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 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 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, " 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, 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 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 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!!