Tuesday, July 09, 2013

My New Adventure

So, since going back to work after my mat leave last August, it's really been a struggle to pick up my weight loss journey. I couldn't figure out how to get it all done: work....family....me. I felt like things really started to get out of control. It wouldn't matter how many times I tried to put a plan together for myself, it just wasn't working. I was struggling. MEGA struggling. I knew something really had to change. I was in a rut and a big one at that.

So I've written about my PCOS before. I've come across a couple groups on Facebook and I seemed to notice a constant between the two: Shakeology and Paleo. Well, I'm not interested in Shakeology. It's a protein powder sold by the BeachBody brand. Paleo, on the otherhand was something I wanted to delve into a little further. I've seen Paleo around for a couple years now, it's really strong in the CrossFit world. I didn't really know a lot about it, so I thought I'd look into it a little bit more before making my decision. Another thing I've been seeing a lot lately is eating more and lifting heavier. Eat more and lose weight...say what?! After years of pounding it into your head that you've gotta eat less to lose weight, this is something that seemed so foreign and something I'd really have to wrap my head around.

So what exactly is Paleo? It's the principles of a pre-historic diet and Robb Wolf explains it here.

The decision didn't come lightly. But, after talking to a couple people, reading some articles and self-reflection...I came to a decision. I was going to do this. There were some MAJOR changes that needed to be made. I recruited D. I said, let's do this for 21 days. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so this was my minimum for this. And if I was doing this, it was going to be done with 110%. As much as it was going to be hard for me, I knew it was going to be even more so for D. So there was going to be no half-ass'ing it. We were going cold turkey. We were about to eliminate grains, refined sugar, and processed foods.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

It has been so gosh gram long since my last post! I have no excuse other than my time revolving around a certain 21 month old who's now WELL into the terrible twos stage (oh joy) and when I finally get some down time, I usually find myself spending a lot of time on the couch...that's another post! This space has never been far from my mind and I wanted to get active again...in more ways that one!

We LOVE fish tacos and have been making them for a while now and I have to say the version I've been making lately has to be my favorite so far. They are so damn good! You get sweet, you get spice and everything nice! It's a MUST share! In previous versions I've used cabbage in the tacos, as well as coleslaw mix, but for these ones I serve coleslaw on the side. Now, I usually just throw the ingredients together without measuring, but I'll do my best to gauge the measurements and quantity.

So, without further ado...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eggnog Cupcakes

Christmas Eve...where has the time gone?!

I knew it had been quite some time since I've written anything...basically since I've been back to work. But, quite frankly, I was shocked that it hasn't been since the middle of July and the last post being the Pina Colada Pops! Oh summer...I miss you!

I also seem to have developed quite the Angry Birds addiction...that's a whole other post on its own - ha!

It's been kind of interesting leading up to Christmas for me this year having an EXTREMELY active 1 year old...into everything, all the time, a mile a minute! The last month was pretty brutal as well as she's been a slow teether...until the last month! From the middle of November until now she has cut her 4th bottom front tooth, her two bottom eye teeth, her two bottom first molars and I have not been able to get a good look at the top. I'm not quite sure how I functioned during the day at work with very little sleep. A few nights, no sleep at all. I did though. Somehow! A few nights there I was starting to think I was crazy for wanting more (kids). But then the next morning when I'd have her in bed with me and she'd roll over and reach her little arms out to hug and cuddle into me, those thoughts quickly disappated! I was beginning to wonder how I was going to get it all done. At least, what I would normally get done for Christmas. I think I was stressing myself out even further with such high expectations with trying to achieve what I used to and I just had to accept reality - I couldn't. So I decided that this year, I would sacrifice my baking. GASP! Really?! Really. So, I bought a flat of Nanaimo Bars...I figured as long as I had my Nanaimo Bars, all would be right in the world. Well, that flat is already half gone. I was like, "GET IN MY BELLY!" And oh...they did!

D is working night shift Christmas Eve night and Christmas night. If he's on night shift at Christmas, they usually do a potluck and I usually make Magic Bars. Well this year, I wasn't planning on anything. I thought maybe he'd just take in some wings or something. But I don't know what got into me the other day...must have been the Christmas Spirit! But I offered to make Eggnog Cupcakes for him to take! Then Little Miss and I were invited for Christmas dinner and I decided I would just make more and bring them for dessert! I was all of a sudden ready to get to it!

When I was pulling out my ingredients this morning, it felt so good! It honestly did! There's a feeling that comes over me when I start to bake. I feel so relaxed. Like I could take on the world! Little Miss had gone down for a nap and D went out for some last minute shopping. So I turned on the monitor (thank god for a visual monitor), put my earbuds in and cranked up my music. IN MY ELEMENT! I was ready to rock these Eggnog Cupcakes!

I've made these before a couple years ago and they are so delicious! You know how sometimes a flavour doesn't quite translate into a baked good - it just doesn't taste exactly like it, or you only have a slight hint of the flavour...this is NOT the case here! When you take a bite, the flavour is so dead on, you may as well be taking a sip of eggnog...with rum! YUM!

So let's get to it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Sweets: Piña Colada Pops

Oh summer, you are just the jam to my pb! You never cease to wow me...when you show up! And so far...you have!

I was really starting to get a complex thinking that maybe the lack of summer was my fault. I saved up vacation time prior to my mat leave so I had a full summer off last year. And this year, well I don't go back until August 7th and up until last Sunday...summer was nowhere to be seen. It seemed like we had skipped forward to fall! It was THAT cold and dreary! So I was starting to get a complex thinking that maybe because I was on leave that maybe, just maybe, this horrible weather was my fault. That maybe I wasn't allowed to take leave during the summer months. But look at us now! Basking in all of summer's glory!! (Thank you summer! Now I don't have to worry about taking time off and have all your doom and gloom weather fall on my shoulders. We'll leave that up to Mother Nature. I'm sure her shoulders are a little broader than mine...one can hope at least!)

Since we've been having such hot weather, there was no way I was turning on my oven. Last week's Sunday Sweets was the Chocolate Banana Cream Cheese Pie which only had the oven on for a few minutes, but now that we're well into our lovely hot weather that oven was not getting turned on! And what better time than now to introduce boozy pops to Terracotta Café!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Moment of Truth

I got eliminated from the biggest loser challenge I was in. There. I said it.

It was a community 5 month challenge that began May 1st. The only way to get eliminated was if you gained weight. Also, if you didn't weigh in, you'd be disqualified. I made it through the first month with a measly 2lb loss. Then we come to July 1st. I weighed in. 1lb...up.1lb! I got eliminated because of 1lb? One. Measly. Pound. It wasn't like it was a surprise. I knew I was up. I was actually surprised it wasn't more than that. I wasn't working out. I was eating crap. I wasn't really trying. So, I gained weight. I got eliminated.

Am I sad? Angry? To be honest...not really! Slightly disappointed because it was 1lb. Maybe I would feel a bit better had it been more like five. I actually feel relief. Throughout the whole last month I really thought about what was going on. I feel like because I wasn't "allowed" to gain weight...I did. When I'm feeling a restriction is placed on me, I'm more likely to resist back and be like "Oh yeah? Well I'll show you!" It's just not in the positive direction it should be. Can someone please tell me I'm not allowed to lose weight??

I think also I know that my maternity leave is almost up and my back to work date is getting closer. I'm starting to stress out about that a little A LOT and I have in my mind that maybe I shouldn't even bother trying to "lose weight" until I'm back to work and we have out routine all in place and everything is a little more settled. Instead of getting into a routine now and then trying to alter it then. Am I just making an excuse?

I've been tossing around some ideas in my mind lately about my whole weight loss journey. I believe that it's 80% mental and 20% physical. I 100% believe that is true. And believe me, if my mind isn't in the right place, it just ain't happenin'! So, I've made a decision. My decision is this: to implement a new game plan where my mission is changed. My mission is no longer to "lose weight". I mean, when you lose something, you're almost always going to find it, right? Well I don't want to find that weight (both mental and physical). So in order to do that, my mission is now to get fit and healthy. When someone asks me if I'm trying to lose weight. Nope. I'm getting fit and working towards being the healthiest I can be for the rest of my life. I'm no longer going to focus on the number on the scale. I'm focusing on my body and my mind. I don't want my goal to be a number.We were catching up on Mad Men and in season 5 Betty has been struggling with her weight and going to Weight Watchers. There was a scene in episode 9 where she was at a meeting and the leader said something that rang so true to me. It was definitely an "a ha" moment.

We always talk about our goal in pounds, but that's not all it is. Is it?


I have so many goals that I want to achieve, but the main one I talk about is always pounds! But that's not what it's about! It's about feeling great. It's about feeling and being strong! It's about getting out my road bike again (my love) and completing the Skeena River Challenge. It's about being able to have a non high risk pregnancy. It's about being able to go shopping for clothes and not have to worry if they carry plus sizes! It's about having less strain on my back. It's about being able to set an example for my daughter and leading a long, healthy life so that I can be around for her.

So how will I achieve my goals? 

I am no longer putting restrictions on foods. My relationship with food has been strained for so long. For years it's been ingrained into our minds that there are good foods and bad foods. Eat this - Not that. This is why we so often fail. When you're told not to do something...that darn little devil is put into play and sits there on your shoulder saying, "Cmon...you know you wanna!" And so the food battle begins continues.So I'm setting out to try a different approach. EAT! That doesn't mean that I'm only eating junk food. I will eat the foods that provide my body with the highest performance fuel. And if I want to eat cake, you better believe I'm going to eat cake.

I'm going to move. I'm going to sweat. I'm going to get strong.

I'm not putting any deadlines on any of this. For so long I've set out on my weight loss journey saying, "Okay. I'm going to lose 60lbs by such and such date." How has that helped me? Sure they say you have to have measurable goals and they should have a time frame. That this helps you to get there. I'm not trying to get there, to one certain point. This is for life. My every day, rest of my life.

I'm not going to say all this starts "tomorrow", "Monday", "next week", "when I go back to work". It's already started. It started when I came into this world and took my first breath. My life. It's been up to me all along to live my best life because it's the only one we have. You better believe I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure of that!

I hope you do too.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Sunday Sweets: Chocolate Banana Cream Cheese Pie

This is going to be short and oh so sweet! Summer has finally arrived!!! So instead of baking and writing away at the laptop, I was outside with Little Miss soaking up the glorious sunshine! We even had a couple friends over to hang out in the frigid pool! We didn't care!! Summer's here!! Hearing and reading about all of these 100°F+ temperatures in the eastern parts of the continent, was really starting to get annoying (sorry to those of you who live there...no, not really!) because we had SUCH a crappy summer last year. Wait...we DIDN'T have summer last year. It was almost a full week of warm temps, that was about it. I kept hearing, "Oh, but this must be so nice for you while being pregnant!" Noooo! It wasn't nice! I felt if just one more person said that to me, I would scream at them. Remember, don't piss off a pregnant woman! I'm a summer girl. So not a winter girl. I love the heat! Bring it on! I sometimes wonder why I live here in Northwest BC. An area with really crappy weather. Harsh winters and a ton of gloomy, rainy days. But when the sun does shine. Ohh, it's so beautiful! I guess just has to be that the sunny days, however far and few between they are, just far outweigh the overwhelming number of fugly days. We get really invested in our weather here, as you can tell, ha! So, there was no way I was going waste my day away. It was going to be enjoyed outdoors, doing summery things!

So, I've had these bananas that went pretty ripe quite quickly. They definitely needed to be used up in something more than my usual go-to breakfast of toast with pb & b (add a sprinkle of cinnamon on the banana....mon favori!!) The other day I also spotted a bag of graham crumbs in the cupboard so I knew I wanted to make sometime with a graham crust. Hmmm...what else did I have. Chocolate pudding...cream cheese.... Everything was just kinda falling into place for a nice no-bake pie! Perfect for a nice, summery day. Something quick and easy, so we could get the most out of the day! I also just kinda slapped it together while D was grilling the steaks! Then by the time I got around to photographing, it was dark and my camera wasn't within arms reach...but my iPhone was! So I'm kinda lazy....so what.....hehe! To take the laziness even further, I didn't follow a recipe, again, I just kinda slapped this together, so I'll do my best at writing out the recipe...

Chocolate Banana Cream Cheese Pie

2+ cups Graham Crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 pkg Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 1/4 cup Milk (I use skim)
8oz Cream Cheese (I used light), softened
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 medium Banana

Combine the graham crumbs and melted butter. I said 2+ cups because I just kept adding more crumbs until I found a consistency for the crust that I liked. I actually think it ended up being more like 3 cups. Press the mixture into a 9" pie plate and bake in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it! When it's done, remove from the oven and cool. (I waited about 5 minutes once out of the oven and then I threw it in the freezer to cool even faster!)

While the crust is in the oven, combine the pudding and milk and beat with an electric mixtur on slow for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed and beat until you get your desired texture. I decreased the amount of milk than what the pudding package calls for so that the pudding would be thicker. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese with the electric mixer until smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides as you go along! Add the vanilla and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix. Set aside

Once the crust is cooled enough, spread the cream cheese mixture on the bottom. Then, spread the pudding on top of that. Put in the fridge to chill for a couple hours or until ready to serve. Just before serving, slice up the banana and place on the top of the pie. Serve. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sunday Sweets: O Canada

Haul out the toques, maple syrup and throw as many "ehs" into sentences we can! It's Canada Day! Every year we head to Kitimat to take in the festivities since it's the best Canada Day party in the northwest! They have the parade, the international food fair, all the activities happening at Riverlodge, entertainment and the night wraps up with fireworks...which we'll of course have to miss this year. And, it's also one of the biggest social events of the year. If there's someone you haven't seen in ages, you're bound to run into them! Walk a few feet..."Oh heyyy! How have you been?? Haven't seen you in ages!!" Walk another few feet..."Oh heyy! How have you been?? Haven't seen you in in ages!!" Walk another few feet...you get the picture! Our weather has been so miserable, rainy and cold. Zero summer so far. But, when does miserable weather ever stop us? I guess if it did, we wouldn't live here (we just stay to keep complaining about it! Ha!) So Little Miss was put into her "Canadian Cutie" t-shirt (can't quite see it in the photos I took), flags were attached to her stroller and we were off! With all of the hub bub of development going on in the area, we figured the parade was going to be quite long. It was. One of the largest parades in years! I grew up in Kitimat, so it was nice to go down for the day, see some familiar faces and partake in one of our favorite events of the year!

Lately, I've been seeing over the top flavour combinations all over Pinterest like crazy! Peanut butter cup, cookie dough, oreo cupcakes. Peanut butter, pretzel brownies. Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars. Just to name a few. So I thought I would partake in some of this madness to celebrate our nation's birthday....something red and white? Add a little richness. A dash huge amount of deliciousness. Et voila! Happy Birthday, Canada!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

1/2 cup butter
1cup sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2-3 tsp red food colouring (gel)
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour

8oz. cream cheese, softened (VERY important to be softened! I wasn't patient and it turned out lumpy!)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 pan.

Melt the butter. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the next six ingredients. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Add to the mixture and stir. Fold in the flour, being careful to not over-mix.

 Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture. Pour the remainder of the batter into the pan.

Beat the cream cheese until soft using a stand or hand mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture overtop of the brownie batter in the pan. Drop spoonfuls of the reserved brownie batter on top of the cream cheese. Using a toothpick or knife, drag it through the batter to create the swirls. (I was really rushing and ended up with more of marbled effect than swirls)

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cream cheese is set. Once done, place on a cooling rack and allow to completely cool before cutting. Serve. Enjoy!

I cut mine into 9, so they were a hefty size. I then individually wrapped them and threw them in the freezer. I of course ate one two before they made it in. Actually I think I'll go get one now...

Happy Canada Day!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Little Miss is... 10 months old

Are you for real? My baby girl is 10 months already?! Where is the time going? When people tell you to enjoy every minute of it because it's going to go by so fast, you think yeah, I know it will. You hear it so many times over and over again that it just kind of becomes this thing that goes in one ear and out the other and it's like yeah, yeah, I know and you don't really quite believe it. But I'm telling you now....believe it! It's true! The time goes by so insanely fast and really, where do the days go? Not to sure, but now I have a 10 month old Little Miss!

Finally, first time in a swing at Ambleside Park while visiting Grammy and Grampy


It's funny how when you're a first time mom you have all these big ideas of things you're going to get done and work on. What's really funny is how little time you actually have to get those done. When you finally do have a spare minute, you just want to sit there and do nothing. Be a mindless blob. At least that's how I felt! I started to write Little Miss emails each month. I think her last one was when she turned five months. I haven't even kept up with writing in her baby book. Isn't this only supposed to happen with your second or third child? Your first child is supposed to have every single moment, every milestone documented? Uh oh.... I think it's time to start writing down those milestones, likes and dislikes!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The other day there was a great sale on cases of Mangoes at Wholesale. I saw these beauties and thought of the deliciousness that could lay ahead should I put them in my cart. So I did.

I had been craving a crisp or a cobbler, so I knew that some of those would definitely become that. As for the rest, well around here don't let the clouds, rain and just plain cold fool you. It's summer! And that means slushy cocktails! They all won't go towards those....or will they??

So, I got peeling and chopping! Some went into the blender to be puréed and some just remained in chunks to be used in my dessert and for smoothies!

I poured the purée into ice cube trays so that we can grab a couple frozen cubes to mix into delicious margaritas and daiquiris! I bagged the chunks up into 1 cup portions, which could be used for smoothies or baking or curry, even salads!

Leftover purée went into a baggie for one of those days when I need a VERY large margarita!
Those chunks sitting there patiently in the green bowl were used for this..

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Sweets: Lemon Loaf

When we went away on our holiday, we had our next door neighbor look after our place. On our way back, just before we were about to board our flight in Vancouver, I all of sudden realized we had forgotten our keys at my parents' place. YIKES! So I called up our neighbor - luckily he was home! He would meet us at the airport with our second set of keys. So I knew I had to do something nice for him. I would bake him something! Of course when we brought it over to him with a thank you card, he told us we really shouldn't have - as he always does. But in my books, you should always try to show your appreciation. This time it was with this tangy, moist, delicious lemon loaf!

The great thing about lemons is that you can use them any time of year! These Coconut Lemon Squares are one of my go to recipes when you need something sweet, quick and easy! Lemon is right up there in my favorite baking flavours. LOVE it - especially in this loaf! And, the glaze just tops it off perfectly. I did a whole bunch of freezer baking prior to Little Miss' arrival and two of those were those squares and this lemon loaf. I actually cut them both up and individually wrapped the pieces so that you could just one at a time out of the freezer instead of hauling out the whole thing and having to eat it right away. It's an awesome thing to do! Portion control!!

Makes 1 loaf

2/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp lemon zest, grated
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar

Cream the margarine and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each one. Add in the milk and beat well.

Combine the dry ingredients and lemon zest.

Stir until just moistened.

Pour into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan and spread evenly.

Bake in a pre-heated 350°F for 60min until an inserted skewer in the centre comes out clean. Poke holes all over the top (careful not to poke through to the bottom) of the hot loaf with the skewer.

For the glaze, stir the lemon juice into the sugar until dissolved. Drizzle over the warm loaf and then let stand in pan for about 10 minutes. Use a knife around the edges to loosen the loaf and then remove from the pan
and let it cool on a wire rack.