Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu - Extra Special Sunday Breakfast and Dinner

I do not want to make this blog a daily-menu blog, but I can't help but post today's menu. Why ? Just because I thought it was extra-special, and because I want to make Sunday the menu-day. So let's see what was on my plate today.

Breakfast- Peanut Butter toast, with 4 dates, applesauce, cottage cheese, and tomato beans.

There was no lunch (OH MY GOODNESS ! What was I thinking ?!) for the simple reason that I got up wayyyyy too late, and ended up having breakfast around 11:30. Instead, decided that I would just grad a snack around 3:00PM and last until dinner.

Snack- A juicy and sweet pink lady apple.

Phil and I went outside, this afternoon. It was bright and sunny, and it was a perfect day to take a walk. Warm enough to wear a hoodie instead of a winter coat. It rocked ! Then for dinner, I decided that we could enjoy tacos on lettuce leaves (instead of corn tortillas) with cress, cheese and salsa.

It was the first time I tried tacos made this way, and frankly, I won't go back to greasy and messy corn tortillas. Iceberg lettuce made a crispy, healthy and fresh wrapping, and I could stuff a lot more meat and veggies than regular tacos. What a filling dinner that was ! I had a hard time finishing the second taco. I should have left what was left over in the plate, but I didn't. It was too good ! Thanks goodness, I don't do that every day.

And then for dessert, my No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Pudding with sliced strawberries and bananas. It was DECADENT ! I never realised how much better a homemade pudding was compared to store bought. Plus, my husband loves it. Yes... My veggie-hater of a husband loves veggie burgers and tofu. He's weird, don't ask ! So here's how the plate looked...

So that's it. My kitchen is closed. It's 9:00PM and I'm still stuffed from dinner. I guess I should have eaten a little less :)

Dieting and my Relationship with Food

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I was in the middle of a BIG change. Some of you might know already, but I was on Weight Watchers since December 2008, and my weight loss efforts we not doing THAT great.

So I had to think and find WHY it was so bad, WHY I wasn't able to do it. I mean, points are easier to count than calories, no ? What made it so difficult ?

And then I realised, even if WW is about changing your lifestyle, it is still about counting your food and writing down what you eat all the time. By using these methods, it IS still a diet, even though they are saying the opposite. There has to be more to eating than writing everything down ? Eating normally and having a healthy relationship with food is not writing it down, or calculating every single portion to make sure you don't have 251g instead of 250g ! A healthy relationship with food is knowing what's good for you, eating WHEN you are hungry, and make sensible choices.

Now, now, I am not bashing Weight Watchers. It just wasn't for me, I guess. But there are things I learned from the program that I have fully integrated in my lifestyle. I must say that WW was more of a learning curve for me. Learning to drink more water, to eat more fiber, to choose multigrain/wholemeal options over refined flour/sugar options, etc. But it didn't help me have a healthier relationship with food. I was becomming obsessed. Writing everything down, thinking about how many points I had left, depriving myself during the week, because every single week-end restaurant meal was going to burst my points budget for the week, and even binging out of frustration. I had enough of all that.

I took the decision to cancel my Weight Watchers subscription and get in contact with a registered dietician. That's what my father did a couple years ago when he had to lose 30-35 lbs in order to keep his cholesterol and blood sugar levels under the critical marks, and I must say, he is maintaining his weight and has had a lot of success without counting and becomming obsessed with food labels. (Good job dad !)

So there I was, March 2nd, waiting at a dietician's clinic, not knowing what to expect. Well, I was quite surprised ! My goal used to be 125 lbs, she made sure that I understood that the right weight for me would rather be between 135 and 140lbs instead ! She also explained that my goal was not only to reduce my weight but to reduce my waistline to 31 inches or LESS. It is not only a matter of weight, it is also a matter of measurements !

So finally, I got out of there with a couple guidelines :

I am prohibited to count any food, except my breads and substitutes (It's the food group that is causing problem in my case) and then again, I can only count them for the first two weeks, just to be more aware of what I put in my mouth. After that, I will be prohibited to count EVERYTHING.

Why ? Because I will be 24 years old next week, and at my age, I shouldn't be counting food. I should be working on listening to my hunger signals.

I can eat as many portions of (lean) protein as I wish. But I have to listen to myself and STOP when I am no longer hungry.

Why ? Proteins will keep me full for a longer time. I was scared, at first, because I am guilty of the gluttony sin... But I must admit, protein fills you up a lot more than anything else and I realised that it was easy to tell when I was full or not.

I have to STOP drinking as much juice.

Why ? Juice contains a lot less fiber than a whole fruit or vegetable. Therefore, it is digested very quickly by your body and you end up being hungry very fast as well.

I have been feeling much better this week. I have stopped worrying about my food intake, and I have started listening to MY BODY. I eat when I am hungry, and I do not eat when I'm not. End of the story.

Oh, and I saw a loss on the scale, because I peeked before Weight In day. (I weight in every other week, now.)

I will finish this post with a recipe I got from a co-worker, it's vegan and full of protein goodness. Plus, it's chocolate-flavoured.


Ingredients :
1 package of semi-firm silken tofu, drained,
2 ripe bananas,
1/3 cup cocoa,
1/3 cup your choice of sweetener.

Instructions :
Dump in blender, blend, refrigerate for about and hour, then enjoy!

This recipe is husband-approved, mostly with sliced strawberries and bananas on top.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Website Review - Kath Eats Real Food

I really want to introduce you to a website I have been visiting regularly since a week. A good friend of mine told me to take a look at it, and I immediately fell in love with it ! It is "Kath Eats Real Food". Yes, it is a food blog, but not just any random food blog. It is about healthy living and healthy food. This couldn't be more convenient, since I am trying to eat healthier and (of course) get done with my weight loss.

I have been browsing her Oatmeal section, drooling over the pictures, because everything looks so delicious ! I just love oatmeal, and I would eat it everyda three times a day, but sometimes, the same old stuff seems to get boring. Well, no more ! Oatmeal with muffin, with pumpkin seeds and puree, with toffee chips, with chocolate chips, NAME THEM !

I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast for the past 3-4 days, and found that they keep me full for a very long time when I make them the way Kath makes them.

First, she always has a spoonful of nut butter. This is very important, that's where you get your healthy fat and proteins. She often add fruit to her oats. Mostly mashed banana, but I've seen pumpkin puree or berries added to some of her recipes. I've even seen spinach and butternut squash ! And then, top with a small quantity of whatever you like. Granola, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, toffee chips, slivered almonds or any other kind of nuts. Your goal here, is to make it look like a treat. And it works ! Your breakfast is more than complete, with the fiber from the oatmeal, the fruits you top it with, and the nut butter you use to get your protein intake.

But oatmeal is not onl what Kath's blog is about. She also has a very nice recipes section, divided by meal type. They all look delicious, plus they are VERY healthy ! I will eventually review a couple of her recipes, when I get more time to get cooking !

In the meantime, feel free to browse through her blog, and try recipes. If you try some of them, why don't you just drop me a line to let me know how you liked it ?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Real Food - How to Start a Day on a Good Note.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and also my favorite. Actually, I could eat breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, breakfast for snacks, breakfast for dinner... Yeah, you get it !

But the point is, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you'd better make it interesting. I'm one of those who can't eat the same thing for a given meal more than two days in a row. I get bored. Then I eat junk and not real food.

Following the yogourt experiment, I decided that the heavenly tasting yogourt I made was to be used for breakfast. The next morning, I had 1 cup of yogourt, half a cup of granola, and a tablespoon of honey. I'm not used to eating plain yogourt, so I added a bit of vanilla extract, and a tiny bit of Splenda. (I'm trying to eat less and less artificial sweeteners, but it's soooooo hard !)

So that's how the bowl looked just before I started eating.

It was delicious, filling and I will definitely make that again. It was well worth the effort, and I wasn't even hungry when lunch time came. See ? Eating real food keeps you full for longer. And it tastes so much better...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Healthy Living Series - The Yogourt Maker

The Healthy Living Series will be about little tips and tricks you can learn to eat as clean as possible ! I wish to eliminate as much junk as possible in what I eat, and I want to be able to share my experiments with you.

This week is about making yogourt. No, it's not only about a litre of milk that you simply forget on the counter overnight. Actually, you need a yogourt maker and yogourt starter (Lyophilised dairy culture.) in order to make great yogourt.

I recently tasted homemade yogourt and that's what made me want to switch from commercial to homemade. I do NOT want starch or gelatin in my yogourt. I want milk. And bugs (The culture). Nothing else, thank you very much. The list of fillers and additives is even longer in the case of flavored yogourt. So I decided to ask for an electric yogourt maker for my birthday, which is on March 12th.

Saturday, while shopping with my mother, I ended up looking at one specific yogourt maker, and she decided to buy it, as an early birthday gift. The one we got is what's pictured on the left. It is Lyo-San's Yogourmet Multi. I can make up to two litres of yogourt, with regular or probiotic dairy culture, for half the price of prepared yogourt. Awesome !!!

Depending on the dairy culture you get, it can take up to 15 hours to get to the results you want, but it's well worth it, in my opinion. I usually get Yogourmet's Probiotic Culture.

I made my first batch of yogourt on Saturday evening, just before closing the kitchen for the night. I brought the milk to a boil and then watched the temperature go down to around 25°C, the recommended temperature for probiotic culture to be safely inoculated without killing it. (If your temperature is too high, you will kill your bugs, and you won't get the results expected.) I mixed the culture with the milk, turned on the yogourt maker, and forgot the whole thing on the counter, until the next morning.

In order to stop the fermenting process, just stick your pot of fresh yogourt in the refrigerator for 8 hours, then enjoy !

This morning, I had mine with a bit of vanilla extract, granola, and honey. Delish !

Want to know a bit more about the Yogourmet products ? Visit

Welcome, Welcome !

This is the first post of many, I tell you. This blog was an attempt to separate my personal blog from my recipes and recipe reviews. I wanted to gather all my recipes in one place, in order to make it easier for people to browse through without having to search inbetween my personal posts.

But don't worry ! If you are looking for my personal entries, they are still there, just click on "The Life Journey of a Crafting Freak" link on the right, and you'll be there in seconds !

Let me just wish you a happy reading, and feel free to comment or ask questions if needed !