The “Trinity” of a healthy lifestyle.

Apologies for being MIA for the last little bit. I’ve had some upsets in my life the past couple of weeks and I was really struggling to remain positive about anything. I knew that if I even attempted to write a post, my negativity would seep through and I did not want to spread that out into the world. But it is a new week, and some of the stress from last week has been alleviated. I’m feeling like this is going to be a very good week, and am going to focus on keeping a positive attitude above all else.

As I mentioned in my last post, I can often let stress get me down and once my attitude begins to suffer so do my eating and exercise habits. Eating healthy and exercising are important, but they go hand in hand with maintaining a positive attitude. The three are completely dependant on each other in living a healthy lifestyle. Yes, we all have our weeks when the world just seems to dump everything on you at once (last week confirmed that bad news does come in 3s), but if you can manage to keep eating healthy and exercising, the positive attitude will come back. Same goes for a week when you have an injury or are ill; as long as you keep a positive attitude and eat healthy, you will recover quicker than if you just give everything up. And likewise, if you have a couple days where you don’t eat as clean as we all should, that positive attitude and exercise will be what gets you back on track.

My accountability to SFL definitely gave me the extra incentive to track my meals and snacks and keep my eating on track even when I felt like diving into a package of premade cookie dough, or a barrel of ice cream. And Julie’s Bootcamp started back up tonight too so I definitely worked out some frustration and can feel my positive attitude coming back too.It’s going to be a great week! (and besides, it can’t be any worse than last! :D)

Do you find staying on track with at least 2 of the 3 components of healthy living help get through a rough patch?

Do you feel there are any other major components of living a healthy lifestyle that are equally as important?

I will be back

Ok so i’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from the blog world entirely. I have been crazy busy, and am working on a small new business venture as well. Details to come! Just wanted to let you all know that I’m still around.
I also got over my cold in 2 and a half days, so something I was eating definitley worked. Everyone around me has been sick for 2 weeks and I kicked that virus’s butt!! After talking to my nutritionist at Simply for Life, he pointed out that the Omega 3 + D supplement I take would have also contributed to how quickly I got over it (the vitamin D is amazing for your immune system!)

Anyways I hope everyone is healthy and happy and stay tuned for some a great vegetarian, no rice (or breadcrumbs) Stuffed Peppers recipe I whipped up earlier this week. It was to die for and sooo easy to throw together!

On the mend

So I’m still sick, but this is only day 2 of being in full out sick with a cold mode. I’ve continued to make some good food choices and seem to be staying mostly on track, which is promising because being sick is usually a major deterrent in my motivation and focus and I often resort to eating comfort (read: pasta/ chocolate/ cheese/ sugar) food.  This morning I was running a little late thanks to the Nyquil that knocked me out pretty hard last night, and a puppy who took her sweet time doing her business this morning. I decided Cottage Cheese would tossed with a bit of fruit would be my quickest bet. I quickly chopped up half an apple, put it in a bowl with a tiny bit of water and a drizzle of maple syrup. I nuked it for 40 seconds but it should have gone in for about twice as long to make the apple more mushy. But time was ticking so I drained the water and dumped it all in together. It was cool, sweet, and satisfying.

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Snack time was an orange. I’m usually not a big fan of oranges – so much work, and so sticky and messy. But in my attempt to load up on Vitamin C, I had this baby and went to the bother of making it edible (I hate the white stuff).

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I tried to keep from getting orange juice on my students’ work, but a few sprays went pretty wild.

I have drank about 10 cups of Mint Green Tea today as well. When I first tried this, I wasn’t a fan but it has grown on me and is perfect for soothing my cold.

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For lunch I went meatless, and had a spinach salad, topped with grape tomatoes, mushrooms, 1/2 avocado and a little goat cheese, and some of the Black Bean Quinoa I made on the weekend.

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This quinoa is an SFL recipe that I think is good, but it’s lacking a little something. However, it was great for the way I felt today because I didn’t want anything zesty or spicy which is how I usually like my quinoa.

Quinoa and Black Beans
Ingredients

1 tsp oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned.
Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Also note, I did use beef broth instead of vegetable because it was all I had. Hopefully when I make it next time the vegetable broth will give it that little extra something that mine was missing.

Supper was pretty simple tonight. I didn’t have much of an appetite but I wanted to get some veggies in to me and I needed to use up some mushrooms that were on the verge of going bad. So I decided to sauté them with some onions which are great for my cold.

Sweet and Easy Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

Ingredients

1 large Onion chopped

2 cups + Mushrooms sliced

1 T Oil

1 T Butter (optional)

2 T Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 T Honey

1/2 T Maple Syrup 

Warm up oil and butter in a large skillet. Add chopped onion. Keep stove top heat at medium high throughout. Keep stirring the onion around. Once it is about half way done, add the mushrooms. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce, honey and maple syrup over the mushrooms and onions. Keep stirring until the sauce has reduced and become caramel-ly and the mushrooms are well heated through. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

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Yes that’s a small salad bowl. My dish washer (filled with all my regular sized bowls) is scrubbing away at this moment. Don’t judge me. :) Plus it was a pretty big heaping of mushrooms and onions.

Hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow I’ll be feeling better. I did end up skipping out on boot camp tonight, but did do a 20 minute home workout. I barely made it through the low intensity 20 minute work out so I’m really glad I listened to my body and didn’t attempt the 1 hr high intensity boot camp tonight.

I’m off to bed for now! Sweet dreams!

What to eat when you’re sick with a cold

I have the worst immune system ever. My family always jokes that I never should have chosen teaching as a profession because I am bound to catch whatever is floating around, and at school there is always lots of it. It doesn’t seem to matter how diligent I am about washing my hands, using sanitizer, and being careful not to pick up and use my student’s pencils or pens when I am teaching them something (this last point is one of the #1 ways teachers get their students germs), I still manage to get sick. Last winter I was pretty fortunate and was only sick once with a cold and fended off the flu even in the midst of the H1N1 scare, although I did have a mild reaction to the vaccine, (couldn’t have been as bad as getting the full out flu though!). I was hoping this boost in my immune system might have been related to my eating healthier since January and not to say it hasn’t helped and won’t continue to help this coming winter, but it’s barely fall and I’m in the midst of a full out cold. Runny nose, watery eyes, slight headache, sore throat- basically the usual.

I decided to Google “Best foods to eat when you have a cold” and then clicked on a reader’s digest link that told me:

“Start with a bowl of Mom’s chicken soup. Research has yet to show how it works (and how the heck Ma knew), but we do know that a nutrient-rich diet builds your immune system and fights inflammation. This season, stock up on these healing foods:

Orange Juice Vitamin C may shorten the duration of your cold, helping you get back on your feet.

Oatmeal, bananas, fish, chicken, turkey  They help maintain the health of organs that make infection-fighting white blood cells.

Apples, cranberries, tomato sauce These contain flavonoids, anti-inflammatory substances that can strengthen your immune system.” source

So I following this advice, I started out my day with a big bowl of Overnight Oats made the usual chocolaty way I love them. 1/3 C Steele Cut Oats, 3/4 C Chocolate Unsweetened Almond Milk, 2 T Almond Butter, 1 mashed banana, 1T Chia Seeds, and 1 or maybe 2 T of cocoa powder. I left this in the fridge overnight and loved every minute of it this morning.

At about 10:00 I had an apple, then a Chicken, spinach, mushroom, grape tomatoes, and onion salad topped with Kraft Fig Balsamic dressing (which is good but a little goes a long way). I always up my onion intake when I have a cold because I always felt they helped knock the cold out of my system. I checked the Simply For Life website and looked up Onions (this part is available to members only) to find out why.

Onions are a definite must for adding flavour to your Simply For Life Meal Management Program. They can be used raw or cooked anywhere you please, as they are considered freebies.
1/4 cup to 1 cup of onions daily has been shown to lower cholesterol, inhibit cancerous tumour growth, and help manage diabetes. Onions are a blood tonic and have anticoagulant properties that may reduce the risk of heart attack and aid in high blood pressure. Onions also ease fluid retention and promote the elimination of urea. Onions help to inhibit carcinogens, bacteria, and tumour growth. They are also useful in treating diarrhea, digestive problems, coughs, colds, and influenza.
Onions are rich in nutrients, including (but not limited to) calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C.

So basically due to the fact that onions ease fluid retention, they make your nose run and help get the infection out of your system.

For supper tonight, I wasn’t feeling very hungry, but wanted to get some good antioxidants and nutrients in my system. I decided a powersmoothie would be the best choice and the extra fluid would help me as well. It turned out looking so dark it was basically a sludgy looking blue/black:

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But it tasted pretty darn good.

Powerhouse Get better Quick Smoothie

1C Chocolate Unsweetend Almond Milk

1C Frozen Blueberries

3C Fresh Spinach

3 frozen cubes of Basil (I didn’t have any fresh) =3t

2 large sprigs of Mint

1 banana

1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate powder

1 inch nub ginger

1 T Cocoa

1 t Cocoa Chilli Blend (optional)

1 packet Stevia sweetener

So yeah,basically, a little bit of everything! I blended this baby up for some sweet heat that was cold but had a nice little burn going down. It was exactly what I needed and I’ve leisurely sipped on it all night. Maybe I’ll feel all better by the time I wake up in the morning! Here’s to hoping!

I also picked up a couple of sick with a cold essentials

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I’m heading to bed early with my In style as soon as I paint my finger nails the gorgeous new gold colour I picked up at the drug store (pics tmr). I always try to do something to make myself feel better about my appearance when I am sick so that I don’t feel like I look as sick as I feel!

What do you eat/ do/ buy to help yourself deal with and get over a cold or other illness fast?

I have bootcamp tomorrow night, should I go and push through it or skip it and do my own less intense workout at home? Do you still work out when you are ill?

Also this is my first post using Windows Live Writer so if anything is weird, hopefully I’ll get that sorted out and figured out right away, but feedback is welcomed!

I’m backkkkkk

Ok so as I mentioned in my last post, I had a bad off week last week. I was lacking motivation, energy, and will  power. I made some bad food choices, failed to track my meals, couldn’t force myself to get to bed at a decent hour, and skipped one session of bootcamp. Obviously my blogging was slacking too. And then when things were starting to get better and I promised I’d post my home internet wouldn’t work!

But I’m feeling like I’m basically back on track and my internet seems to be working. So recipe sharing time! Remember those Cucumbers I was struggling to use up? This is what I did with them….

Peach Cucumber Salsa

3 C diced tomatoes

3 C diced cucumbers

3 C diced peaches

3C diced sweet red peppers

6 jalapenos finely diced

1 1/2 cups finely chopped cilantro

1/2 C lime juice

1/4 C + 1 T Orange Marmalade

Finely chop and dice all ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Let sit over night then bottle.

This salsa is super tastey but mine turned out a bit watery.  But my family, my mister and I still ate it right up. It had just the right combination of heat and sweet. I was sure I took a picture but it is MIA right now.

I also experimented with some pumpkin overnight oats. Thinking I was going to make it as au natural as possible, I bought a local pumpkin. I failed to consider how much work it is to cut, peel, chop, boil, mash, and puree the pumpkin. I got half of it chopped and peeled and gave up and boiled just the half of it. I boiled mashed and pureed, then added about 3/4 C to 1/3 C Steele cut oats, as well as 1/2 a banana, some vanilla unsweetened almond milk, and some cinnamon. The next morning I was pretty disappointed as it turned out to be pretty bland. The following night I added cloves and brown sugar to the mix and was much more pleased with the turn out but it still wasn’t a keeper. This week I’m going to try canned pumpkin and follow Cook.Vegan.Lover ‘ s pumpkin pie oatmeal recipe. After my pumpkin oats failure, I stuck to a simple – can’t screw it up- breakfast of cottage cheese, ripe peach, chia seeds and a handful of Kashi Go Lean cereal.

This weekend I went to a friend of mine’s beautiful wedding and we had a tastey and simple meal; chicken cutlets, roasted potatoes, and mixed veggies.

 

Followed by a desert of cheesecake with blueberry topping:

This tiny piece of cheesecake, along with the red wine I consumed, made me a very sick girl. My sugar intolerance reared its ugly head and I felt dreadfully sick the whole way home. We still had a great time with some great friends, but it was just the drive home that was ruined. Hopefully I’ll learn sometime and just stat away from the cheesecake.

Well hopefully everyone else’s week was better than mine and the weekend has rejuvenated everyone enough for a good week. I’m feeling a cold coming on but otherwise I feel like it is going to be a good, busy week. Hopefully I’ll be able to make time for a few posts! Stay tuned!

 

Off Week

So I’ve been having a complete off week in which I haven’t felt like doing ANYTHING good for myself. I went to bootcamp Sunday night and then to visit my g-ma and drove home feeling pretty fantastic after the hard workout and nice visit. I don’t know what happened between then and Monday but for three days I just did not feel my best. I haven’t felt exactly sick, just lacking energy and motivation. The only thing I can chalk this off week up to is stress. This is my first week in the classroom with my new students, my Mister is away for school for another 4 weeks, and my puppy is waking me up at all hours of the night. My biggest problem with stress is that I succumb to it too easily. I let it get me down and then I quit eating right and exercising regularly, and then I feel even worse. It’s a terrible cycle. I did have a nice visit with an old friend last night and I’m thinking that might have been just enough of a rejuvenation to set me back on track. I’m also going to see Brent at SFL after work today, which I hate doing when I’ve had a bad week, but I NEED to do so that it is only 1 bad week and that it doesn’t turn into 2.

I do have a couple great recipes to share with you soon too – Peach and Cucumber salsa, and Pumpkin Overnight Oats. I’ll be back tonight with these recipes, some pictures, and an update of how SFL and tonight’s bootcamp treat me!

Meatballs!

Last night I realized at about 4:00 that my Mister was on his way home for the weekend after being gone all week and that I should have something extra yummy cooked up for supper! I was craving some beef, and I thought about picking up a couple of steaks but it was raining out and BBQ’ing in the rain just isn’t that appealing. So I decided to make some meatballs. I have always loved meatballs, but I used to buy the premade frozen kind and just whip up my own sauce. Unfortunately there are 380 mgs of Salt in one serving of the extra lean meatballs which is only 4 teeny meatballs. My nutritionist at SFL has advised me to try to keep it below 300 mgs per serving, so I decided I would have to make my own. First thing I did was call my mom to check out what the family meatball recipe is, and then I made it a little healthier.

Meatballs

(just over) 1 lb of extra lean ground beef

1/3 cup steele cut oats

2 T Worchestershire sauce

½ large onion minced

3 sm cloves garlic minced

1T Red pepper flakes ( I like them with a kick, decrease this if you don’t want them to be too spicy)

1T Parsley

Pepper to taste

1/3 cup liquid egg whites

I used a food processor to mince my onion and garlic, then added all the ingredients together in a bowl. I used my hands to mix it all up so I could feel that the consistency was even. Try not to overwork your meat, either when mixing it or forming your meatballs, as it can lead them to come out a bit tough. Once it was all mixed up I started forming my meatballs and also heated up a skillet with some EVOO.

I made my meatballs a bit bigger thinking they would shrink up more as they cooked, but they didn’t really shrink that much, so next time I will probably make them a bit smaller. I cooked them on the skillet until they were almost cooked the whole way through. I also preheated my oven to 400 degrees. When they were all cooked up I transfered them into a caserole dish.

Now here comes the easy part, in a separate bowl mix together 1/2 bottle of light Grape Jelly (about 3/4 cup) and 1 1/2 cup of Salsa and then pour over the meatballs. Pop it in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

I served the meatballs with sauteed Kale (without the chicken) for me and a big spinach, tomato, carrot, muchroom salad for my vegetable deprived (due to cooking for himself) mister. A beautiful tall glass of Jost Terra Rosa red wine (my absolute favorite red wine) complemented the meal beautifully.

They were soooooooo good, I was pretty impressed with myself and my Mister LOVED them. They were much better than the store bought pre cooked and prefrozen ones and were definitely worth the extra little bit of work. I don’t eat potato at supper on my SFL plan, but I know that the extra sauce from these meatballs is amazing when drizzeled over mashed or whipped or even a baked potato. yum yum.

This morning I decided to experiment with my omelette by adding some Provencal Pesto that I picked up at the grocery store last night. I mixed it right into my eggwhite mixture before putting it in the frying pan. I then added spinach, tomato, mushrooms, basil, and cheese. It looked pretty delicious as it was cooking up.

But in the end I wasn’t that impressed. I sprinkled a little Smoked Paparika on there too. I read about (can’t remember where) adding it to an omelette to give it the flavour of bacon but at the time, coulding find any such thing as smoked paparika around here. I noticed last night that it has recently showed up on the shelves at the grocery story, but I don’t think I added enough to get the bacon effect. I’ll try this on Monday without the pesto and let you know what I think.

The sun is shining here for the first time in a week so I’m going to take Lola and head outside with the Mister. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!