Getting myself out of a funk

January 30, 2010

It's no secret I've been in a funk lately. I mentioned in my last post having serious winter blues. But my close friends in everyday life know it's been a funk that's been going on for a while now. Like a few months. But I can honestly say the last couple weeks have been even worse.

After an episode this week (huge fight with my son at bed time, where MY tantrum was bigger than his), caused by a serious lack of sleep for everyone (both kids waking up between 5 and 5:30 am everyday for the past week) and it didn't help that we've all been sick since Friday last week... Well after the "episode", I decided to snap out of it. I had enough. OK, I might have been feeling the blues, but this fight with my son left me feeling like a bad mom that night.

Nothing like crying and feeling like crap about yourself to put things into perspective I guess.

I'm not the only one that's been in a funk... my kids too... until today that is! You can see my kids were actually munching on healthy food this morning.



And yes, my daughter was actually snacking on some fresh kale leaves. How awesome is that?!!


It all started yesterday, when it was grocery day. You see, I had been slowly resorting to some convenience foods, and the kids have been doing nothing but demand junk food, and not eat healthy stuff when I'd make it. Any parent know how frustrating it can be!

I realized that I needed to start eating really healthy again, in order for them to "kick it up a notch". I want us to go back to the way we've been eating last winter until summer. To do that, I need to make sure we have loads of fresh produce on hand at all times.

Off I went to the grocery store. Bought oodles of fruit. I just heart fruit so much!


And lets not forget about the veggies! It's easy for me to get lots of fruit into me, since I have such a sweet tooth, but I have to make an effort for the veggies. I did buy lots though. I might have gotten a little carried away actually. But since I hate wasting food, I'll just have to make veggies a BIG priority in order to eat all this before it goes bad. In case your new to my blog, it's just me and my two little kids at home while hubby works away. So that's a lot of produce for just me and the kids. I believe salads of all kinds will be served as a side dish for a while! (just so you know, I still had a few fruits and veggies left in the fridge, these are just pics of what I bought yesterday!)

As I was unpacking the groceries (and yes, I bought other stuff, not just produce), I decided to reorganize my kitchen a bit.

This is my main counter. As you can see, it's mostly coffee stuff. I still drink coffee, but a lot less than I was a few weeks ago. I am hoping to reduce to one every 2 days in the next week or so. (Doing it gradually ;)

But I thought, if I want to eat healthy, I have to make sure the space works for me. Not sure why I didn't think about this before, but I thought about it yesterday. So I changed a few things around and voila!



Some dried fruit on the counter to remind me to snack on that when I'm feeling "snackish" or if I get a craving for something sweet, and my food processor in the corner, to make sure I use it more and try some delicious looking raw recipes I saw on YouTube.

My coffee maker is still on the counter, but on the other side of the sink now (it's just a small space). I am planning on making it the spot for the blender sometime soon! Speaking of blender, I have not been very faithful with my supposedly daily green smoothies. So this morning, I whipped up some healthy green goodness.

  • hemp seeds
  • orange juice
  • water
  • frozen blueberries
  • banana
  • kale
  • spinach
  • cacao nibs

I didn't take a picture of the finished smoothie, because it was more brown than purple and it didn't look very appetizing. But I can assure you it was delicious!

I also have been avoiding eating wheat (but not all gluten) for the past few days (along with a mostly vegan diet), just to see what would happen. I've been having some digestion issues lately, not to mention the eczema on my back that I've been having for the past few months and just can't get rid of. So far, my rash stopped flaring up through the day, it even seems to be getting better already and I feel happier, I'm not bloated, don't have any digestion issues so far (knock on wood!) and feel like the "brain fog" I've been experiencing is slowly lifting away.

I have heard of people saying they feel better when not eating wheat, but for my persistent eczema to start going away, tells me I might have an allergy or intolerance... I'll have to go to a naturopath and get tested to know for sure. I am going to continue my wheat-free experiment until Friday of next week to see what kind of results I get and I'll keep you posted on it.

Well, that's it for now folks! There you have it. I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself, take charge of my health and just do what needs to be done to feel better, both physically and emotionally. I'll be back tomorow with the coolest and yummiest vegan and wheat-free recipe I've ever had. It was so good, I can hardly wait to share with you!

Have a great day!

An exotic recipe to beat the winter blues!

January 26, 2010

Hello all!

Pardon my absence for the past 11 days. Believe it or not, I was not missing. I have no excuse whatsoever for not posting, other than just feeling the winter blues lately. Nothing seemed exciting enough to write about... until I tried this recipe a couple days ago!


I discovered it while watching Guy Fieri on the Food Network a while ago and finally remembered to search for the recipe on their website. And Oh My! Is it ever good! I replaced the chicken stock with water to "veganize" the recipe and it was still so flavourful. It also made tons, so I have lots of leftovers for the week, which is perfect, since those winter blues are not putting me in a cooking mood. The only thing is, that my kids would not touch it. They have been REALLY picky eaters lately, you have no idea! Too bad for them, they don't know what they are missing... more for me! lol.

I slightly changed the recipe, like the quantity of water, as I knew it was too much for the Thai Jasmine rice I had, and changed the kind of oil called for, as well as subbing the chicken stock. You can find the original recipe HERE.

Coconut Cilantro Rice with Peas and Cashews

  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water or veg broth
  • 1 - 15oz can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews (I used raw cashews, but toasted would work too, just make sure they are unsalted)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp salt

In a large pot, over medium heat, add the coconut and lightly toast. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.

In the same pot, add the oil and the rice and saute until the rice is just starting to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the water (or broth), coconut milk and stir to combine. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, cashews and peas. Season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the toasted coconut and serve!

Serves 6-8

So go on, and give this little recipe a try, it's big on flavor! It's exotic, yet warm... perfect for beating those winter blues!

Hot chocolate for breakfast?

January 15, 2010

You bet!

And it can even be nutritious! Don't believe me? Check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZKrLR1QSPI

I am very tempted to try this tomorrow morning. Wouldn't it be the perfect way to start the weekend? I know my kids would not object to this one!

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. : If any of you could please tell me how I can actually have the YouTube screen show up on my posts instead of just a link, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

Today I love...

January 11, 2010

products from Souris Verte.


Their slogan: The healing herb garden for children.

They are a Canadian company (made in Quebec to be precise) and their ingredient list of each of their product can be found on their website.


I have the eucalyptus massage oil.

(Their decongestant massage oil bottle no longer looks like this according to the picture on their website, as my bottle is older, but the formula remains the same)

My mom gave me this massage oil when I was pregnant with my son, almost 5 years ago, and the bottle is still almost full. A little goes a long way with this product and I can tell you, it's still as potent today, as it was when I first opened the bottle. This particular one, has eucalyptus oil in it, and you rub it on the chest, upper back and under the kids feet. Last week, when both my kids were sick, had a cough and phlegm in their lungs, I'd apply it right after their bath (at bed time) and I swear, when they are sick, they sleep so much better when I use it, because they don't wake up coughing every 5 minutes AND they can actually breathe!

Their echinacea is going to be the next product on my list.

OK, so maybe I should say that I ADORE their product! It's that good! And, it's natural... it doesn't get much better than that!

A vegan meal & the cashew "cheese" experiment

January 9, 2010

Happy Monday!

I have not posted much in the past week, and that's because both my kids were sick. One with a nasty caugh, and the other had a fever (at night only) for a few days before getting the caugh. Lets just say, I have been woke up at night, at least 5 times a night, for the past 5-6 nights. At least I took good care of myself making sure I don't skip the green smoothies, putting in some extra greens and vit-C, so I did not get one symptom my kids had.

If I get sick, who's going to take care of me? lol.

Anyways, the reason for my post is that, since last week, I have been really putting an effort into making more meals that are vegan. It's not that hard actually, but since it's not exactly a habit for me, it does take some planning and I do have to be aware of my food choices, and not just eat mindlessly (everyone else eats dairy in my house).


Everything has been very tasty so far, and I feel so much better! All the pains I was experiencing last week are completely gone and I dropped a couple "holiday" pounds already, because my pants fit normally again. Thank goodness!


A couple nights ago, I was really in the mood for burritos. I had everything I needed to make them. But would it taste as good as I was used to without the cheese?

Then I remembered a recipe for some raw "sour cream" I had written down... somewhere.
Of course I could not find it anywhere, and I looked everywhere. (My healthy recipes are not yet organized.)

But I did remember the ingredients... raw soaked cashews, water and lemon juice. So I ground the cashews in my food processor until somewhat fine. Then added a touch of lemon juice and some water. I had to do that a couple times, since I didn't know the measurements and did not have any idea how much lemon juice I would need. I didn't want it to end up tart. What I ended up with was neither tart, nor was it "sour cream". But it did taste like cheese. Like ricotta cheese to be exact AND had the exact same texture. (I swear, if you were to put that in a traditional lasagna, you would fool anyone!)

Now I know that ricotta is not the typical addition to burritos, but it was close enough for me.


I browned some onions in a pan, then added some re fried beans and some salsa until well mixed and warm. Topped with some chopped green onions, then the "cheese" and lettuce before rolling. And it tasted oh so good!
So go ahead... try something new today. You just might be surprised!

Happy 101 Award

January 7, 2010

The beautiful HippieMom of the Raw Journal nominated me for the Happy 101 Award! Thank you!


Here are The Rules:

"List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you must link back to my blog!"



OK, so here goes...



10 things that make me happy:

1. Doing outdoor activities with my family.
2. Making delicious foods.
3. Learning and reading about natural nutrition and health.
4. Doing photography.
5. Listening to music.
6. Traveling.
7. Walking on the beach in PEI.
8. Doing yoga. (though I don't do it often, I feel so at peace when I do it!)
9. Shopping for produce at the grocery store or farmers market or getting interesting ingredients at the health food store. (I know, I'm a total food nerd! :)
10. Doing arts and crafts.





Now, the ones I pass this award onto:

1. Mrs. M from RWB & Me

2. Blooming Kids & Mum seeks life (same person)

3. Earth Mother from In the Raw

4. Sheri from Green & Crunchy

5. Lyn from Beautiful Vegan

6. Tess from Radiant Health Inner Wealth

7. Debbie from Maple Spice

8. Meghan Telpner from Making Love in the Kitchen

9. Little bubble and tree

10. Tiffany from Green and Natural Parenting


Sorry I couldn't nominate all of you that I read frequently. But I hope everyone is enjoying their week. Mine is turning out to be interesting... first week back to the "after holiday routine" and both my kids are sick (again!). I'll post again soon, and lots of recipes to come, promise!

Quitting coffee

January 5, 2010

Anyone who drinks or used to drink coffee knows it's no easy task to quit. Sure there is the physical addiction to overcome, but there is also an addiction to the whole process of making your coffee and holding your favourite warm cup (or mug, in my case), and the smell that comes from it.




Maybe, to you, drinking coffee means catching up with friends, or spending quiet time in the morning with your spouse before the kids wake up. Or maybe it's just out of necessity for staying awake.



Whatever the case may be, coffee is addictive in many levels.



Though I am sure tea can be as addictive as coffee, since a lot of them have caffeine in them, I would much rather "switch" my addiction from coffee to tea.

Why is that? Because I have no problem drinking tea as is, without adding any sweetener or dairy (or dairy replacement). But don't ask me to drink black coffee... yuck! It's just not how I like it.

I tried to quit coffee cold turkey yesterday. That's right. I thought I would go from drinking 4-5 mugs a day, to nothing at all. Oh, how wrong I was! By 9am I had a very foggy brain, by 10am a headache, by 12pm a migraine and by 1pm, I was ready for bed. I also had extreme chills. Basically, I was experiencing detox. I've heard of people going through detox when they go from SAD to raw, but I didn't think it would be that bad just from quitting coffee alone... well, come to think of it, I have not had junk food in a few days now, or sweets (another addiction of mine). Lets just say, I was not mentally prepared for such an extreme physical reaction.

By late afternoon, I had such a hard time functioning, I decided to make a small cup of java. I have not used regular cups for coffee in so long, always my gigantic mugs. But not this time. I made a small cup, and poured the coffee cream.... down the drain!

That's right! I know my body can't handle the lactose, especially not right now, so I got rid of it to not be tempted. Instead, I used my son's Lactaid milk. (I've never liked the taste of anything else in coffee other than a dairy product :( Well, the coffee tasted OK, but I very quickly realized that I did not want it. So I poured the remaining half a cup down the sink. The half cup I drank was just enough to get rid of the headache for the rest of the day.

And I was just really proud of myself, for not wanting to drink the whole thing. So while quitting cold turkey seemed like a great idea at the time, to go from 4 mugs to 1/2 cup for a week or two before completely stopping, is going to be the way to go for me. I still need to function during the day, take care of my kids, work part-time, take my son to preschool, etc. It's hard to do all that if your suffering from massive migraines. I had just a half a small cup again this morning, and it was enough to keep the migraines at bay all day... and just like last time, I did not really enjoy my cuppa.

I am not going to say no to coffee for ever though. For a while, I am still going to allow myself a cup from my favourite coffee place when I go to the city (which is once or twice a month). But that is it. I suspect that after a while, my taste buds will change and even my favourite occasional coffee will not taste as good as it does at the moment. I am feeling very confident that I will succeed, since I have a clear vision of what I want to allow myself, and what I want to achieve.

And quitting coffee, is just a start.

photo via planet-coffee.net

Desperately needing a change

January 4, 2010

Hi everyone, I hope your all doing well?

With the holidays being over and the arrival of the new year, I find myself in need of a change. I don't know about you, but I seemed to use the Christmas holidays (or the whole month of December) as an excuse to literally eat anything and everything in sight.

Not that my diet was anywhere near perfect before, as I've been known to eat a whole bag of licorice in one sitting, on the same day that I'd have a green smoothie for breakfast and a vegan lunch. For someone who's been trying to become a vegetarian, I am certainly not proud of myself right now. I've eaten more meat in the past couple weeks, than I had in the past few months combined. I want to study to be a holistic nutritionist, yet I've eaten at fast food places multiple times recently, and I can tell you that not once, did I order the salad on the menu.


Now, that's where the need for change and this blog comes in. I decided to make some changes... I want to make this blog even more about health, nutrition and my struggles, than ever before. And if I can figure out how to add YouTube video's on here, you will see some too. YouTube is such a great source for raw recipes, if your ever looking for some.


Another reason I say I need a change, is because with all this unhealthy eating I've been doing recently, I recked havoc on my body so bad. My body is speaking to me loud and clear. My skin is breaking out like a kid entering puberty, I've gained weight (and I'm already overweight), and I am getting "gallbladder-like" pains.

The problem with that, is I already had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago, at the mere age of 27. Which means it's not gall bladder pains, but probably heartburn. I know that because in the past week, this strange pain happens right after I drink coffee.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I am very lactose intolerant and I put cream in that coffee?

And last, but not least, I've had eczema on my back for the past 2 months and I know that it's a reaction to something I am eating (allergic reaction), but I have no clue what it might even be. I think all these are a good enough reason for some major change in my eating habits and make sure those changes are permanent, not temporary.

I don't know why I've been doing this to my self, but it ends here, and now. So I am going to use this blog to really inspire myself to make some great changes, and if I can help or inspire anyone else in the process, that's great too!
I would like to mention, I removed my old template and am in the process of revamping the look of this blog (because I like change). But I am having some issues, so please bare with me, as you may find the template changing for a while until I figure out what works. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
So I think this post is long enough for now. The next one will be about the changes I started making today.
What kind of changes did the new year inspire you to make (or want to make)? I'd love to know!
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