Friday, November 28, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
One of the features of his session which struck me were his comments on assessments. He posed the question "How much of your time is taken up with assessing? Assessing him, her, you, me?" And it got me thinking- I've actually got to spend some time with Jullio one-on-one and he has incredible mental capacity, intelligence and stamina. One reason why he can speak so eloquently, and think so creatively is that he has freed himself of the mental habit of assessments.
How much more space would you have in your mind if you eliminated the thoughts on how thin/fat, pretty/ugly, stupid/smart, incompetent/capable you or others were? Even silly ones like judging the color of that women's coat or his shoes unnecessarily limits your capacity for brilliant, intelligence and purposeful thinking.
Since his session I have caught my assessment thoughts more easily- but stopping them is an ongoing labour. I do guarantee you that even the awareness of each thought judging others or yourself will enable you to free yourself from them. So begin right now...you can start by stop assessing this post. :)
Enjoy your day, your afternoon, evening...your life!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've gotten up every morning, and done a walking meditation on my treadmill. 45 min of incline walking at a very brisk pace (to do it yourself- put the treadmill on an incline of about 7, and speed of 3.5-4.0 mph). Concentrating on breathing, soft music, the river of thoughts in my head or this morning chanting I've gotten the activity I need with the clarity of spirit I often don't make time for. Also, I've included reading, for the first time, yoga publications. I picked up Yoga Fit and Yoga Journal when I was gasping for something to fill the void of time I have this week. Straying from my usual Oxygen mag addiction has had great payoffs. I'll share some insights soon. For now, I leave you with this meditative chant on Remembrance Day.
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi (Om, peace, peace, peace)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Cakey Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)
½ cup grapeseed oil (or 1/2c butter)
1 cup splenda
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4c gluten free flour mix
1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix together wet ingredients
Mix together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Pecan, Cranberry, Brown Rice stuffed Chicken Breast
Peppers and Zucchini with Truffle Oil
Kale Sautéed with Mustard
Pecan, Cranberry, Brown Rice stuffed Chicken Breast
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a casserole dish with olive oil, for non-stick.
4 fresh chicken breast, butterflied and flattened for rolling (I wrap the chicken breast in plastic wrap after butterflying, and use a meat tenderizer to flatten)
1/4c chopped coarsely pecans
1/4c chopped coarsely dried cranberries (fresh would be grand too!)
1 1/2 c cooked brown rice, cold
1 T rosemary
1 t basil
salt & pepper
kitchen string (if desired) or toothpicks for fastening rolled breasts
Mix together everything but the chicken breasts and olive oil. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil, then salt and pepper. May season with additional basil and rosemary if you wish. Place 1/4c stuffing mixture in center of each chicken breast, roll the breast around the mixture and secure with string or toothpicks. Place seam side to the side in the baking dish. Cook uncovered for 35 min, remove from oven and cover. Let stand for 5-10 min before serving.
While the chicken is cooking, begin your vegetables. Make sure you have two large pans ready to saute these healthy, vibrant dishes.
Peppers and Zucchini with Truffle Oil
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 medium zucchini
3 fresh garlic cloves, chopped finely or minced
1T Truffle oil
Olive oil (or other neutral oil, such as grapeseed)
salt & pepper
Slice vegetables into thin strips- remember to scrub them under luke warm water to clean before (I do it after too) chopping. Heat oil in pan over medium heat, add garlic. Add vegetables and lightly saute until just tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Drizzle truffle oil over vegetables, and salt and pepper to your taste. Serve at room temperature.
Kale Sautéed with Mustard
1 bunch fresh kale
2 T mustard seeds
1 T coconut oil
Wash kale thoroughly, bugs and dirt can easily hide in the leafy greens. Remove stalks and chop or tear leaves into bite-sized strips. Heat coconut oil in saute pan over medium-high heat, add mustard seeds. Continue to warm oil and mustard until seeds begin to pop and the mixture is aromatic. Add Kale and saute gently until the leaves just wilt. Serve warm.
There-done! Easy. This came out of a last minute dinner party my husband asked me to serve mid-week. Normally I would do a 4 course meal for a dinner party, using similar simple and healthy recipes, but maybe more elaborate and higher in presentation points. But this did just great for last minute. I really relied on the natural texture and taste of the vegetables, so if you do so also, make sure you get the freshest produce- you'll find you cook with less sugary and fatty additions and sauces if you like the taste of your fresh veggies. Also, the stuffing, using brown rice instead of bread crumbs, was entirely gluten free and whole-grain. It's pretty high in natural fat and natural sugars, so it's not something I would use daily, but as a nice treat- it was grand.
Now, one little snag- a lovely little dancing princess attended this party with her parents and did not warm up to my funny vegetables (although the chicken flew-not in so many words). So I made her a fun plate of crudités or raw vegetable strips and chunks. Cutting cucumbers with a wavy cutter gave them some character- and cutting carrots into bit-sized coins rather than sticks made finger-eating easy. Also, peppers were chopped into square chunks, rather than strips- also to give them character and dipping potential. Served with a light italian dressing- this little princess stopped dancing long enough to have more than a few fancy vegetables.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I wouldn't use this recipe again, or perhaps I wouldn't take them on a 5 hour drive, store them in the freezing cold weather outside on the porch in a not-so-air-tight cupcake taker for an evening and day before serving them for dessert. They were, of course, rather dry by that time.
What are you doing with your pumpkin? How did those Jack-o-lantern's turn out?
I have a super duper gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe on it's way.
I have chosen to be in a foul mood for days now; actually for a week now. I have said that to myself during this time: "I am choosing to be a prune right now" and taken quiet satisfaction in my gloom. Like Eyeore, I reveled in my rain clouds. The results have been shocking; do you know how much your mood affects what actually happens to you? I had no idea until I took stock of my last week. I was jolted out of my blue reverie by an overwhelming show of gratitude- I received three thank you notes and gifts today- unbelievable! So I thought I had to choose to let go of my pruny mood.
My blues resulted in speaking out of turn in a board meeting and the repercussions of doing so (not severe, but for my normally serene mood all present were speechless and shocked). Next, a communication break-down between myself and a colleague created tension which previously did not exist (still working to fix it). Finally, exhaustion, stress and that terrible, selfish feeling of "I'm doing everything, and not getting a darn thing in return- so I quit!". Now that I reflect, I know that if I had taken these instances with an attitude of detachment and observation- none of them would have fed a gloomy disposition and feelings of unfairness. It's all in perspective. Too often, when results do not meet our objectives we look at changing the actions we took to get there, rather than the perspective we began with.
So thank you Universe, and that means you blog reader- for caring for me even while I stepped under a grey sky and shot lighting bolts from my eyes. Thank you for shocking me out of it, with an overwhelming show of support and generosity. I serve to give it back to you.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I ran across a recipe for raw brownies from Ginger Lemon Girl, another GF blogger. She does not follow a Raw Food Diet, but plays with her food like so many other bloggers with dietary restrictions. You must try these brownies- no cook, choclatey and dense. There is no sugar aside from the natural fruit sugars, and the only fat comes from the nuts you use. I added coconut butter to mine, for flavour, but that is optional. They are versatile- can be brownies in a pan, or small, molded bites or balls. They only take about 5 min to process together, and 10 min to firm in your refrigerator if you wish. You can find the original recipe and photo of Ginger Lemon Girl's brownie bites at her fabulous blog. You'll have to go there to get a visual of these delights as mine were devoured far too fast for food styling photography. They were also quite the conversation piece while we were mowing them down- it's great to bring a different treat to the office. Here is my recipe, adapted:
1/2c frozen almonds
1/2c frozen pecans
1/2c dates, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, or overnight in fridge
3 Tbsp best quality cocoa butter (you'll want to go good on this, the cocoa taste is defined only by the cocoa)
1/2Tbsp coconut butter
3Tbsp agave nectar
Process frozen almonds and pecans in a food processor until they form a fine meal- use a blender if you don't have a processor. Add dates, cocoa, coconut butter and agave nectar. Process until you have a thick, uniformly cocoa-colored mass. Press into a loaf pan or mini-muffin tin, or roll into balls and refridgerate.
If you like those Brownie Bites, then try this recipe instead next time you are craving that chocolate bite.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Do you know when you are at your peak performance level? When are you the most healthy, the most 'well'? I returned from my business trip to Boulder at the healthiest I have been in years, and I began to wonder why that was. I ate out every meal, I enjoyed one glass of wine a day, I indulged in chocolate and gluten free brownies or cookies every day. I didn't even do any cardio! No cardio for 5 whole days!
I returned from my next business trip to Vancouver in the worst state I've been in since I began healing months ago. So I began looking at the similarities and differences between my states of being between those two trips and I came up with a list which outlines when I am at my most healthy or well. This will be a path for me to take each day, so I ensure that when I climb into bed for my much-needed rest I can lie with the notion that I have become healthier, happier and better that day.
To create your own list, think about when you were the healthiest in your life- not when you looked your best, although it was probably also true. When you are healthy- you glow. Disregard weight, or how skinny/fat you were or are. You will know when you felt the greatest, when you were at your peak. Write a list of what you did at that time to create such a great force within yourself...and follow those simple steps, day to day. This can eliminate the need for dieting, and self-deprivation. It can free you of the emotional and intellectual burden of stress around confidence and self-esteem.
My list is here:
I am most healthy when...
1. I meditate every morning
2. I complete sun salutations every morning
3. I walk
4. I think positively about my beauty and intellect
5. I open my heart and personal space to those around me, even strangers
6. I enjoy a glass of wine, or the highest quality chocolate without guilt or retribution
7. I put good care for myself above all else
8. I use sesame oil on my face and body instead of soap every morning and night
9. I eat no glutenous foods
10. I eat slowly and with great awareness and gratitude
11. I do not restrict foods and enjoy treats
12. I eat every 4-5 hours
13. I eat fresh melons, berries, and other watery fruit and vegetables like peppers, cucumbers and mushrooms
14. I start the day with yogurt, fruit, protein and cereal
15. I do limited stressful physical activity
16. I hold good posture with poise
17. I relax
18. I do not stress my skin
19. I live according to my mantra: To serve others as the most peaceful and healthy person I can be
When I'm at my healthiest, I am free from the nagging thoughts that I'm not thin enough, that I'm not working hard enough on my appearance, that all my efforts result in not...and I walk each step like I'm on a catwalk.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Fresh off the...er...plane I'm sitting to write this. Flew in early this afternoon, got home and started cooking for the week. I had a great time in Vancouver, and am grateful for my business there. The people I work with are competent, and fun; and it's always so restorative to be on the west coast of Canada- especially when the sun shines, as it did for my entire trip.
Why did I jump into the kitchen, while my bags sit mostly still unpacked? Because as I began to unravel my life from my suitcase I ran across my plunder from South China Seas Trading Co.
Chipotle peppers, Amchur, Ancho
A combination of all three spices already made it into a pureed tomato salsa stewing on the stove as I type. The chipotle adding a smoky flavour, while the Ancho and Amchur spiced and sweetened respectively. Ancho powder is made from a spicy, fleshy pepper and is best used in dishes which are stewed or simmered to bring out it's rich but subtle spice. If you're dipping your toe into spicy food, but don't want to dive in, try Ancho. Amchur is harder to find, and is a greenish-yellow powder of dried mangos. It has great tenderizing properties, so is used well in marinades. It adds a sweetness to your cooking without adding a sickening sugar high. I'll try marinating chicken in it next, with perhaps some sesame or peanut oil.
All of my colleagues left heavy handed from The South China Seas Trading Co. location in Granville Island while I was in meetings all day; so I persuaded them to take me to their second location on Victoria Dr. at Grant St. (just off Commercial Drive- a fab little cafe neighborhood). I was initiatied into this market's spice and hard-to-find-item greatness at this quaint location, and the others added more to their stock from this store. Black bean sauce, fresh succulent cactus leaves, aduki jelly and home-made vietnamese fish sauce walked out with us- all in our newly purchased reusable shopping bags which reflected our thoughts as we enjoyed our treasures- "Life is Too Short for Boring Food".
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Quiet, still, unassuming...peaceful.
Naropa University- quite picturesque isn't it? Small, perhaps, but what is going on inside those brick walls is big...really big.
For so long, education has existed within the plane of assessments, attendance records, desks facing an instructor, and more recently in history- death by power point.
Using a foundation of Contemplative Education, Naropa embodies an enlightened path to learning. Contemplative education is learning, alongside awareness. If you are interested in an undergraduate, or graduate degree programs take a look at this University in Boulder Colorado. Based on Buddhist practices, any student would find this style of personal or professional advancement glaringly different from the education system in place that is failing students every day. I know I'll complete a program there- it's too bad I missed their session " A Conversation with Danny Glover" when he attended it in April 2008.
Too often I find myself restricting...myself...to learning in the classical sense- acquiring knowledge for the sake of 'keeping' it. What good is that? There is no test to take. It's as senseless as acquiring 'things' for the sheer purpose of having them. Learning can exist so far beyond the content/skill/ability levels. Think about it, and you will know what I am talking about.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
What am I doing with all this time on my hands since I stopped training for the 1/2 marathon. It's only been one day and the results are 'good for me'. I got 8 hours of sleep last night, I did an hour of yoga this morning and mediatation for 30 minutes before work. Tonight I'll be hosting a mid-week dinner party with a good friend and her daughter. (I'll try to post the recipes: Cranberry-Pear, Walnut Rice Stuffed Chicken breasts, Garlic sauted Kale and Roasted Zucchini and Pepper salad).
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
As it is now, I am taking a 'time-out'. A big life 'time out' in fact. Yes, I probably need to clear my head as I'm living inside it too much these busy days (don't we all?), and it's partly due to a coach giving me hell. But mostly, it's for that reason we never took during a game, and rarely do during life- to catch my breath, rest my heart and return to a base state. I did consult a doctor about my 3-5lb weight gain a week for the last 8 weeks last Wednesday, and it took until this morning for her advice to sink in and for me to get real about my health. It's not my fault, I'm not doing anything wrong, and continuing to train for the half marathon, and eat a strict diet is not relieving the problematic weight gain at all. And so, as much as I hate to do so, as I've never 'quit' anything in my life once committed to it, I'm dropping out of the half-marathon in October. Following the advice of my doctor, I will be devoting my time to healing my body's physically taxed state. It will only heal if I let it, and by continuing to train for 1-2hours a day, eating too strict of a diet, I was not allowing the healing to happen as it should.
So I ask for your kindness, and understanding. It's an agonizing decision to make, and I'm even now not sure what my days will look like in a new program (what will I do if I don't train 1-2 hours a day? What will more than 6 hours of sleep a night feel like? Can I calm myself enough to do it?). I went straight from training for the fitness competition, to training for a marathon and know no other habit than to be in that gym every day, without fail, pushing my limit. And now, I'm paying the price of not allowing myself to heal. It will make for some interesting topics of discussion here on my blog, as I enter a totally new territory and way of being.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Just take a second to breath in the fresh, pine-laced air. There is frost in the air, but it's a only a short walk up the pine-timber stairway to Vagabond Lodge where a warm welcome awaits. Ken and Lori Chilibeck welcome you to their mountain-side Lodge, channeling the historical Club Vagabond in Switzerland where hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts can gather after their adventures around a warm fire, sipping their cocktail of choice.
Pulling up to our accommodations this weekend, I have to admit being a little intimidated by the red Ferrari parked in the lot, next to the Lincoln Navigator. But those fears were quickly waylaid by a friendly, down to earth welcome from Ken himself. A quick tour of the lodge showcased their impeccable attention to detail, and concern for their guests' comfort. Designed to allow the guests to mingle at their leisure over a game of pool, a cocktail fireside or on the balcony with sweeping alpine views, the concept is incredible. Furs, antique hiking and ski equipment nestled in the common areas are only the beginning of the pieces of art you will encounter around the lodge.
We unpacked our suitcases into the solid oak wardrobe in our suite, sat for a short rest on our window day-bed and changed into our bathings for a dip in the hot tub. Putting our bottle of Reisling into the fridge behind the common bar to chill we headed past the fireplace, pool table and soon-to-be completed sauna to the outdoor hot tub. My aching muscles from training, and partner's sore shoulders from the 2.5hour drive from Calgary appreciated the warmth. Sitting under the stars, facing the mountain slopes it was a true way to begin our weekend of leisure.
Retiring to our queen feather bed for a glass of the aforementioned Riesling, we entirely forgot where we had come from- that busy city somewhere to the east.
The next morning we were served a hot breakfast of fresh scones, peach oatmeal, strawberry pancakes, muesli, eggs etc. The dining area was bright with morning sun, and the other guests were excitedly talking about their outdoor excursions for the day. It was a fun atmosphere to meet couples from Scotland, and one from North Carolina (who inquired if the red car parked out front was ours- choke!). The rest of the weekend was much of the same comradry and comfort.
Must-Do while at Kicking Horse Resort:
Stay at: Vagabond Lodge- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Get your morning java: Bean Bag local, fair trade and organic roasters, downtown Golden.
Lunch at: Whitetooth Bistro with an executive chef with a flair for fresh, local produce and asian influence on 9th Ave (downtown) Golden.
Fresh greens at: Golden Farmer's Market, Saturdays during the summer from 10-2
Health infusion at: Columbia Valley Natural Health Center at 503 9th Avenue North, Golden BC. With the largest selection of organic, bulk spices, beans, flours and other necessities it is a must-stop. I even found the elusive aduki beans for moon cakes in bulk here. I also came away with a great big bag of mate loose tea for the most reasonable price I have ever seen.
Supper or Sunday Brunch at: Atop the mountain at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, in Eagle's Eye Restaurant
Pub fare and tomfoolery at: Local Hero Pub at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The importance of setting a personal philosophy on your health relates to how you know where you're going- and when you get there- or fall from it. Set one that fits with your current goals, or outlook on health and wellness and DON'T use quantities in it at all. I mean it- don't set a lbs/kg's to lose/gain. Don't set a distance/speed objective or a #times/week in the gym goal. Instead create one that encompasses your entire outlook on why you aim to be healthy and well.
Start by getting a blank piece of paper and writing down all the things that come to mind when you think about your health. Why you do it, what are you aiming for (could be a number at this point), how nutrition factors into it, and what good will this do for you? Are you staving off the genetics in your family of heart disease or cancer? Are you looking for confidence in (or out of) your clothes (yes I've seen goals like- look good when I party naked!). Then once you have it all out there in front of you, pick out the overall feeling from looking at that list- what is your true objective? It could be more energy to interact with your kids/family, or more confidence in the workplace knowing I feel healthy (not look good- goals attributed to appearance are shallow and don't have staying power- they can also be a source of low self-esteem).
So that being said, I'll share my new Philosophy on Being Well. I call it this instead of Philosophy of Fitness because my goals center around creating a balance between fitness and nutrition and my life. Name it appropriately for your overall view of your roadmap to healthy living.
Jade's Philosophy for Being Well: To serve others as the most peaceful, pure and active person I can be.
How have my recent decisions reflected this philosophy? I enrolled today in 3 different fitness classes for fall: A cardio salsa class, a pilates class and a yoga class. These, in combination with my regular cardio sessions and weight training, will create a balanced, fun program- with more social opportunities. Totally outside of my comfort zone, training with other people will keep me accountable so I don't overtrain, and so I begin to make fitness-minded friends like myself.
What is your philosophy? And what actions are you putting into practice to demonstrate your commitment to living it each day?
Friday, August 29, 2008
With that in mind, what are you doing to rest this weekend? To reward yourself for all your hard work throughout the year? We were going to head out and do some more surfing, but with the forecast for 11C temperature with rain, we will not. Even a dry suit wouldn't get me in that water- I'd have to wear a parka under it.
This week has been great at work, but busy- so I will be taking advantage and sleeping in on Saturday to restore some energy and balance. Sunday of course I will do my long run- 16k this time around. This last week I caught up on my mileage (kilometerage for Canucks) on the road for training for the half-marathon. I logged 18k in the last 3 days, including hill training which entailed running up and down the same hill 7 times consecutively. The runs have been in the mornings, when the moon and stars are still out.
My meals this week have been a little different as I'm studying up on Ayurveda, which I will post more on once I get my head around some specifics on nutrition and fitness. Today my meals are as follows:
7am: 6 egg whites omlette with 1 mushroom and 1/4 pepper cooked in 1Tbsp coconut oil, 1/4c creamy rice cereal, 1Tbsp raisins, 1Tbsp salba, 1c black coffee
11am: 3oz grilled chicken breast, 1/2c beans/rice mixture, 3Tbsp salsa
3pm: 3oz grilled chicken breast, 8oz raw bell pepper mixture
7pm: 3oz tuna, 6 oz lettuce salad, 2Tbsp salad dressing
9pm: optional 1/2c plain, non-fat yogurt, 1 scoop Optimum Whey Protein Powder (Vanilla) if I feel hungry
I am eating every 4 hours instead of every 2.5-3hours according to the Pitta (my dosha) metabolism cycle. I've also cut out a lot of the foods that throw Pitta's into imbalance like raw carrots and tomatoes.
Why did I switch it up? Because I'm striving for balance now- for a wholistic health. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results: and so maybe to prove I'm not insane I'm trying something different than my weights-heavy fitness and a new eating schedule. I'm still gaining weight at an alarming speed, while sticking to a strict, clean meal plan and training schedule. Perhaps this will ease my system into equilibrium and stop the inexplicable gain.
Happy, Peaceful Resting!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
In my morning trolling, I came across an article about FUN. How great to have something other than the latest gang bust or traffic accident begin my day. Dr. Mercola's feature talks specifically about the importance of creating play time in a married relationship, but I would like to extend that idea further- into every relationship you are a part of. There is no relationship that would not benefit from laughter, joy and excitement.
When I read this, I thought about the last time I had actually hunted for fun- when was the last time I put action to my lust for a good time? In my recent memory, I hadn't actually actively sought a new fun experience for me and my partner to try. The last time I threw a mocktail party at work to diffuse the pressure of the workplace was months ago. I have not been scheduling enough play time in my life. Have you?
Like your 'to do' list today-must work out, cook dinner, get mail, finish project, make phone call- you and I must put action into effecting an outcome of fun. I'm going to start a Jade's Fun Day at home and at work, once a month each. Each month I'll research something new to try, something my partner and I can learn and play in together. I think it will be great to surprise him once a month with a new activity- paintballing, hiking, biking, cooking lessons etc. And I'll do the same with my colleagues at work- research and plan an activity- even if it's bowling down the aisles between offices for 20 min, or bringing my clubs to work to putt around.
If you're thinking-I don't have time for that- what do you have time for? You have time for a grocery list, but not to smile with your friends and family? If you're thinking- what could I get out of it? Check your balance- is your life whole? Do you feel fullfilled, joyous and 'into' it? Try scheduling some fun and you'll see it's an investment worth making.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." Dalai Lama
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Home-made (GF) Protein Bars (makes 8)
modified from MagicPunt on Bodybuilding.com's Protein Bar Recipe Forum- Cred dude!
8 scoops of your favorite protein powder (I used Optimum Whey, Vanilla Ice Cream)
3 cups GF oats
1 package (4 serving) fat free, sugar free Jello pudding (your favorite flavor to compliment the protein powder, I used butterscotch)
1.5 cups milk (more or less to determine consistency of the bar)
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with your fave non-stick method (Pam, oil etc.) Scoop mixture into dish, bake at 200F for 60min. You can refrigerate them instead of baking them, but they don't hold up in bar form that way unless very cold. Baking them dries them for greater portability. The texture is not as chewy/hard as packaged bars, they are more similar to a chewy oatmeal cookie rather than a bar. I would try using a cookie sheet instead of a dish next time, for a flatter bar. Cooking time would then decrease, almost in half I would imagine.
The trip was astounding- how rejuvenating to get back to nature and enjoy my family and friends- not to mention being pulled behind a speedboat or racing on the Seadoo (hey-it can beat most boats on the water). Nothing suits me better than my wetsuit, matching lifejacket and ski gloves. I hid behind big sweaters and shorts on the beach when I was out of my ski gear- still not confident in myself at all. Bad BAD body image...but no fear- I have a plan of action towards a postive end- more on that later.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 1/2c GF oats with splenda and cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg
Meal 2: 3oz tuna, 1c fresh blueberries, 1Tbsp Kraft Sundried Tomatoe Low-fat dressing
Meal 3: 3oz chicken breast grilled (plain), 1/3c lentils+rice, 1Tbsp ketchup
Meal 4: 3oz turkey burger, 8oz raw carrots, 3Tbsp salsa
Meal 5: 3oz chicken breast grilled (plain), 6oz steamed broccoli, 1Tbsp dijon mustard
Meal 6: 1/2c plain, non-fat yogurt with 1 scoop Optimum Whey Vanilla Ice Cream protein.
Yes, I have changed back to whey protein from soy protein after emailed Optimum Nutrition and inquired about their Gluten Free status. They were happy to provide information about their products, and said that all of their protein powder is gluten free- except Cookies&Cream which has actual cookies in the protein mix. My taste buds are re-adjusting to the whey flavour as I got to really enjoy soy.
Let's hope this period of rest heals my pinched nerve and weakened knees and restores my drive for training. Oh- and let's hope that one day, I can lounge in that fab spa (this girl can dream!)
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I started with a tub of ricotta left over from some spinach-stuffed portabello mushrooms (recipe on it's way!). I wanted to try ricotta in a sweet dish as I have always used it for more savory recipes. A search on my favorite tool, the Food Blog Search returned many ricotta tart recipes. I choose this one to use for the filling, because of it's simplicity. And I choose this one to use for the crust. With my modifications, the recipe is below.
I will change the recipe next time I make it, perhaps use more lemon zest in the filling, and potentially add coconut to the almond crust to enhance the flavour of the lemon. The texture of the filling is not as creamy as a marscapone filling, but nice and light.
Lemon Ricotta Tart with Almond Crust (GF)
Almond Tart or Pie Crust modified from the Gluten Free Goddess
1 cup ground almond meal
3/4 cup agave nector or honey
2 Tbsp egg whites (or 1 egg white), beaten
1 Tbsp applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salta
dash of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using your fave non-stick method, prepare a tart pan (I use coconut oil). Mix ground almonds, sugar, egg, extract, salt & spice. Spread the almond mixture into the pie plate and press lightly to form a crust. You may put dry beans on top of the crust to keep it flat while baking- similar to using pie weights. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is firm. Cool before filling.
Lemon Ricotta Filling modified from Once Upon a Cakestand
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 whole eggs (don't subsitute on this)
3/4c agave nectar
Icing sugar- for garnish
Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until combined. Pour into cooled almond crust and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 min, until the filling is set. Cool and dust with icing sugar.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Each day I set a mini-goal to achieve- whether it be a time on a run, a distance or reps on a final set. Some days it is to stay out of that damned peanut butter jar. Today's goal was just as important to my health as any other. When I saw the word, Relax, written on the top of my page as I trained bis/tris/chest today (no cardio at all!) I calmed my breathing, concentrated on the contraction and release of my muscles as I lifted and got an increadible mind-muscle connection out of my workout.
Now, as I sit in front of my desk, strewn with marketing proofs, proposal deadlines and watch the voicemail in my telephones inbox pile up as I deal with it all my goal for the day remains in the forefront. Breathe, and relax.
It's nice to achieve a little something everyday, on the way towards larger goals I have set for myself. Make one for yourself today- and complete it. Simple. Rewarding.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
So far a good way to begin a shortened week- I hope all Canadians enjoyed a wonderful long weekend this weekend.
5 km, 30 min in AM
Back/Shoulders split weight training
15 min 4.0 speed, 7.0 incline treadmill walking.
I am encouraged this week; my meal plan is changing again to trick my metabolism into working- thanks again to my brilliant nutritionist who keeps the surprises coming. I don' t know how I could do this without him- I honestly would have no clue what is going on with my recovery if he wasn't counselling me so well.
A point of interest: Tosca Reno is coming out of fitness competition retirement. I read this with mixed emotions. I admire Tosca for making health and fitness so appealing to every person, especially to busy women who have tried every unhealthy dieting fad that is out there. She lectures clean eating and an active lifestyle to maintain your health and vitality for your lifetime. So when she announced that she would be competing in a master's fitness competition, I was proud and very excited for her- she is gorgeous and will do well. But I also thought about the mixed message her followers may be getting. A competition diet is not healthy, and the training can be too intense- your body goes through the ringer while prepping for a contest. It is unrealistic to follow her competition diet and training regime and maintain the healthy lifestyle she advocates. So while she takes this meaningful, rewarding journey, I hope her readers understand the irony of it all.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
These are moist and soft; more dense due to the coconut and oats. Partner loves these for an afternoon carbohydrate to get through the afternoon energy slump. He pairs his with a protein shake to get a mix of protein and carbs. I make these GF by using the alternative listed below the recipe- but save these as a treat.
Pineapple Banana Muffins
3 medium bananas mashed, (about 1 1/2c)
1/2c fresh pineapple, chopped (or canned, but drained)
1/3c vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4c turbinado sugar
2/3c flaked coconut
1/2c slow-cooking oats
4Tbsp ground flax seed
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12-muffin tin. Combine wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold together wet and dry, spoon into tin and bake for 20 min. Gluten Free Alternative: To make this a GF batch, replace wheat flour with your fave GF flour mix, use GF oats and also, soak 4Tbsp ground flaxseed in 1/4c hot water for 15 minutes and add to the wet ingredients.
Modified from: Karen's Pineapple Banana Muffins, p. 100 The Salt Spring Experience: Recipes for the Body, Mind and Spirit.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I did it because I thought that I had to work my lunch off- when in reality, it was just fine.
Goal: Rest on Saturday- total, utter rest.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sticking to a maximum amount of cardio a day has been very very stressful. I'm always calculating, oh! I could do an extra 10 more min here or there. Also, eating all my prescribed food has been tough- but I'm doing it. My body was starving before, too much activity and not enough food; now that I'm resting and eating more it's inevitable to gain a few pounds- but this will drop once it's returned to a balanced state and doesn't think I'm in a famine.
I have been trying since Sunday to upload pics and recipe of my fave tropical muffins but to no avail. I'll keep trying.
I'm on track for my 1/2m training, this morning i did three hills, according to the training schedule mapped out for me by my clinic. In all, I ran 5k this morning. Yesterday it was a flat 4k run. I'm enjoying a new, warm but breathable running sweater I got from my sister these chilly mornings (I can see my breath at 445am).
I will try a new bi/tri workout later today, and do no extra cardio. Once I have completed this week on my new weight training program I designed I will share it with a review. I'm still tweaking it a bit; it's a 2 day repeated split (so train 4 days a week with weights). I'm not training my legs at all because they are getting it with the hills and running I'm doing. Let's see if it keeps them lean without too much muscle mass. So look for a new weight program later in the week, and hopefully some tantalizing muffin shots.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
It began with a good old fashioned sleep over with my truest friend, M. She went all out, drinks and appy's the night before my birthday, then stayed overnight with me and we had a wonderful brunch on the patio and mani/pedis and shopping during the day. So lucky to have you my darling!
These are the roses Partner gave to me on my birthday, with a few of the mini-bday cakes I made, and an empty glass of red wine. He took me to the River Cafe for supper that night; I had an Elk carpaccio to start, then the feature duck breast with confit salad rolls and we split the grilled apricot on toasted pound cake with creme fraiche for the sweet. My dinner cocktail was a lemon splash- a nice white wine with fresh made lemonade. Impecable- the entire experience. The Folk Music Festival was on the island, and we got the benefit of the incredible music as we sat on the patio, lazily enjoying dinner as the river flowed around us. Some of the musicians were having drinks behind us- very artsy. What an experience.
We then walked around the island. He had given me a fine, royal purple, 3 tiered designer jewellery box on Wednesday (he can't wait to give me the presents he gets me- inevitable we celebrate Christmas in November because we get so excited) and so I was shocked when he pulled out a little tissue wrapped box. It looked like something that could fit into my new jewellery box- and it was. Just at the spot where he knew my Dad proposed to my mother, and not far from where Partner proposed to me a year and a half-ago, he gave me another wedding band. A beautiful white gold band I can wear when I'm training, baking and cooking without having to worry about bending the diamond setting or getting my other rings scuffed up. I'm so grateful, and so overwhelmed.
Here is the recipe in it's entirety:
Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake (GF) adapted from Elana's Pantry
¼ cup cocoa (I used Mayan cocoa from Mexico)
1 teaspoon salt (I used Himilayan fine grind)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2oz best quality chocolate, melted
1 cup coconut oil
1 ½ cups agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used my Mexican vanilla)
- In a small bowl combine flour, cacao, salt and baking soda
- In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, blend eggs, oil, agave nectar, vanilla and melted chocolate
- Add dry ingredients into large bowl and continue to blend
- Oil (2) 9 inch round cake pans and dust with coconut flour
- Pour batter into pans and bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes
- Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then remove from pans
- Frost and serve
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache adapted from Sparkpeople recipes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salted butter
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 - 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
Combine cream, butter and peanut butter in a microwave safe container, heat for short periods at a time until melted. Stir in chocolate until smooth.
I made this on Thursday night and stored in the fridge until it was time to decorate. Remove from fridge at least 1 hour before frosting, to return ganache to a spreadable consistency at room temperature.
Peanut Butter Icing from the Barefoot Contessa (best icing I've ever had!)
Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
I made this on Thursday as well, and stored it overnight in the fridge, returning it to room temperature before spreading.
The cakes were different, one layered with chopped mini reeces and icing in the middle and icing around the sides topped with ganache. The others were layered with ganache and full mini reeces cups and topped with icing. The PB M&M's added some color.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
4:45am- 5k run (approx 30 min- Garmin battery died again!) 6:36 pace
9:00am- Sets of 25/20/15/12 of
Tricep dips (tris), DB lateral raise (shoulders), DB curls (bis)
Overhead BBll extension (tris), BBll front raise (shoulders), BBll curls (bis)
10 min treadmill incline 7.0 speed 4.0
My arms are super sore after this. My chest really complained when I used it to stabilize during the tri dips and extensions from yesterday's Crossfit workout.
Nutrition- on track according to my meal plan, up to meal 3. 3 more to go!
Part of getting back to a more balanced health regimine is limiting my training and sticking to my meal plan. For each day that I do only my planned workouts I give myself a heart in the corner of my log book; and for each day I stick to my meal plan I give myself a star. It's nice to accumulate such little tokens but it means a lot to me. And while on the treadmill today, as tempted as I was to just go and go and go, I stepped off at 10 min.
Do whatever you gotta do...