Mmmm....Green Smoothies!

May 28, 2009

(Electric green smoothie, aka pineapple)

I have been feeling really tired for the past week. It could be due to the fact that I go to bed at impossible hours (because I spend way too much time reading about raw foods online), or I got a bug that has been going around (my son had it a couple days ago), or maby a bit of both.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling great and full of energy, for the first time in over a week! I was also fine today...until sometime after lunch. I have constant chills, just cant seem to be able to warm up. And I fell asleep on the couch snuggling with my son while my daughter was having her nap.

As my chills were intensifying, I realized I had not had my green smoothie today. I love those things! Anyone who knows me, knows that I cant stop talking about them. I just swear by them. I either have one for breakfast, or with lunch, or as an afternoon snack. But I have to have one. Everyday. I started drinking them this last winter, and since then, I have (almost) not caught any colds or flu's my kids had all winter. (And I used to catch them every time). I say almost because there have been a few viruses that I did end up catching, but only got mild symptoms, unlike my kids. Which I suspect is the case with me in the past week. I caught something, but my body is strong enough to fight most of it.

So I got off the couch, and out from under the blanket (is it me or is it freezing in here??) and went to make my daily smoothie. I don't exactly feel like drinking something cold right now, but I know it's going to help my body feel better in so many ways. I also made some piping hot green tea so I can warm up in between sips :)

A lot of my friends have been asking me for my smoothie recipe, so I decided to post it here.

Steph's basic green smoothie
1 cup orange juice
1 banana
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup fruit of your choice (my favourites are strawberries, pineapple, mango or blueberries, one at a time, not all in the same smoothie ;)


Blend at high speed, pour in a glass and enjoy!


(Strawberries added to this one)

I like this recipe because it's a good way to start drinking green smoothies and get some health in a glass. When I started drinking them in Feb., I think I only used about 1/2 cup of spinach...until I realized that you cant taste the spinach, so I might as well pack in the nutrients! So don't be a wuss, you cant taste the spinach! I also no longer put in a whole cup of orange juice...I maby do 1/2 cup OJ and 1/2 cup water. I like to keep some OJ in there for taste, but mostly because your body needs Vitamin C to absorb iron better. Since I eat veg most days, this smoothie has also kept me from becoming deficient in iron. I went completely veg last summer for over a month and I was so low in iron, it was not even funny.)

My little man started drinking them occasionally, and Baby Girl is curious about them, she likes to help with putting the spinach in the blender, but I have yet to get her to drink any or him to have it daily. It is my goal though. I know I will win them over, just like I'm winning over my friends who used to think spinach in a smoothie was a little strange, now they want the recipe. Hehehe.

(This one was blueberries a few weeks ago, and my little man had some with me that time!)

(Here is my little guy drinking a green smoothie, and Baby Girl just played with hers.)

As I was writing this post, I managed to drink all my green (purple, it was blueberry) smoothie and something strange happened: my chills are gone! Not because of my green tea because I have not had a sip yet. Maby it's just my imagination, maby the smoothie didn't instantly make me feel better, but I like to think it did!

Happy blending everyone!

A little of everything

May 23, 2009

I was wondering what to write about today. I've been pretty busy the last few days, but don't necessarily want to bore everyone with details running errands to the bank, etc and of multiple play dates. Though they were great and involved lots of fun for my kids and lunch in the company of good friends for me, I'm still not writing an entire article about it.

Oh, and by the way, it's shorts, t-shirt and sunscreen weather here since yesterday. Nice change from the picture taken 4 days ago. (Told you we were having a screwed up spring here this year!) But I'm not complaining today.

Anyways, I was wondering what to write about today, and then it hit me. There is one thing that I love and have not talked about on this blog yet: FOOD!

I started trying out some healthy recipes and attempting to do some "food photography". I love taking pictures, but had never tried to take cool pictures of food before. I posted a few on my Facebook and I've had quite a few friends that wanted the recipes. So I thought I might as well post them here. Maby other people can enjoy them too!


These are Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies. My best friend Val asked me for the recipe 2 days ago, so this is for you girl!


Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup all purpose flour (I use Organic Unbleached)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats (I use Organic as well)
1/2 cup seedless raisins (I may put a bit more in because I like it)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Mix the sugars and add applesauce, cinnamon and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients and stir into the sugar-applesauce mixture. Add oats and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. You can flatten the tops a bit if you want. They don't really spread out(I don't grease my old cookie sheet but for some reason they don't really stick) Bake at 375F degrees for about 10 minutes.


Recipe came originally from VegWeb, but I tweaked it a bit and I like it better this way. They don't have the texture of a regular oatmeal cookie, they are a bit cakey I guess I can say. Light and airy. But with the amount of fat you save my not putting in butter or margarine, I got over that pretty quick. Now I like them better than the traditional oatmeal cookies(full fat) I used to make. So yummy!

Well, I was going to add more recipes to this post, but I'll wait for another day when I have nothing interesting to talk about.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

May 19, 2009

Or, "Walking in a winter wonderland" are the songs that came to mind when I wokeup this morning. My son woke up first. He was in my bed. He made his way to my window and moved the thick curtain to look outside and make sure it was "daytime" as he calls it. (He's been known to wake at 3-4 am every now and then, and think it's morning) And then I hear his sweet little voice saying "Mommy, it's snowing!". He said it with such excitment in his voice, I think it set the tone for our day.

View from our balcony.


Then I had this crazy idea, I took out the kids "Caillou's Holliday Movie" (aka Christmas cartoon) (they watched it twice) and we even had some hot chocolate. (told you it was crazy!) But you know what, it turned out to be the best and happiest day at home we've had in a long time. There was no screaming or fighting. They played so well together and that is a great day in my book.

I forgot to take a picture of them sipping their hot cocoa, so here are some nice pics I found online.

Photo via livecertifiedorganic.com

Photo via enerhealthbotanicals.com

I ended up taking them swimming at the recreation centre before supper with my friend and her daughter and we all had a great time. It's now 8:30pm and they have both been asleep for an hour already. Like I said, it's been a good day. Now, I should go have a nice hot bath and maby have a cup of my favourite tea to make the day that much better.

My heart is so happy :)

CAUTION - Venting ahead!

May 18, 2009

I need to find a pillow to scream in. I-AM-LOO-SING-MY-MIND!

We (me and the kids, dad is working away for another week), so, we have been home since Saturday. Home as in the only outing has been to the grocery store, and even that was not pleasant. I live in an apartment (3rd floor), so no yard. The weather has been unpredictable, lots of wind and intermittent rain, so no park, no walks. All my friends were away for the long weekend (except me of course), so no visits. All our family lives across country, except one (she was gone for the weekend as well), so that was out of the question. I did have in mind to take the kids swimming at the recreation centre everyday this long weekend, but my baby girl's naps have been longer than usual and by the time she woke up, swimming would have been almost done.

I guess I could take them swimming today, if I get her to skip her nap, but then take the risk to have her fall asleep later and never go to bed tonight, or be extra cranky the rest of the day.

And to add to the boredom factor, my son has been impossible! I know he is just as bored as I am, and he's got more energy than he knows what to do with since he is 3 1/2 years old, but does he really have to be so whiny, so controlling, so fussy, so bossy, so sassy and have so many tantrums in one day?

The two of them have not been able to get along all weekend. The fighting, the screaming, the yelling, the pushing, I cant take it anymore. Mama needs a break I think.

I'm actually starting to feel better as I am writing this. The kids magically started playing well, and together at that, since I began writing. Or maby it's just my morning dose of caffeine finally kicking in, lol. Who knows. What ever it is, as long as I don't pull my hair out, and don't end up bald at the end of the day, I don't care. Whatever makes Mama feel better :)



Photo by Zman4386 from photobucket.com

I wanted to add this picture to add some visual interest to my post and also because I know that no matter how hard things can seem, there is some positive if you just pay attention.

On that note, I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend.

Lovin' the Omega-3's!

May 16, 2009

I have to talk about Omega-3's today. I just have to. I have been taking them for a few months now and have also been giving some to my kids as well. I started taking them myself because I had issues with my hair and skin and also had bouts of depression. I had done my research and new it was supposed to/could help with those things. Though it did not help with my depression, it did wonders for my hair and skin.

The results were A-MA-ZING!!! So after seeing that it made such a difference for me, I decided to get some for my kids as well (I made sure they get proper dosage for their age). My son was having some behaviour issues for some time. I'm talking really bad tantrums over EVERYTHING, bad attitude, completely unable to listen when I talk to him because his mind was going 100 miles per hour. I even started reading about ADD/ADHD thinking that could be the cause. A friend of mine then told me that her nephew had the same kind of issues and it turns out he was deficient in Omega-3's and that his behaviour changed once he was on supplements regularly.

I thought, OK, I'll give it to both my kids and if all else fails, at least I know it has other good benefits for their overall health. But somehow, in the chaos of life, I did not really pay attention to any affects it might have had on my son (good or bad) until... we ran out and I kept forgetting to buy more... for 2 weeks. Then his bad attitude returned. It took me a week to figure out what happened to make him so moody. Then I had a light bulb moment, rushed to the store and got some more supplements.

Well, that particular day had been quite bad. His first tantrum was in the first minute after waking up in the morning. Then, he had a tantrum over not wanting to take his running shoes off indoors, tantrum over me not wanting to carry him because he did not want to walk to the living room (he's 3 1/2 years old), tantrum over everything. Again. And I do not use the word tantrum lightly. He was rolling on the floor, screaming his head off, even tried to hit me. I gave him his supplement as soon as I we got home and an hour later he was the nicest kid on the block! What-the-hell?

At this point I'm thinking it's just a coincidence, even though the "niceness" lasted all day. Now we are 3 days in, and he is the nice little boy I know he is, sharing with his baby sister and laughing with her, able to play quietly when he needs to yet still full of energy.

So if all it's going to take is some Omega-3's daily for the rest of his childhood or possibly life, I'm OK with that. Because I'm most likely going to keep it up for the rest of my life as well. My dry skin is gone and I almost never breakout anymore. I just feel so much better!

(For anyone who is wondering, I am going to take him to our family doctor and see if there is a cause for this, because certain foods make him react the same way he would off the omegas, which we avoid now. But even if he were to have ADD/ADHD, I'd rather be careful with what I give him than medicate him.)

Bubble Baths

May 13, 2009

My neck, shoulders and upper back have been killing me lately. Probably because my kids had me up 4-5 times a night for the past week due to colds, night terrors and just plain ending up in our bed. It's hard to sleep well when you have feet in your face in the middle of the night. Though it's nice to cuddle with the kids, I was getting sore to say the least.

I was thinking of using a magic bag after my shower to relax my tense muscles. And as I entered the bathroom to start the shower, I decided to have a bubble bath. Nothing fancy, no flower petals, no champagne or wine, no book, no relaxing music. Just bubbles and a few candles.... WOW!!!

It had been a long, long time since I had a bath last. Let alone a bubble bath. But it was awsome! My neck didnt hurt the next morning, and I was SO relaxed. I now had a bubble bath two days in arow and I am left wondering... What took me so long to decide to have one? Because I feel like a better mom during the day thanks to this half hour of stillness in the evening. I might even enjoy a glass of wine next time!

picture via istickphoto



Have you had a bubble bath lately? If not, what are you waiting for?

Visions of Turquoise

May 5, 2009


Living in an apartment can be hard when you are not allowed to paint the walls and LOVE colour. Not to mention the fact that I am on the 3rd floor and have 2 toddlers, but that's a whole other story.

Since I found the blog house of Turquoise, I have been having visions of that colour. I always loved it, but looking at the great pictures on Erin's blog, made me nostalgic a bit.

I used to live in Prince Edward Island for 6 years (our house was about a mile from the beach). We only moved out here 2 years ago now, and though PEI is not where I am from, it is where I call home when I am not referring to where I am now. I love how this colour is so light and airy and evokes thoughts of the beach. And in all the designs, there is always a lot of white... I have LOTS of white, surely I can make it work too? I'll just need to add lots of turquoise to make it work.
Picture via flickr


Here are a few of my favourite pictures taken from House of Turquoise...



I also have lots of dark woods in my dining room and living room, which is an open concept, along with dark brown couches. So last night, I took out my turquoise throw and put it on the couch, decided to leave the turquoise place mats on the kitchen table even when we are not eating (to give a punch of colour) and exchanged my blue plates (that were in the storage closet) and put the red set away. It's not exactly lots of colour yet, but it's a start. I have no budget whatsoever right now, so it will have to do at the moment. Another thing I will do soon though, and it doesn't cost anything, is to attempt to make a painting in, you guessed it, turquoise!


Pictures to follow at a later date...



Well, I'm off to bed now.
Hopefully I will dream of the beach and it's crashing waves tonight :)

A day at the park

May 4, 2009


We had such nice weather this weekend, I had to take the kids to the park. (Not to mention that they were up way too early on a Saturday morning, way too hyper for my liking and we have no yard because I live on the 3rd floor of an appartment) So Saturday, by 9 am, we were all fed, dressed and walking on our way to the park. I was really just trying to burn their energy so I could have a nice day too... it didnt work. Spring is in the air and it's like all of a sudden, their energy level goes through the roof. We ended up going back to another park at supper time, for a pic-nic and play. My friend Lina met us there with her daughter and the kids had SO much fun.




And what a difference a year makes! Last year, I had to help my daughter up the steps so she could get to the regular slides: now, she goes on the spiral slide (which is bigger) without my help. But my little man can literally do everything on the playground without my help. That means, I can take lots more candid shots of them while they are playing and maby even bring a book one of those days. (and actually read some of it :)

Oh, and by the way, I totally succeded in wearing them out that second time. They had a quick bath when we got home and were in bed shortly after 8pm. I actually got to watch a movie and light some candles. Some well deserved ME time! Everyone was happy.

A step in the right direction

May 1, 2009

I had been feeling really lost since becoming a mom, but even more in the past few months. I had not had a haircut in 10 months, gained weight, and did not even have a hobby anymore.

Then, I got my hair chopped off (about 8 inches)... this was the beginning, of, well, a new beginning! I have been feeling lighter, happier and I smile more. I lost weight without trying and now I'm starting to fit back into my summer clothes (just in time too!). I've been getting LOTS of compliments lately and it feels great!

I have this great purple scarf (it's actually a sarong) that I've owned for 10 years and NEVER worn until last week. I was always a bit of a hippie in college, went to art school , wore sarongs and scarfs all the time and always considered myself a bit of a free spirit... And I thought, this is still me! It's still what I like and who I am, so why not dress the part. And it worked!

Now that I am starting to dress and look like the old me again, I even want to start doing the things I used to like. I am constantly taking pictures now, and want to do a painting for my daughter's bedroom. I have not painted in at least 5-6 years, so this is a good sign.

I am slowly becoming ME again. And it's nice to be back!!
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