ya real quick. I mentioned in my last recipe post (my Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Pronuts) that I brought in two batches of goodies to the gym last week, the pronuts and one batch of a lil something something that I didn’t share.

I just wanted some mystery mmmkkay?

I’m sure you were just dying to know right? Right?? :-P

Anyways, so I saved a whole bunch of nanners from the dumpster of doom at work because apparently the second a banana starts to look too brown, it’s too unappealing to buy…

I truly don’t see how everyone else can’t look at these brownin lil guys as a world of possibilities like I do, but hey, maybe I’m just weird.

Almost dead looking bananas have so many potential uses!

Of course you have your traditional use

I would reduce the sugar in this bread as I think it would be sweet enough with a lil bit of Stevia only.

Banana Bread thanks to Yammie’s Glutenfreedom.  For a Paleo version, check this recipe out. For the Paleo version, I would sub apple sauce or butternut squash puree for 1/2-3/4 of the butter and use coconut oil or coconut butter for the rest.

But what other cool things can you use them up in?

ICCCEEE CREEAAM. Eddie Murphy voice anyone? Two Peas And Their Pod mixed probably two of the best ingredients together into this yummy, simple and light treat. Peanut Butter and banana.

Pancakes. These Paleo cakes are from the Paleo Plan and are a version of the simple, few ingredient banana pancake recipes that are constantly floating around. For a version that has a bit more protein, try my take on the 3-ingredient pancake.

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com #paleo #dairyfree

Chia Seed Pudding. Steph, It really is stupidly easy aaaannd Paleo. Great job on shining a light on a snack that is guilt free, sweet and full of hearty and healthy fats. :-D

This is just a short list! So many uses.

So for those who don’t like nanners

Who are you?!?

Just kidding…Kinda. :-P

So what did I end up making with my deathly looking nanners?

Banana Bread.

I know, I know, boring right?

Why, when she just talked about all these cool uses did she make the most unoriginal thing you ask?

Well because I wanted to.

No, but really I had this idea in my mind that I wanted to bring to life and well they kinda looked portrayed that image. You know those beautifully swirled or marbled banana bread recipes you always see? Well that’s what I had in mind, BUT then I went and made it a swirl toppin rather than marbled all the way through AND THEN I went and used carob instead of chocolate AND THEN I made them into bars instead of a loaf because bars are more user friendly.

20140827-214418-78258580.jpgOh and I added some peanut flour for some protein and lil nuttiness cuz you can’t go wrong with anything peanutty.

So there. Creativity.

:-D

Not as pretty as I wanted because I’m no swirlin and whirlin expert but hey, for a total experiment, they turned out well and everyone at the Pulse (my gym) gave me good reviews on them.

Score one for the nanner bars!

It was an interesting lil process that I will showcase in film following the recipe. So here she is.

20140827-214419-78259222.jpg

Carob Swirl Banana Bread Bars

Makes 9 large bars.

Macros: Cals: 180 Carbs: 22 Fat: 8 Pro: 8 Sugar: 6 Fiber: 5

In a large bowl combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats kept whole
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Stevia packets (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

In a second, smaller bowl, combine the following wet ingredients:

  • 300g very ripe banana, mashed (reserve 9 slices for a topping if you wish)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + a few tbsp reserved for topping
  • 4 tbsp chunky natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain, 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

You will also need 1 tbsp of unsweetened carob powder and 2 tbsp (30g) of peanut flour or PB2 but don’t mix those in yet.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of your dry ingredients and ensure there are no lumps. In your other bowl, mash your banana and whisk in your egg. Combine the rest of the wet ingredients into that bowl. Fold your wet into your dry. Take a few tbsp of your batter (about 3-4 heaped tbsp) and mix that with your carob powder in a separate bowl. If that batter becomes too dry, add a tbsp of almond milk. Add your 30g of peanut flour to the rest of your batter along with a few tbsp of almond milk.

Pour your larger quantity of batter (the peanut flour one) into a sprayed square tin or glass dish. Or be cool like me and use a non stick rubber thingy.

20140828-211452-76492898.jpgBlob your carob mixture in various areas on top of the peanut mixture.

20140828-211450-76490823.jpgThen take a knife or toothpick and use it to swirl and whirl the carob mixture in with the peanut mixture to marble the top.

20140828-211451-76491794.jpgPlace your reserved sliced nanners in the middle of each *invisible* ninth of the bread.

20140828-211450-76490071.jpgThen toss’er in the oven and bake until the top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the bars. Sorry I threw out my sticky with the time on it but these took at least 30 minutes BUT keep an eye on it as I find different dishes bake slower vs faster.

20140827-214420-78260930.jpgWhen it’s done, remove from the oven and leave it in the tin to completely cool before ploppin it on a plate to divvy up into your 9 bars.

20140827-214420-78260326.jpgAnd enjoy these massive bars!

20140827-214419-78259743.jpgFeel free to add your own touch with walnuts or even some carob or chocolate chips. Also, if you don’t have carob powder (it’s a dairy and caffeine free alternative to chocolate), feel free to use unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder instead. Just ensure to adjust the sweetness as carob is naturally much sweeter.

I hope you like them if you make them. Tell me about them if you do! :-D

What’s your go to use for almost dead nanners?

Most random banana recipe?

-Chelsea


38 Comments

When Raisins Get Kicked To the Curb…

…This ones for you Deanster

Hey Friends! Quick lil recipe for ya after these babies were requested numerous times by the aforementioned professional spotter, Dean, after I had brought them into the gym for everyone for the first time about a month ago. Now, that may not mean much to you guys, but it was a shocker for me…

Why?

Let me tell you a quick lil story

You see there once was a man who would do anything for an oatmeal raisin cookie

While everyone else is all like…

Dean was all like…

The man just adored his raisins. They were his thing. His indulgence. His crack.

So, every 2 weeks or so when I brought in a batch of my health-ified homemade goodies to the gym for everyone, I catered to his addiction half the time by making him some version of oatmeal raisin something. Whether that was muffins, pronuts or those skillet cookies everyone loved so much, he always started off his gym session with a belly full of raisins.

Rule Breaker Alert! No eating the gym Dean…Pshh and you work there. :-P

That was up until I got my new Cellucor Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Whey and made a batch of these to bring to the gym…

20140823-214530-78330122.jpgThen he was all like

What’s a Raisin?

It’s okay Mr. Raisin, he will come back….

Or maybe he won’t

Story Time Done.

Now onto that recipe!

20140823-214530-78330845.jpgYou have seen my pronuts before so these shouldn’t be a shocker to you but there were just too damn good to not share. The 1/2 batch I brought in (as I also brought in another recipe which I will post up later) disappeared in about 30 minutes and this is at 7:30am…Toot toot. :-D

20140823-214532-78332783.jpgTo be honest though, I think I have to give Cellucor the credit for the amazing taste of these completely healthy, protein packed doughnuts because that flavour of whey is actually mouthgasmic.

Yes. Mouthgasmic!

You would understand if you try it!

20140823-214533-78333152.jpgBig and fluffy, these pronuts were packed with raspberry flavour not only from the whey but also from the fresh raspberries that burst in them while they were baking up in the oven.

Nice and tangy…Or you could even go as far as saying zingy.

Zingy. A nice switch up from your normal sweet treats.

20140823-214529-78329478.jpgBeauties.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Pronuts.

Makes 6 large doughnuts.

Macros: Calories: 129, Carbohydrates:16g Fat:3g Protein:9g Sugar:2g Fiber:5g

In a large bowl combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats that have been blended into a flour
  • 1 scoop Cellucor Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Whey (or chocolate protein powder)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 3 packets of Stevia (more of less to your tastes)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Crack of pink Himalayan salt
  • Fresh raspberries (I used about 85 grams worth)

In a smaller bowl, combine the following wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of plain 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg whites (or 1 whole egg, macros will change slightly)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut butter (I used Artisana, you can use another nut butter if you like or sub for a tbsp of coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small cup, combine you almond milk and vinegar and set aside to ‘curdle.’ This is like using buttermilk (helps with rise) in normal baked goods. In your larger bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients to combine. Fold in raspberries to coat ensuring they are coated in the dry ingredients.

You place the raspberries in the dry to coat so that they don’t just sink to the bottom of your combined mixture.

In your smaller bowl combine all of the wet, including your faux buttermilk mixture until there are no clumps. Fold your wet into your dry and add a few tbsp of water or milk if your batter is too dry. It should be thick but not overly dry to the point where you’re having a tough time stirring. Portion out your batter into 6 well sprayed doughnut molds (or you can just make muffins) and place into the oven. Bake until the tops are golden and they are just barely firm to the touch.

Remember when baking with whey you want them to still bounce when apply pressure to the tops of them with your finger or they will dry out as they will continue to bake a wee bit when removed from the oven.

Let them completely cool before removing and refrigerate those that aren’t eaten that day.

So Dean has a new love. A love stronger than that of him and raisins.

Who would have thunk it?

Okay I will stop with the corny raisin jokes now.

Have a great Saturday night peeps.

-Chelsea


30 Comments

WI [Would Eat If...] W…Gimme Dat Meat!

Hey Friends,

Thank you for all of the love on my first installment of the What I [Would Eat If..] Wednesday that I posted 2 weeks ago. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I love all the comments and suggestions that you guys gave in the comments section. I have read them all I promise that I am slowly getting back to responding to all of them. I really had fun doing that post because it helps me to share information about a dietary lifestyle you may not be familiar with or perhaps one that you are thinking about trying out in some form or shape PLUS I get to look up creative new recipes for both myself and you guys to test out.

All hail the #FoodPorn!

So for this week, as a complete 180…kinda.. from the Vegan diet, lets take a look at the lifestyle that is often perceived as the….

…diet.

Before I begin, don’t forget to check in With Miss Jen over at Peas and Crayons for her everyday eats and all the other bloggers nommy foods.

Okay so in a quick lil summary

What is Paleo?

Referring to Cordain, in a nutshell, the Paleo diet is based off eating how our ancestors, more specifically the per-agricultural hunter gathers, ate.

Okay what does that mean?

In general, here are some of the pillars that set the foundation of the Paleo diet:

  • Higher protein.
  • Lower carbohydrate and low glycemic foods (for little to no blood sugar spiking).
  • High fiber.
  • Moderate to high fat intake that focuses on proper Omega 3/6 balance for decreasing the risk of inflammation and cutting the risk of heart disease by removing excess Omega 6’s and trans fats from the diet.
  • Lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Low sodium (ie. processed foods) to protect against heart disease.
  • Proper acid/base balance. Many of the foods that are avoided in this diet are those that are very acidic. Cordain stresses that high acidity in the body leads to bone deminerailzation, various forms of asthma, muscle wasting, kidney stones (from excess calcium), etc

So basically you want to be eating as unprocessed as possible while also moderating the types of carbohydrate (high glycemic sources, like potatoes and many fruits, should be avoided and grains are an absolute no) and meat sources (avoid higher fat meats and cuts) you are getting. The major premise is that you are reducing your risk of heart disease and inflammatory diseases through living this lifestyle. Both of these issues are on the rise and often times the blame is being directed at the current American dietary lifestyle. With that in mind, perhaps if we go back to the way we used to eat (..if it grows in nature it’s probably consumable..) than we may be able to reduce these health related problems.

So what do I eat then?

Some notes:

  • Grains and legumes are avoided for a number of reasons other than the fact that they weren’t really available to our earlier ancestors. They are also excluded from the diet because they are highly acidic, carry a high glycemic load, lack many micronutrients, promote inflammation AAANND they contain substances under the umbrella term ‘antinutrients‘ including tannins, phytic acids, etc. These have been shown to interfere with the absorption of nutrients in foods.
  • They preach grassfed as much as possible. Does this get expensive? YES. Those meats ain’t cheap these days. The reasoning behind that is that non-grassfed animals are then GRAINFED animals which sport a higher Omega 6 content leading to inflammation.
  • Also, PS, no alcohol.

Last point is that because this diet does place meat and fish high on the priority list, Cordain believes that it is impossible to following the Paleolithic lifestyle if you are vegetarian or vegan as the major sources of protein in those lifestyles are not allowed.

So there is the gist of it all and before I move on into the Day In the Life portion with all the #FoodPorn goodness, there are a few things to clear up as there are few misconceptions about this lifestyle.

1. Paleo and Primal are not the exact same thing.

Source [ http://huntgatherlove.com/content/paleo-vs-primal-vs-atkins%5D

This is a very common misconception. The two terms are often used interchangeably but they are not the same. Yes, they are similar in their many of their ideas surrounding what to eat (lots of veggies, proteins, and unprocessed foods) and what you shouldn’t eat (grains, alcohol, heavily processed foods, sugars, etc), but they do have their differences.

NOTE: Mark is associate with the Primal Blueprint, while Cordain and Wolf are leaders in the Paleo Community
  • Primal does allow for some dairy in the form of full fat cheese, yogurt, kefir and stuff like that. Paleo doesn’t.
  • Some artificial sweeteners are generally accepted with Paleo, just not sugar. For Primal on the other hand, artificial sweeteners should only be used if they provide some benefit to the body. Otherwise, change the food so that it doesn’t contain it.
  • Fats. They differ in their opinions about fats in a few places. There was a much bigger difference when Cordain first began his movement as he was anti-saturated fat due to the supposed research supporting its role in cardiovascular disease. It appears as though his opinion has changed in recent years and he has now accepted that some saturated fats are an exception (Read here). It appears that Wolf still promotes LEAN MEATS, which is not always the case made by Mark, who supports the consumption about the used of the whole animal and those fattier cuts and organ meats provide crucial nutrients and cholesterol that the body needs.  The use of ghee is grassfed butter are also allowed in the Primal community, while they are not in Paleo due to them both being a dairy product.
  • There is a huge push for supplementation in the Primal Blueprint as Mark states that our food just isn’t what it used to be. Yes Grok didn’t have supplements BUT Grok also didn’t obsessively wash his food (he ate dirt giving him healthy bacteria, probiotics, for his gut health), didn’t have to eat farmed fish (so he got the Omega fatty acids that were meant to be in the fish), etc. There is not really much said about supplements in the Paleo community.
  • Mark gives an actual bracket of carbohydrates per day that he deems to be healthy and acceptable. Essentially, he preaches no more than 100-150g, which is just enough to keep you out of ketosis. He states that this is totally doable as you would be hard pressed to get any higher than that if you are eating mostly vegetables with the occasional fruit or starchier tuber. There doesn’t appear to be a ‘carb cap’ mentioned by either Wolf or Cordain but they do say to limit your fruits and starchier carbs, especially if you are insulin sensitive or overweight.

Sources:

Mark’s Daily Apple: [Here], Cordain’s The Paleo Diet [Here], Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution [Here]

2. Meat and bacon do not make up the centre of this lifestyle.

It’s such a stereotype that Paleo is associated with meat. It probably stems from the fact that it’s seen as the caveman diet. Although high quality meat and other protein sources are considered staples in this lifestyle, the Paleo community is really based on

  • Eating whole, real foods.
  • Eating quality foods.
  • No alcohol.
  • Limiting sugars as they are associated with health problems.
  • Eating foods that promote health and gaining the most nutrients out of your diet while decreasing risks of inflammation, high insulin levels, disease and chronic illness.

Alrighty so I tried to condense that as much as possible while also being as informative as possible…

Did I kinda succeed?

Anyways, now onto the feast for your eyes. Dat food! Big ol’ thanks to all of the bloggers I seek out for their fab recipes! Remember to click on the pictures for the recipe.

Breakfast.

Alas, my favourite staple breakfast of my loaded up proats is a big no-no in this diet on so many levels..

  • No whey (dairy)
  • No oats (grains)
  • No Questbars (in a package, whey)…AGAIN HOW CAN YOU LIVE!

So what would Lil Miss Fitness Freak eat? Well, because it would still be my pre workout, I still need me some good carbs, protein and also a good dose of fats to get me through my training. Something like this might appear on my plate..

Sweet Potato with nut butter, an omelet of sorts and a green veggie.

I’m sorry nut butter has to be in my breaky no matter what or I’m just sad. Although almond butter is shown here, mine would probably be cashew butter (because peanut buttah is also not allowed :’-() Crying a wee bit more here…) because almond buttah just ain’t my fav.

Anyone else not a huge fan of almond butter?

The sweet potato would give me some good carbs and sugars, the omelet (which I would stuff with more veggies like mushrooms and such) would give me my protein, the nut butter would be my fats, and the green veggies would just balance it all out. I can’t do broccoli though…perhaps zucchini or asparagus would be subbed there for me.

Now, one other common complaint about Paleo and breakfast is that it often centers around eggs of some kind because 1. Most people don’t cook themselves up a slab of meat first thing in the morning and 2. because eggs often looked at as the only breakfast like protein.

So for all of you that would get sick of having eggs every morning, here’s a recipe for you.

paleo pumpkin pancakes made with almond flour

Personally I would nix the sugar a wee bit, but that is my own preference. You can easily make these a banana or ‘apple pieversion by simply switching up your spices and fruit puree. Thanks to Dianne for the recipe!

Lunch

For me, my lunch is often my post workout meal (after my lil post workout muffin devoured right after my lifting sesh) eaten about 2-2.5 hours after the gym. Once again, I’m looking for a heavy dose of carbs and good protein but lower fat this time. The lower fat here is more my preference for comfort as I take in a ton of carbs at this point so I stick to loading one major energy macro so that I don’t feel like I can’t move afterwards.

So what would I enjoy eating at this point?

Bam! A burger and fries! A turkey burger with a mushroom bun and baked sweet tater fries to be exact. I would also sneak in a salad or some greens somewhere on that plate because I’m a greens-a-holic. Burger toppings of choice would be my favourites as usual…

  • Unsalted, organic sundried tomatoes
  • Sauteed onion
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Tons of mustard
  • Pesto

Thank you to The Little Green Spoon for the recipe but unfortunately this one is not strictly Paleo (it was more the idea I wanted as the bun is genius!) as it contains quinoa. You could make some adjustments and swap out the quinoa for a given amount of flax meal (perhaps a few tbsp would do the trick for the quantities shown) OR you can refer to this recipe from for an 100% Paleo turkey burger Mexican style OR a more basic or neutral one here.

Side Note. Check out this recipe by Rebecca for an cool cauliflower bun recipe that seems to hold up very well!

Dinner

Dinnah dinnah, I got a great one for dinnah and it’s all mine :-D

This was soo simple and yet sooo good and I’m pretty sure that amazingness comes down to that beautiful elk steak.

20140818-220834-79714754.jpgI can never stress enough how good exotic meats are and elk is no exception. Sobey’s near my parents place (the only place I have ever found elk) FINALLY brought them back in after months of me waiting and waiting so obviously when I saw them on the shelf I snatched that baby up like a kid in a candy store.

I mmmed and awww’ed all the way through this meal and smiled at how easy it was to put together. So what’s on the plate?

  • The Steak. I marinaded the steak in 1/2 a tsp of olive oil, a few shakes of liquid smoke, about a tsp of apple cider vinegar (helps for tenderizing), chili flakes, cracked black pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. When I cooked it up, I seared it in a pan (about 1-2 minutes per side on high heat) then finished up the steak at 350 degrees in my toaster oven.
  • Steak Topping. My usual favourites, mushrooms, onions, and sundried tomatoes (my unsalted, nitrate free and organic ones from my store) sauteed in the rest of the marinade. Trust me, there was more of those than pictured. ;-)
  • The Butternut Squash Mash. I simply took cubed butternut squash and steamed in my microwavable steamer pot until it was tender (keep that skin on! Fiber and nutrients peeps). I then put in my lil Oskar (food processor) with raw garlic, cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp olive oil, chili flakes and dried rosemary and blended it up with enough water to make a nice puree.
  • The ‘Keg-ified’ Veggies. I really enjoyed the Keg seasoned veggies I had the last time I went to the steakhouse so I have been doing that more often at home too just with Mrs. Dash’s Steak Blend. So I sauteed button mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini cubes and some bell pepper chunks in that seasoning, chili flakes, garlic powder and a lil bit of coconut oil unilt they were softened but still had a bit of a crunch. TIP: Add a touch of vinegar or lemon juice into the pan at the end of the saute to get a nice browning on them veggies.

Fancy shmancy dinner in my face in 30 minutes or less.

Snacks.

Okay so I didn’t really mention snacks in between meals because most of the Paleo community stresses eating substantial enough meals so that you don’t need to snack in between. Personally, I take issue with this because my lil tummy can’t eat really rich and heavy meals all in one sitting and so I tend to get a wee bit hungry between my meals. So, here are some Paleo approved recipes for snacks even if shnacking is not really promoted here.

 Besides some of the more obvious snacks

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Veggies with lean meats. You can wrap up veggies in slices of prepped meat Or vice versa. Try these lil zucchini roll ups out.
  • Nut butter and celery like ants on a log.

There are some more exciting and creative ones too. Here’s a few (click on the pictures for the link):

Sugar-Free Low Carb Chocolate Chia Pudding by Sugarfree Mom

For something more savory..

chickenwr

Paleo Chicken Wraps by Paleoaholic

Perhaps some pre-workout energy or just a lil zip to get you out of that afternoon slump

Fig and pistachio powerballs (vegan, raw, gluten-free, paleo) | eyecandypopper.com

Fig and Pistachio Powerballs from Eye Candy Popper.

So there you have it friends, zee Paleo diet. If there are any readers from the Paleo community please feel free to jump into the comments section and give your two cents and opinions as I’m wanting to learn more as well.

Overall…

I would say that my current diet is about 85-90% Paleo. I’m grain free with the exception of my brown rice and oats and I’m dairy free (due to lactose intolerance). I do keep whey and casein in my diet as I believe I can digest those fine and therefore don’t feel the need to remove them. The big thing that I totally agree with in this lifestyle is the main idea of whole and real foods. Less processed, less sugar and sodium and less crap overall is where we should all be striving for as that is the food that our body recognizes and works optimally on.

What do you think friends?

Did I miss anything important about this lifestyle? Talk at me! I wanna hear more please! :-D

Don’t forget to pop on over to Peas and Crayons and say hi to our lovely hostess to the mostess, Jen.

Peas and Crayons

-Chelsea


19 Comments

When Personal Trainers Dine Together…Home Style

Hey Friends!

So what do you get when you put 4 personal trainers in the same room for a homemade dinnah?

A whole lot of gym talk, gym fails, gym drama annnnd…

20140815-205826-75506782.jpg

Buttercup Squash that was roasted then stuffed with extra lean grassfed ground beef that was sauteed with tons of onion, garlic, chili, organic and unsalted sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini and spinach. Oh and dried fennel. So good with meat!

….Squash.

What else would I cook for some of my favourite peeps?

So, how’s your Friday been my friends?

Let me tell you, I am still sore from my leg workout that I did on Wednesday. Of course that is nothing new but ouch. Even more ouchness came from the fact that I have been getting more into bikram yoga again to get my stretch on and I have totally forgotten that when you first start up again you get sore.

Yes..

You can get sore from stretching. Try bikram.

http://assets.diylol.com/hfs/b4a/50a/89d/resized/ryan-gosling-meme-generator-hey-girl-you-know-you-want-a-yoga-day-cfd60a.jpg

No really, if you’re in Hammertown and can get to Dundas there is an amazing WagJag deal going on that is 10 classes for 30 bucks. To put that amazing price into perspective, normally a drop in class alone is like 15-20 bucks. Do it!

Those muscles are not used to being stretched to that extent! In particular I find that my inner hip flexors get really sore so I fail at bringing my leg to my chest to put socks on…

Random side rant: WTF is with old man winter showing up in August?!? Why am I wearing socks?

I’m also failing at sitting down still because 1. I am working on dead lifting slowly but surely so my hams are a wee bit touchy and 2. bikram likes to target those hammies as well. Crunched and stretched. I also feel some discomfort in my knees the day after because there are some awkward knee positions towards the middle of the bikram session that take some tweaking.

So yeah, yesterday morning, the day after leg day (my rest day) I went for the 9:30am bikram practice and to my surprise my legs didn’t die. Who knows, maybe it helped them out..

No, no they still hurt.

Before I left I also crushed a random and slightly expensive craving

20140815-205827-75507085.jpg

Raspberries. My typical rest day zoats BUT with fresh organic raspberries from my store. Can I rant again about how expensive a tiny 2 serving pint of raspberries is in the middle of summer. Five bucks! Geez. I thought it was the season of berries, give a girl a break. My random cravings really don’t help my wallet.

They were so good though ;-)

Before my lil trainer gathering, one of my guests, fellow trainer and friend, Gen, came along with me to the farmers market to pick up zee cute lil squashes that were to be stuffed for the main course of our dinner. It was fun because she had never been to the market so I got to be a lil tour guide.

So we stopped in at my favourite vendor for squash..

Buttrums. Although they aren’t organic, I like that they don’t use any spray on their produce. I ain’t happy eating pesticides and herbicides. Nope. Plus they always have the largest selection of different squashes and the majority are from their farm so they are local.

How cute are these lil guys?

Patty Pan Squash. I believe they are more on the zucchini (so summer squash) side of things but they are so cute! For some reason they always remind me of the lil ghosts in pacman

Right?

Anyways, so we had our fun at the farmers market and then pick ourselves up a lovely planner for school as we are both heading back to school in the Fall (ahhh I mean 2 weeks away!?!)

20140815-214436-78276518.jpg

We discovered that we both have a slight problem when it comes to being overly picky about what our planners contain…

  • Must have rings. No spines that don’t bend and flop shut if you don’t hold them down.
  • Large space for writing
  • Whole calendar month before the individual days start
  • Must have lines in said individual days, not just blank spaces.
  • Must be pretty and interesting.

I think these fit the bill. How cool are these inserts??

20140815-214435-78275957.jpg

Because it’s a “Gal’s Guide” one, they have things like famous female figures, party planning tips, relaxation tips, decor suggestions, etc. Cool eh?

Do you have certain standards for your school planner? Do you even have a planner?

After we got back to my apartment, Gen and I started carvin out those squashes which were then roasted/steamed up (I was running low on time so I steamed them mostly, not ideal but hey I had to get’em done!) and then we stuffed them with the beef mixture I had cooked up earlier that day pre-farmers market trek and shoved them back in the oven at a lower temperature to warm while we were waiting for Chaunda and Daniel to show up.

20140815-205827-75507686.jpg

Chaunda and Daniel breaking into the squash. Ain’t they cute with their whittle hats?

We started off with some unpictured salads and then dug into the squash vessels. They were a success!

Thanks to Gen for this photo moment. We be happy peeps!

So what else do you get when you put 4 personal trainers together?

Everyone whipping out their phones to instagram their food

Daniel’s Instagram.

…and lots of macro chatting. I know I don’t promote macro counting but both Daniel and Chaunda count and weigh their food. Chaunda because she’s in competition prep and Daniel because he’s in cuttin season brah.

So Gen got the experience of getting (and prepping!) a weighed out meal with specific macros.

We crazy peoples.

It was a super fun night and I got Daniel hooked on Cookies and Cream Questbars. Yeah, Daniel, you know you be lying when you said Questies weren’t good. Yet another one of my victims who’s wallet will be sending me some hater beams soon enough.

And so, in the words of Daniel

Great food, even better people.

-Chelsea


10 Comments

Progression Is A Wonderful Thing

Hey Friends,

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings in the gym…

You know, those mornings where you’re tired. You’re achy. Your mind just isn’t in that #BeastMode and you are feelin a bit low on motivation.

Yesterday morning was all of the above for me.

Now normally when I’m really tired I can snap out of it once I really get going in the gym but unfortunately that mental fuzziness just did not let up and I was thankful by the end of my lift that I was done for the day. Yes, I have those days too.

So those days are frustrating yes BUT I have to stop myself from coming down on myself because you know what…?

I’m a human being. I’m not a machine. At least, that’s what one of my spotters told me when I complained that I wasn’t lifting to my standards.

It’s true though. We all have our off days and we have to push back that negative self talk and accept the fact that EVERYONE has these days and that it’s not the beginning of a downward spiral of crappy workouts. Plus, be proud that you pulled through the workout despite not feeling up to par!

#RealTalkPeeps!

You know what else helped to reassure me that my strength was not magically disappearing?

Starting a new workout log.

You see, I track my workouts in a lil notebook every day so that I know how my lifts are going. I write down my routine with all my weights and reps so that I can…

  1. Remind myself what weights I’m using
  2. Use those weights and/or reps to compete with myself and see if I can do better
  3. Check out the routines of the past few weeks worth of a given body part so that I don’t end up placing lifts in the same order
  4. Track new PR’s

That last point is what I wanted to share with you today and what gave me some pride after a tough workout, mentally and physically.

Whenever I finish a notebook and start a new one, I always look back at the previous few weeks and write my personal bests (reps and weights) on the first page so I know my starting point in that book and figure out what new goal weights I’m looking to hit that are reasonable given my current lifting status. After completing this current notepad and looking at my PR’s that began that book, I was amazed by the progress I had made in some of my major lifts.

After a substandard workout, this was a nice change of pace for me.

So, I decided to share with you my progress not because I want to boast about strength gains but because I want to always be open and honest with you guys about myself and these kinds of things are truly what make me proud of myself and keep that passion burning in the gym. It’s also a great log for myself too because if I’m ever in that ‘lack of motivation’ state as it shows how hard I have worked and where it has taken me.

So I started the book that I just finished on December 15 2012, which was midway through my final year in undergrad. Now, this seems like a long time ago (this book was quite large as you can probably tell) as it has about a year and a half worth of workout logs in it, but hey, progress is progress and any increase in strength is a win for me.

So without further ado, here are some of my major lifts and the corresponding progression from Dec 15/12 to now.

SquatsSquats. This one is quite a difference for me. I started off using dumbbells for squats because I was afraid of the barbell. I mean come on, I’m five feet tall and I’m pretty sure the bar is greater than that. So yes, I was scared. After making my way up to using 55lbs on each shoulder, I kept being asked by my spotters why I didn’t just go over to the squat rack so that I wouldn’t always need someone to help me with the weights. First response: I would be wobbling all over the place because the bar is so long. Second response: Because of said wobbling issue, I would have to drop my squat weight dramatically and I would loose what I had gained. After a few more weeks of being stubborn about it, I decided to be brave and go on over just to ‘test the waters’ with the bar and you know what? Said wobbles I was so afraid of lasted for only a few sets and I was able to throw a few plates on the bar that first day. Since then, lookee where I have worked up to! I will say that I enjoy being able to easily squat the bar with a 45lb plate on each side because I’m so lil and the weight looks huge. ;-)

 Overhead Barbell PressOverhead Barbell Press. Okay this one is meh BUT shoulders are my lagging body part, or that area on my body that seems to respond the slowest to training stimulation. It doesn’t gain muscle or strength very quickly. At some point, I did isolate shoulders out into their own workout because I wanted to work on them and I have really been loving this decision. In fact, shoulders have actually become my favourite workout of the week now.

LungesWalking Lunges. This is another proud moment for me. I have gone from lunging 100lbs to 130lbs for 5 to 6 reps. A 30lb difference is quite a good jump for someone of my size I think. Okay, so size shouldn’t matter but hey, I can be proud that I’m 5 feet tall and can be lunging with these babies on my shoulders!

DipsBench Dips. Huge progress here! Weeeooo. This is one of the lifts I’m known for in my gym (along with lunges and wall sits). I’m super proud of where I have gotten with this lift and now I’m really focusing on slower and lower contractions to hit those tri’s even more.

Chest PressDumbbell Chest Press. I have enjoyed seeing my weights going up for this lift in particular because these weights look massive when I’m lifting them. I’m super proud that I can now rep out about 8 good quality reps with 40’s on decline bench press with no spotter. Chest press makes me feel really strong probably because I have always considered my upper body to be weaker and slow to progress in comparison to my legs (hello captain obvious, legs= bigger muscle which should tell me that they will be faster to see progress, but you know we are all irrational when it comes to critiquing ourselves).

wall sitsWeighted Wall Sits. Now this is not within the same time frame as the other lifts but I wanted to show it because of the HUGE gains I have made with it. So I first started doing wall sits as a super set to another leg exercise back in October of last year as a way of burning out my hamstrings and wow 1 plate to 6 is quite the difference. My spotters now have to put these on my lap in 2 additions, amirite Dean?

So that’s it guys. Those are the major lifts that I had progression stats for and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with my gains. I have also put together a new lil list of new lifts that I have begun to incorporate in my training….

New PRs…and hopefully I can work at these ones as well and see some good strength gains over the duration of my new (much smaller) notebook.

 

To end off this post, I wanted to share with you all the death day lovely leg workout I pushed myself through this past Wednesday. As per usual, it was a doozy and I definitely felt it for the next few days. My body also told me loud and clear that I did not stretch long enough with my clicking hip flexors and tight calves. Opps. Do yo stretches peeps! Don’t be stupid and lazy like me.

squat racksWarmed up doing weighted planks with a 45lb plate on my back for 1:30 for 3 sets. I have added some dynamic movement into these as well through either stepping my feet one by one off the platform OR doing mountain climbers. I super set these planks with weighted (40lbs) decline situps. The situps include a 35lb drop set. ~15 mins to complete.

For the barbell squats, a normal stance was used and I did the last 3 sets with 155lbs for 6 reps, with the final set being a drop set with 135lbs. Due to the focus being on my squats and me just wanting to activate the hams and the glutes, I kept the hip thrusters a touch lighter at 105lbs for 6-7 reps with a final drop set at 95lbs.

Weighted wall sits were at my max of 6 total 45lb plates on zee lap for a whole 1:30 minutes. These were really tiring that day for some reason. I thought perhaps it was because I hadn’t done hip thrusters in a while and because I did glute cable kickbacks during my second working set, my hams and glutes were getting mighty tired at that point.

Lastly, the leg extension burnout round was set at my usual 145lbs for 7-8 reps with a final drop set at 115lbs until fail. I think I got like 3 at this point. These are done in conjunction (super set, no stopping) with goblet squats using a 60lb dumbbell. The goblets also have a final drop set where the goal is to really just die….err I mean burn out the booties through doing both pop squats and pulses.

I then crawled my way to the locker room, ate my post workout muffin, foam rolled, stretched and biked my sorry lil tush home to prep for 8 hours at work. Yeah, fun times. 

The end.

Do you track your progress?

Which body part progresses the fastest for you?

-Chelsea


96 Comments

WI[Would Eat If...]..W

Hey Friends!

So I had a thought. I have had a number of questions regarding different types of diets. Specifically, what you eat on them, some of the benefits and negatives of them, why one might choose to eat that way and so forth. I love this question because recently I have been getting more and more interested in reading (and listening, thanks YouTube for your educational podcast and tedtalks) about various new diets like keto and paleo to understand the rationale behind them. From what I have learned so far, they are quite intriguing to say the least and I would enjoy being able to share my new knowledge with you all.

This brings me back to my thought

Since I don’t always have the most exciting and nouveau eats to share with Miss Jen and you all every week because I like my ‘creature of habit-ness’ foods, I thought it would be interesting to bring a alias me to the weekly foodie partay every so often when my eats are not lookin too fresh. My alias would feature a specific dietary lifestyle where I would not only give an example of daily eats that I might enjoy but also include information about said lifestyle, what I think about it and my own list of pros and cons.

Obviously, lots of #bloglove will go out to all of the wonderful foodies and their delicious recipes that I showcase in my day of alias eats.

What do you think? Good Idea?

I think this will be better way to tackle this loaded question regarding other dietary lifestyles as I can go on forever (like you already are aware of I’m sure :-P). By forcing myself to talk about ONE at a time, hopefully you won’t need to commit 1/2 a day to read my posts.

So many rambles to share! I have a problem

So before I start with my first round of What I would Eat If…. I want to first say that, aside from basic facts and information regarding such lifestyle, I will be speaking about these lifestyles partially from experience and partially from assumption based on what I know of my own body and how I perceive the lifestyle. In other words, the pros and the cons I list will be based on my own opinions so please don’t take them as the be all end all (I’m still learning too!). Feel free to make comments and suggestions in my comment section as I’m sure all my readers would appreciate the extra input. :-)

With that said, every body is different. There is no cookie-cutter lifestyle that works amazingly for every single person. Perhaps a ketogenic diet works wonders for person A, but leaves person B feeling like they are drifting off to sleep 24/7. Instead, maybe person B digests large amounts of carbohydrates well and needs that amount to feel like a normally functioning human being.

We are all different and so, all I want to do here is give you some info (and some food porn of course, it is WIAW after all!) and perhaps show you a new outlook on some popular ‘diets’ or shed some light on one that you may not of even heard of before so that you can then experiment and see what works best for you and your body.

Kapeesh?

Don’t forget to check out the variety of dietary lifestyles showcased by the amazing bloggers who have linked up to Jen’s page in this weeks WIAW party!

Peas and Crayons

Okee-dokey, so which dietary lifestyle is the focus of today’s post? Let’s keep’er simple with one that I’m sure everyone has a lil knowledge on…

Veganism.

I don’t think this one needs much introduction, but here’s a quick glimpse into what they can and cannot eat.

Vegan Approved.

  • All plant based items. You have the freedom to chomp down on all dem veggies and fruits.
  • All grains.
  • Nuts/Seeds/Legumes.
  • Oils
  • Most sweeteners (exception honey)
  • Soy and soy products like tofu, tempeh, etc.

Not So Approved.

  • Any animal flesh.
  • Any animal products. What I mean here is anything that an animal is used to produce SO no honey, eggs, dairy products, gelatin, etc.

So that’s the basics of zee diet, and before I get into a day in the life of a vegan, let us first take a peek at some of the benefits of such a dietary choice. I’m sure any vegan reader will be able to bang out waaay more than what I’m about to give BUT I’m not writing a book here, just giving a broad overview. So here are some of the biggest pros (in my opinion) of veganism.

No animal is killed and/or used for your sustenance.

This is a large assumption to make as technically we have no idea what really goes on with production and processing of anything these days, but generally speaking, you are not eating an animal nor any of their products so you are essentially letting them live on due to your choice of lifestyle. Ethics is a huge reason why many individuals are vegan. In fact, many vegans will also go to the extent of trying their darnedest to not buy ANYTHING that is touched by an animal. So their clothing is vegan. Their shoes. Their everything. Think about how difficult that would be! Kiddos to you guys!

You’re reducing your carbon footprint AND not contributing to the mass production of animal products.

You would be surprised how many resources are required to sustain our animal product production these days. This is also increasing dramatically as our population continues to grow and as we demand more and more of these products. These animals will be used up to extinction if we don’t change our ways. Unfortunately, instead of slowing down on our production, we instead more environmentally stressful ‘solutions’ to reach that never ending demand. Feeding our animals antibiotics and other crap so they can grow faster or resist diseases (due to be in confined and overly populated pens) negatively affect not only the animals and the environment but the naive consumer’s health as well. Lastly, do you know how much methane is produced by livestock? I dunno either the exact number either, but its a ton (no pun intended) and, therefore, really affecting our air quality and the natural energy cycles. Who knew passing gas could create such a stir?

You will be eating more vegetables and fruits…Hopefully.

Overall, one would hope that such a lifestyle would almost force someone to eat more real, whole foods rather than processed, which is a huge benefit. Whole fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds are so nutritious but are often lacking in the typical American diet because of the reliance on processed crap..errr..I mean..umm… food? No, no I really don’t mean food. It’s crap. All of the fresh produce will give you tons of vitamins and minerals to make your body sing plus a healthy dose of fiber will keep you movin and groovin. ;-)

You will save money.

Again, I’m assuming because I’m not a vegan BUT animal products are the most expensive items on my bill so my guess is that your grocery bill would be much less than mine. That being said, vegan and vegetarian processed food is not cheap. So if you choose to buy a lot of pseudo meats and cheeses than you may be at par with what I might be paying at the cash.

PS. Don’t buy fake “just like cheese” or “just like meat” products. Why? Have you read the ingredients on those things? Chemical sh**storm is an understatement. Here’s looking at you Daiya cheeses….

Of course, as with every choice we make, there will be some negatives

Nutritional Deficiencies.

Now I may get some backlash for this one but it is what it is. Animal foods provide the body with some great nutrients that are accepted by the body more readily and effectively and not to mention, often in larger quantities, than vegetarian or vegan alternatives. Take vitamin B12 for example. Most vegetarians and vegans are forced to take a supplement because this vitamin (which is crucial for nerves, brain function, DNA and healthy blood cell production), unless fortified, is only found in a small number of foods. Pretty much all of these foods are NOT vegan approved. So for me, I can easily eat eggs, poultry and other meats to obtain my requirements, but for a vegan, they will have to resort to a supplement which may or may not be absorbed as effectively asa real food source. I will say that I saw some articles floating around about the possibility (they are still being researched) of a few plant based products that contain a significant amount of B12. Some of these include kombucha, chlorella, spirulina and other algae and sea veggies.

This vitamin is nothing to mess around with either as a deficiency over a long period of time can cause irreversible brain and nervous system damage.

Other common deficiencies include:

  • Iron. Heme iron, that coming from animal products is MUCH MORE bioavailable to the body than the vegan/vegetarian approved non heme iron which can lead to iron deficiencies in these individuals. So make sure you are eating a ton of iron rich plant foods, along with Vitamin C (helps absorption) to try to increase you absorb an acceptable amount. Eat your DARK leafy greens yo! On top of that, munch on pumpkin seeds, cook up some lentils and/or quinoa or add some spirulina to a shake for a good dose of this essential mineral. Soybeans have quite a lot as well, but you know how much I ‘like’ soy…
  • Vitamin D. Once again, the form of vitamin D that vegans can eat (D3) is less available to the body to absorb so you will not be absorbing vitamin as much from a supplement or fortified food product as you would from a hearty piece of salmon or tuna. That being said use the sun and mushrooms to your advantage.
  • Calcium. Now I am no means an advocate of milk milk and more milk for calcium as there are waayy too many newer research articles preaching how much actually takes calcium AWAY from the bones and is therefore not as amazing of a source of the mineral as it was once thought. Instead, I (who receives over 100% of her calcium for the day and lives dairy free) will simply share some great alternatives for ya. Dark leafy greens, tofu (if you do soy), hemp milk, almonds and almond butta, dried fruits, many beans and amaranth.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids. You need these guys and flax just isn’t the best alternative to fish oil supplements. An omega supplement using kelp is thought to be one of the best choices (read this for more) Integrate chia seeds

A lot of the information you see here was from this article [source]. Check it out for more info!

Digestive issues for some.

One of the big reasons why I KNOW that veganism isn’t for me is this one right here. My stomach would HATE ME. Trust me, if I had it my way, veggies would take over my life (more than they already do). All my grains (minus my oats…<3) would be tossed and I would be squashin and sweet potato’in through my carbolicious life but my body has made it apparent to me that I’m at my limit of the veg stuff. On top of that, people prone to IBS symptoms (like myself) simply do not tolerate large (for some, even small) doses of beans, peas and other legumes so that would knock one major source of plant based protein out of their diet.

Getting COMPLETE protein.

Before you jump all over me saying that it’s totally easy to get your protein on a vegan diet, please note the “complete protein” in the title. YES there are lots of plant based sources of protein BUT very few of them are complete, meaning they carry all of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) on their own. Due to this, you need to be aware of food combination rules so that you ensure you are getting all of theses building blocks from your diet. For example, legumes alone are missing a few amino acids BUT combine them with some brown rice and now you have all of what you need. That being said, you don’t have to stress about combining perfectly within every given meal. Instead, just make sure you are varying your diet enough to get a good distribution across your day. Doing your research will be important to ensure you are getting ALL of your amino acids.

I will say that there is a very small list of complete vegan proteins…

  • Grains. Quinoa, buckwheat
  • Seeds. Hemp and chia
  • Soy.
  • Quorn. This fungus is often found in meat alternatives.
  • Seitan.

Alrighty, so that I think is just about long enough…word count officially at 2136 [cough cough]…I’m really trying guys I swear! I will keep the WIAW portion (aka the food porn) as short and sweet as possible scouts honour!

One last thing I want to mention is that although I’m posting things that I would like and enjoy eating, I would not be able to eat like this daily as my IBS tummy would not be happy. That being said, These dishes look amazing and fit the bill if I had the right gut for it.

Enjoy the vegan #FoodPorn peeps.

Breakfast.

Oats are, and always will be my love. unfortunately for me, my vegan alias cannot incorporate egg whites to puff these babies up so instead, I would be living the zoat life as zucchini does a marvelous job at volumizin.

20140727-203921-74361555.jpgDat volume!

Protein powder would still end up in my zoats as most days my breakfast serves as my preworkout meal. I would have to make the switcher-oo to something like Sunwarrior (not a Vega fan…too much sodium. Also don’t do soy protein as you probably would already guess) despite it’s kinda chalky texture. Oh wait BETTER OPTION! Peanut flour! Weeoo tastes better. :-D Nut butter would definitely still be plopped on top and fruit is also a must and totally vegan friendly. :-D #DemCarbs.

Moment of weakness. I’m #SorryImNotSorry but how could you live without Questbars!

Postworkout.

Still stickin to my usual green (chlorophyll spiked) post workout protein muffin, but once again, the protein would have to be swapped for a vegan one and/or peanut flour once again and no egg whites.  You guys are killing me here!

Lunch.

Here’s a few options I thought looked mighty tasty. My ultimate choice would depend on whether I trained that morning or not.

For training days, more carbs needed…

I love love love tandoori and masala spin off dishes and wish I could eat more of them. :-(. I would swoon over this Vegan Sweet Potato and Chickpea Tikki Masala recipe by Mongolian Kitchen. Oh how I love my curry and and all its affiliated spices. Yum.

For rest days, lil less carbs and more fats….

You know how much I lerve my #SaladBeasts and I have always drooled over all the other bloggers salads when they have a nice ol’ glob of hummus on top.

Picture a Lil Miss Fitness Freak style salad beast with a massive glob of hummus…better yet, sundried tomato hummus, and attacked with nooch. :-D

I like your style Heather (at Kiss My Broccoli). Gimme all dat hummus..

…or gimme at dat avocado

Meal Idea: Taco Salad with Salsa Baked Tofu (at www.ilovevegan.com)<br /><br /><br />
Baby spinach, organic tortilla chips, roasted garlic hummus, salsa, chickpeas, avocado, tomato, red onion, salsa baked tofu, and cheddar-style daiya shreds.” width=”648″ height=”374″ /></p>
<p style=Still have yet to make my own taco salad but this one looks good! Strip off the chemicals Daiya cheese (Please don’t take offense to that Brittany!) and swap out the tofu for homemade baked falafels (good recipe here, I would swap out the flour for a gluten free version) perhaps and I’m good to go. Thanks for the inspiration Brittany (I Love Vegan blog)!

Potential snackage options.

Roasted chickpeas.

Homemade roasted chickpea snacks done 4 ways - such a great way to get some protein!

This site (Modern Parents Messy Kids) gives you 4 different flavour options. I’m a lil hesitant on the sweeter varieties but hey, be adventurous.

My favourite no-bake protein bars as of lately. Thanks again Crystal!

IMG_5950Of course, a vegan protein would have to be used instead of my beloved Cellucor. But cookie dough though….sigh.

Dinner

I have always wanted to try one of these buddha bowls that I see vegetarian restaurants offering..

They just look so fresh and nourishing. I must admit though…I really wanna throw an egg on the top…#VeganFail. Recipe by Melissa at the Chic Vegan

One last dish that caught my eye was by the lovely Michelle over at Peachy Palate. Another buddha bowl type of thang, but peanut-ified and you know how I feel about peanuts….

Peanut sauces are so delicious PLUS they add a boost of protein to the dish. Okay, I just love all things peanut… The tofu would be swapped out once again for something else, but doesn’t that just look awesome!

 So there we go, a day of potential eats if I could do the whole vegan thang.

Please, to all my vegan readers, this post is my opinion and based around my own dietary needs, restrictions and wants so don’t take offense to anything I said jokingly in this post. Being to be completely honest, I think I would be miserable without fish in my life. And Questbars. Plus, although these meals totally appeal to me and would make my taste buds sing a happy song, my stomach would just not tolerate the volume of plant based foods that a vegan diet consists of. Of course, unlike my gluten-free self, vegans who do not suffer with gluten intolerance’s would have the ability to have more grains in their diet to balance out some of that veggie lovin. I really would not enjoy having to eat brown rice with everything just to hit my carbs and temper my temperamental gut.

Booorrrrinnng much?

So yeah, I hope you liked this style of WIAW post and feel free to leave me any comments, feedback or suggestions in my comment section. :-D

Any vegan readers out there?

Favourite vegan dish? I love all things Indian or Ethiopian spiced, but without the creamy dairy component. I love masala and tandoori based dishes. Chickpea masala or lentil dhal is heaven in my mouth but I have to keep those to once in a blue moon. Sadface.

Would you be able to live a HEALTHY vegan lifestyle? If not, what would be the hardest part?

-Chelsea


16 Comments

Those Old Family Recipes…

Hey Friends!

I have been wanting to post this recipe for a while as I really have been enjoying..or I should say RE-enjoying it…a lot these days. The reason that has been stopping me was simply that I haven’t gotten pictures that are decent enough for my liking but you know what…

I shouldn’t be obsessed with trying to get the best, most appealing pictures all the time right? I mean, I’m working with an iPhone here.

So I’m going to give you an old family favourite that I have ‘healthified’ a touch (it really wasn’t that bad to begin with, just the sodium for the most part) that is simple, fast and a one-pot meal. To all my students out there…

One pot wonders. I’m doing you a favour. ;-)

Family recipes are great because not only do you know you already love them, but they also remind you of your childhood and I dunno about all of you, but that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

What are some of your favourite old favourites?

So I’m bringing my family’s “Concoction” to the table. This was a meal that we always made following a holiday when we had tons of leftover turkey or chicken. Although, we did also make it all fresh too because we loved it so much and it really cooks itself for the most part.

20140803-213656-77816005.jpgI only recently started re-making this when I happened to notice another blogger using water chestnuts and those lil guys just always remind me of this meal so it was re-created and very much enjoyed. So much so that I have made it quite a few times since that first time.

Lots of great protein and healthy carbs while also having great flavour and a veggie punch!

FYI. I’m giving you a single serving here as that is how I have been making it lately BUT feel free to cook it in bulk as it keeps and reheats very well!

The Cross ‘Concoction’

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rice (I used a wild brown rice blend)
  • 1/2 cup no salt added stock or water (or a blend)
  • 80g pre-cooked chicken/turkey/meat of choice (or raw is just fine)
  • 30g sliced water chestnuts, no salt added
  • 40g snow peas, cut in half
  • 30g bamboo shoots, no salt added
  • 60g mushrooms
  • Handful or two of bean sprouts (Optional- I don’t add these anymore as I don’t do soy) OR other sprouts (I used alfalfa)
  • 1 green onion stock, chopped, whites and greens
  • Handful of spinach
  • Clove of garlic
  • tbsp or more of diced onion
  • 1/ tsp garlic powder
  • tsp of ginger powder
  • 1 tsp coconut seasoning (or another low sodium soy sauce alternative OR you can just use soy sauce). **can use more to taste**
  • Cracked black pepper and chili flakes to taste

Directions:   1⃣ heat a bit of coconut oil in a medium sized pot (one with a lid) on medium heat and add your onion and garlic and saute until golden and fragrant. 2⃣Add your water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and chopped mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are cooked. 3⃣Add your rice, meat, 1/2 cup liquid of choice, green onion, tsp (or to taste) of coconut seasoning or soy sauce alternative, ginger, garlic powder, cracked black pepper, and chili flakes to taste and bring to a boil. 5⃣ Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and pop a lid on it. 6⃣ Half way through (or later if you like them more crunchy) add your snow peas and bean sprouts if adding. 7⃣Let that simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork and stir in some spinach. Pop the lid back on and let rest until the spinach is all wilted. Serve with sprouts or as is.

If you are using raw meat, simply cook that up with the garlic and onion until the meat is cooked through. Follow the rest of the directions as is.

20140803-213655-77815424.jpgIt’s quite yummy so if you test it out, let me know what you think!

Is there any meal that you used to love that you can’t stand anymore?

-Chelsea

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