Another full day of studying, and yet again my brain is crying for me to stop packing so much information into it, gahhh! It was very happy once it was dinner and I could sit down to watch some mind-numbing tv, where I wouldn’t have to think. Gossip Girl and roasted kabocha are a great pair.
I should have never re-introduced ketchup back into my diet. I’m pretty sure it’s making me feel sick every time I eat it, but now I crave it! I keep thinking “maybe it will be okay this time…” I really hope that this time will be the time! If not though, then this is definitely the last squeeze of ketchup for me!
I also made some “carrot fries” – this time cooked, something that kbwood posted on her blog the other day and I was just craving! (Is it weird I crave cooked carrots…?) Anyway, I also roasted up some “zuchinni fries”,
cooked up some quinoa flakes with curry and agave
and had a side salad with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and crunched up Mary’s Sticks and Twigs.
In other news, I made it onto Angela’s (from Oh She Glows) Health News Round up yesterady night! I was so excited to see that I was on her list, as a “Quinoa Protein Bowl Spotting“! That was a delicious dinner, I highly recommend you try it!
Anyway, back to le studying. Hope you are all having a lovely night!
xoxo gossip girl.
Oh my. I think I have found a new love.
Yesterday I found a recipe for vegan chocolate posted by Averie from Love Veggies and Yoga. It was super easy and quick, so I thought I would try making it during a study break, substituting carob instead of cocoa.
I doubled the recipe and it took less than 5 minutes to make. I licked the bowl to taste it and wow….I thought I was eating chocolate. I made my roommate try it and she said it tasted like real chocolate pudding! So I stuck it in the freezer to solidify, and once I brought it out I chopped it up into pieces. Although it tasted like chocolate, it didn’t have the crunch that chocolate has. It was more like fudge – amazing though.
2 tbsp coconut oil (warmed up to a liquid)
3 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp carob
Mix all of the ingredients together. Line a little dish with plastic wrap and pour the mixture in. Cover and freeze until solid. Unwrap the plastic and cut into bite size pieces. Keep in the fridge.
When I came home from my exam today (yup, 1 down!) my brain was thinking about how I could make this carob fudge into a crunchy chocolate, I realized I probably put too much agave nectar in. So round #2. I created the recipe again, making a bigger batch and not adding as much agave. It froze within minutes and voila, it was like I was biting into a piece of dark chocolate. How I have missed you chocolate.
3 tbsp coconut oil (heat until liquid)
4 tbsp carob
1 tbsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix all of the ingredients together. Line a plate with plastic wrap. Pour the mixture onto the plate and spread until even and about 1/4 inch thick. Cover and place in freezer. This will solidify within 15-25 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and break into pieces. Keep in the fridge.
I ate a decent amount of it before packing it up to stick in the fridge, and then I hit my desk to start studying for Wednesday’s exam. While I studied all I could think about was my new find…how could I modify this recipe again? A brilliant idea came to mind! I made fruit and seed carob clusters. I made them super healthy too. And, within minutes of solidifiing in the freezer, it came out exactly how I planned. These little gems are SO good!!!
Healthy Carob Fruit and Seed Clusters
3 tbsp coconut oil (heat until liquid)
4 tbsp carob
1 tbsp *Fibre Sure (or Metamucil or Benefibre)
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Mix the first 4 ingredients together, and then add the fruit and seeds. Pour onto a lined plate and spread evenly. Cover and stick in the freezer. This will solidify within 10-15 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and break into chunks.
*Fibre Sure is gluten free
So yes, I think I have found a new love.
Now I must go and make dinner, as I just totally had dessert first! Who said dessert has to come after?
My mind feels like mush! How much can a girl study in a 1 day??
I honestly just can’t wait to be done with exams, it will be so awesome to be on 4 months of summer…even though I’ll be taking 2 distant education courses.
I promised myself I was going to work really hard until dinner time rolled around and then call it quits for the night…but my little brain couldn’t justify that, it needed a break, hence why I’ve turned to blogging hehe.
While I was studying for my social psychology course, I came across this quote on the page:
It really clicked home with me, and I thought I would share it with you all 🙂
On another note, I bought this book the other day at Chapters:
Meditation, week by week, by David Fontana.
I’ve really been wanting to learn how to meditate for a while now, so I’ve decided to finally give in to it!
The book has 52 different meditations to try out over 52 weeks, being 1 year. The book says that each meditation doesn’t have to be practiced everyday, but that these practices are intended to be practices for as long as you desire. The book reads “in the year ahead put aside conventional ideas of progress, of measuring how far you have travelled each week and each month. Notice instead how sometimes you seem to come a long way in a single meditation session, while at other times you may feel you’re slipping back even beyond your starting point. Do not be elated by the first kind of expereince or disspointed by the second. These observations are essentail lessons about your mind. Distracting emotions such as elation and disappointment are part of the obstacles that have to be overcome on the path to self-discovery.” I’m really looking forward to this new challenge! I’ll be updating each week on the new meditation practice I have learned.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to dinner tonight – I’m going to make the Protein Power Bowl that Angela made last night…once I read about it this morning at breakfast, it is all I have been thinking about ALL day!!
Question: Do you meditate? Have you ever tried?
Even though I have a fully functioning kitchen at school, I just don’t have as much motivation, inspiration or creativity to cook and bake as I do at home. This afternoon when I came home for the weekend, I started scavenging through my Cooking Without cookbook by Barbara Cousins, a cookbook with recipes free of gluten, dairy, sugars, yeast, salt and saturated fat. I found one recipe that I really wanted to make called Chicken Polo, it was a tagine style dish with dried apricots, cinnamon and almonds (doesn’t that sound amazing!?). The only problem was that I didn’t have any dried apricots, and I didn’t think it would be the same without them.
I really like the combination of chicken and almonds, so I googled the two ingredients and my lovely friend google found me a delicious recipe from the Canadian Living magazine – Maple Almond Chicken. It turned out really yummy, although the cooking time took a little longer then the recipe said it would and I kept having to add more stock to the pot to prevent the carrots from burning to the bottom. Next time I think I will brown the chicken and bake it in the oven until fully cooked, and then add it to the pot of the carrot-maple sauce.
I also modified this dish to make it gluten and caisen free (the ‘*’ indicates my modifications).
Maple Almond Chicken (modified*)
*1/4 cup brown rice flour
*1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
*2 tbsp safflower oil
1.5 cups gluten free chicken stock
* 1 cup chopped carrots
* 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or agave syrup could work too)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
In a resealable plastic bag combine flour, rosemary, salt and pepper; add chicken and shake to coat. Reserve any remaining flour mixture.
In a large Dutch oven, heat *oil over medium heat, brown the chicken, about *5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add reserved flour mixture to pan; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the stock. Add carrots, maple syrup and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 6 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan; cook over medium heat, covered until no longer pink inside and almost no liquid remains, *10-12 minutes (you may have to add in more stock at this point if the liquid at the bottom begins to burn and stick to the bottom). Stir in almonds at the end.
If you try this recipe, I would recommend browning the chicken first and then baking it for 35-40 minutes (or until fully cooked) at a 350 degree F oven, and then adding it to the pot with the carrots and maple sauce. If you try this approach, let me know how it turns out!
This was a delicious dinner, I served it with brown rice on top of a bed of lettuce, and a mix of roasted brussels, zucchini, mushrooms and celery.
To view the original recipe, click here.
Tomorrow is Friday! Have a good night! I’m off to watch the Vampire Diaries (don’t judge – it’s good!!)
Today has definitely not been an ‘energy day’. I felt that right when I got out of bed this morning. Even after my 10 hour sleep, I still didn’t feel very recharged. As I walked to class my legs just didn’t really want to walk, and when I sat in class all I really wanted to day was put my head down and sleep (but I didn’t, I payed attention to the prof!).
I had the intention of coming home from class, eating lunch and making my way to the gym, but that just wasn’t going to happen. I found myself crawling into bed and sleeping for an hour and a half. Now I’m at my desk, with my cozy clothes on, drinking my favourite tea. Now is the time that I wish we had cable so I could turn on some Oprah! I’ve decided to skip the gym altogether today, it’s not worth pushing my body to do something if my body doesn’t really want to work out. It’s a good thing to listen to our bodies, if they want sleep – give ’em sleep! How many more hours until bedtime??
“Learning Life” – Isn’t it true?
Have I mentioned I’ve started getting acupuncture treatments?
Yep, it’s the real thing! Last February (2009) on a vacation in Florida, I saw a Holisitic practitioner, who taught me about the warm diet, she gave a me an acupuncture treatment too and holy crap did it hurt! I winced (or maybe screamed) right when she did the point on my foot, which represents my spleen (a key role in digestion). I was SO afraid to start going back to do acupuncture treatments, I hate pain and I wasn’t going to put myself through unneeded pain.
A couple months ago I started seeing a new naturopath (yes, another one! the previous one I was seeing a few months ago left to go on sabbatical) and wow, do I love her! She has been really helpful and she really knows her stuff. She’s helping me with my IBD, but also helping to bring my period back…She informed me that she does acupuncture treatments, and that she thought it would be beneficial if I gave them a try. I was a little hesitant at first, because I really didn’t want to be paying to be in discomfort, so she told me that she would do acupressure my first go round, and then I could decide if I wanted to go ahead with the needles or not.
Off I went to my first acupressure treatment, where she placed ear seeds on the meridians that stimulate digestion and on the meridians for the female reproduction cycle. Ear seeds look like tiny little Band-Aids, with a very tiny metal ball underneath the sticky fabric. The metal ball helps stimulate the pressure point. Ear seeds are mainly used for the ear, for a therapy called ‘auricular therapy‘, also known as ear acupuncture. Did you know that all over your ear there are points that represent every single part of the body? Crazy eh!? She uses the ear seeds all over the body though.
When I went back for my second treatment, I decided to “suck it up” and go for the needles. What was the worst that could happen? And besides, the needles are way more beneficial and my naturopath really believed it would be way more helpful for my digestion and menstruation. So I gave it a try, she put the needles all over the points on my stomach, but that was it, I wouldn’t let her put them on my sensitive parts, like my legs or in my ears. (By the way, the points that represent my digestion on my legs are SO sensitive, to touch my inner legs feels like I have bruises all the time – it hurts a lot…doing adductor exercises kills me!) I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t feel anything when she put the needles in. I did feel them, but it really was not bad at all. It was kind of a cool sensation, it didn’t hurt, but I definitely felt like something was really working.
I was so happy after that treatment! I did it! I finally got up the courage to do acupuncture! I was so excited to go back for my second real acupuncture treatment.
When I went back, and told her she could put the needles in my hand as well, along with more points in my stomach that sort of hurt the last time. She was so happy, as she said the points were important ones. Coming home from that session exhausted me though, I had to veto my whole day and sleep and watch mindless television. I couldn’t believe how tired it made me, I guess my body was really working hard to unblock my energy paths.
For my third session, I kept with the usual points, I’m still not ready for my legs to be pricked with the needles, but none the less I’m doing well with it. I wasn’t as tired after my last appointment, fortunately I didn’t have to have a 3 hour nap!
Is it weird to say I’m loving the acupuncture? I just really love the feeling of it.
I’m not sure if I love the treatments, or if I love the activity I do afterwards, hehe. There is an AWESOME natural foods store a couple streets down from my naturopath, and I always stop in after my treatments and pick up yummy gluten free, dairy free, sugar free foods! They have fresh gluten free bread from Organic Works, gluten free, caisen free and sugar free carob chips (something I have been looking for forever), every nut butter imaginable, and…oh man…the list goes on, but needless to say, I love it!
Product Reviews to come!
I have dedicated my Friday, Saturday and Sunday to purely writing the 3 essays that I have due next week…sounds fun, right?
I did get a good majority of paper 1 completed today, however…the computer was such a distraction! Blogs, Facebook, checking my email a billion times (really…how many emails do I expect!?!), browsing though the iTunes store, checking the long term weather forecast….just so distracted!
Today I had some good eats, and unfortunately I just never thought to take pictures of anything! I have realized that I don’t really need an exact recipe for everything I post on my blog, there are so many of you bloggers out there who just post your yummy eats for inspiration to others, and no recipe has to be attached…so, I think I’m going to start posting my creative dishes!
Although I don’t have pictures for you today, I do have descriptions.
For lunch I whipped up some hummus….but it wasn’t just any plain old hummus, pumpkin was added in! I’m just loving canned pumpkin these days, I’m combining it with everything. Pumpkin as a base for pizza (instead of tomato paste), pumpkin mixed in pasta, pumpkin in my yogurt (yes, yes…I know…sounds gross, but don’t judge until you try!), pumpkin on my oats, pumpkin pie in a mug (I’ll be posting that recipe soon!) and today, pumpkin curry hummus. It was SO yummy!!
Dinner was amazing (if I do say so myself). My friend came over for dinner and we had honey mustard curried chicken (curry was the theme for today), sweet potato kugel (frozen leftovers from Christmas), sauteed purple cabbage (just a little olive oil, salt and pepper) and a mixed green salad. It was so good and I really wish I had taken a photo.
I haven’t had chicken (or meat for that matter) in a while…I’ve just been so busy that when I come home for dinner I end up making something that is quick and easy, and chicken just isn’t such a quick meal to cook up.
Well, I guess I should probably do a bit more work on this essay before I call it quits for the night, I think I’ll catch up on some mindless television later…Gossip Girl perhaps?
A few questions for you!
1. What do you enjoy pumpkin with?
2. What are some quick and easy chicken recipes?
3. Are there any ‘guilty pleasure’ television shows you just love?
Is it only just Wednesday?
It feels as though it should be Friday…oh well, I guess it’s good to be busy, right?
I have definitely been able to meet the definition of busy this past week, studying, paper writing, studying and studying…how I love midterms.
I thought I would take a little bit of a different spin on this post today, by not just talking about the usual health and well being stuff, food, recipes or product reviews. Mainly because I just have to share some Canadian pride with this article I read today.
Life isn’t always easy. Everyone has ups and downs day to day, and experiences difficulties, confusion and complicated situations. I am sure there has been a time, or many times, that you have gone through something, that makes you feel like you are the only one going through it. Once you reach out though, you learn that so many others are dealing with same problem as in some way or another.
When I first began experiencing my digestive problems, I thought I was literally the only one in the world going through it. As years passed by, and my gut problems progressed, I just fell deeper into a slump, wondering why I was the only one dealing with this. I never saw commercials or ads about digestive disorders, or heard anyone talking about them.
Once I started doing more research and reading up on digestive disorders, I came across other stories of people with problems that sounded exactly like mine. Once I finally learned about what I was dealing with, I also began to learn about so many others that had a story similar to mine. I have recently started a digestive disorder support group and have met so many other wonderful people who have lived a life, and who are living a life much like mine. It made me realize that I am not the only one going through this problem. Talking with others with IBD has been so cool (as weird as that sounds), because I can talk to them about issues that they can relate with and truly understand. I’ve said it before, but I think that support groups and talking with others about your situation has a huge impact (positively) on your healing and journey to a healthier life.
A little while back I stumbled across a website called Soul on the Go, where they sell sticky notes that have quotes and affirmations written on them. I thought it was such a great idea to see these, as many times when people are going through a tough time, they just need to read positive quotes to help push them through the day and realize that life really isn’t that bad.
Soul on the Go has many different types of themed packs with different quotes inside each, including, sports, wisdom, general, motivation, money, wellness, body and motivation. I have the wellness, body and motivation packs.
I love all of the quotes and I have stuck a few of my favourites all around my room. When I look at them, they lift my spirit a bit and put a smile across my face and remind me how great my life is. Check out their website and learn more about these little stickies at http://www.soulonthego.com/.
What are some of your favourite quotes?
While vacationing in Florida a few weeks ago, we found an amazing chicken stock that was legit gluten free. The chicken stock that we usually use doesn’t officially say that it is gluten free, but there are no ingredients in it that suggest to us it could be contaminated…but I was still weary every time I had it.
I was so happy a few days ago when my Mom called me saying that she found the same brand in the grocery store!!! It’s gluten free with no MSG and no salt added! Store bought chicken stock is always packed with sodium, but this one isn’t what so ever, you should be excited.
It’s by Kitchen Basics, called Unsalted Chicken Cooking Stock. It looks home made and it tastes like something you would make in your own kitchen. For 2/3 cups there is only 90g of sodium!
I would highly suggest you keep your eyes open for this the next time you’re out shopping, it isn’t very expensive either, only $4.99 or so for 946mL. All of the ingredients are really clean and pure too. Kitchen Basics also carries beef stock, vegetable stock and a load of other kinds!
They have an allergen statement reading: We strive to reduce the risk of allergen reactions by specifying that our ingredients must not contain *milk, *eggs, *peanuts, *glutens, soy, tree nuts,** fish, **shellfish, or corn. We do not autolyze, hydrolyze, add or produce MSG.
Now I know that cookies aren’t a match with chicken stock, but I just had to tell you about these cookies I made today, inspired by Oh She Glows Banana Apricot Spelt Oatmeal Cookies. I saw the recipe on Angela’s blog a couple weeks ago and immediately bookmarked it, I couldn’t wait to make them…they looked so good. And were they ever good!
I adapted the recipe to make it gluten free and I added a few more ingredients to it. My modifications are bolded.
Meg’s Version: Banana Apricot Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
– 1 cup gluten free certified oats
– 1 cup brown rice flour
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 4 tbsp flax seed
– 8 dried apricots
– 1/4 cup dried cranberries
– 1 egg
– 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1 mashed banana left a little bit chunky
– 1/2 tsp lemon juice
– 1/4 cup gluten free/dairy free carob chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl – set aside. Mix together the wet ingredients in a larger bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make blobs on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until nice and golden! Made 20 delicious cookies.
Honestly, they were so good! You have to try these…or try making Angela’s version on Oh She Glows!
One thing that I have really missed since being dairy free is ice cream. I used to love ice cream, it was the perfect after dinner treat, a nice bowl of cold creamy, sweet and delicious ice cream. I also miss going out for ice cream, it was such a fun treat to ride my bike over to the closest ice cream place and grab a cone with my friends, or walk over to the convenient store and have an ice cream sandwich or drumstick. My favourite flavour was mint chocolate chip, but I also loved getting Rolo!
Since I have been dairy free though, cow’s milk ice cream isn’t really an option, I can’t go out with friends to get a cone of deliciousness, because my gut just won’t accept it. And…Baskin’ Robbins or Licks just doesn’t have soy based ice creams.
However, I have since found dairy ice cream alternatives, such as ice cream made from rice and soy. Soy ice cream has a very rich and distinct taste, but it is still creamy and the texture is the same as dairy ice cream. Rice ice cream is not as satisfying as dairy ice cream…it is a little more grainy and not as creamy. But none the less, I still love having the odd bowl of soy or rice ice cream every now and then.
I had been hearing a lot about coconut milk ice cream through some of the posts by Veggie Girl. It looked so good and she said so many great things about it. I wanted to try it so badly, but I could never find it anywhere. I then came across it at The Big Carrot…but when I read the label I didn’t see any signs of it being gluten free…so I didn’t want to waste $9 on a pint of ice cream if it was just going to make me feel sick. When I got home I contacted Turtle Mountain (the makers of the Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream) to inquire what products of theirs were gluten free, excitingly the coconut variety was indeed gluten free and free of any dairy!!
On my trip to Florida, I found the coconut ice cream at Publix, and bought it with so much happiness…I couldn’t wait to try it!!!
Conclusion = AMAZING! The taste was so delicious. It was vanilla-ey with just a hint of coconut, and the texture was exactly the same as plain old cows milk ice cream. It was creamy, rich and sweet, and I didn’t even think I was eating an alternative ice cream. It was great. (I had the Vanilla Bean flavour).
Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice cream is:
– Dairy Free/Lactose Free
– Sweetened with Agave
– Gluten Free
– Contains no soy protein
– Cholesterol Free
– No Trans Fats
– Certified Vegan
– Certified Made with Organic Ingredients
There is no refined sugar in it either! 1/2 cup = 150 calories, 8g of fat and 12 g of sugar.
I think that this ice cream has won me over, I don’t see how I can ever go back to eating soy ice cream after this…but, if I am in need of a quick ice cream fix and coconut is not the available option…then soy will have to be my friend.
Good job Turtle Mountain!