Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 in Review

2012 in Review
2012 has been a good year.  

January - April - We brought in the New Year at home.  We also started the year out with a diet (the soup diet) which went really well.  I lost 20lbs of pesky baby weight.  I joined a training group for the TC10km, and got myself in some really good shape.  Unfortunately injury took over and I was not able to finish the race I had been training for. You can recap my race day at the big race day blog .  I tried several times to get myself back into the routine, but failed every time. 

March - we went to Mt Washington with our friends from baby group.  Avery's first trip to the snow.  What a great adventure that was.  I got back on my snowboard, my husband got to enjoy his first trip to the mountains, and Avery got to play with her buddies.

March-April - Granny and Grandpa came to visit us.  They took Avery away to Sidney for a night, so we got some peace and quiet.  It was strange, I am always so ready for her to come back home.  They spent Easter with us, and we had an early 1st Birthday party for Avery with a few close friends.

April - Avery turned 1. That was a great party!  We celebrated at Boston Pizza with friends, and had a big party for Avery at Tumblebums.  I made her an amazing birthday cake.  You can recap, or just look at pictures of her cake details with Avery's 1st Birthday Blog

May - I went back to work!  I survived.  I was only going 2 days a week, but it turned into a few hours a day. It wasn't too bad.  I enjoyed being back in the saddle and having a little piece of myself back.  Avery loved going to spend time with her baby BFF.

June - I decorated my first wedding cake over the summer, and I actually got paid for doing it.  I don't think I ever wrote a blog about the cake. Once again it was a great learning adventure!

June- August - Our biggest adventure of 2012 was moving.  Over the summer we decided to pack up our bags and move "home"(for me) to St Albert.  Wow what a huge transition.  We put our condo on the market, visited St Albert, and put an offer in on our house subject to the sale of our condo.  Well our condo never sold, and the sellers accepted another offer.  At the last minute Avery and I decided we would visit Granny and Grandpa in England and daddy could pack and move us.  I had amazing friends that came and helped pack up 85% of our house, the next day we left.  We had an amazing 3 weeks visiting friends, family and just relaxing.  We got back to Canada and arrived in Calgary.  We headed up to St Albert because I started work in 3 days.

September - Avery went to a day home full time, and I started work full time. A big transition for all of us.  Work went/is going well.  Avery only lasted a month at her day home before we had to find somewhere new for her. Even though it was "not about Avery," as a parent it was hard not to take it personally.  It was even harder for me to put her somewhere else.  I decided she would only go part time to start.  We found her a great home, where she loves, and she is loved back.  Its a good fit for her. 

October- Avery started gymnastics, we got our first snowfall, and spent Thanksgiving with friends that are family!  I started my 30 day Eat By Design Challenge
Granny came to stay with us, and help take care of Avery.  Grandpa G came to stay for a few days. I found another home I love and put in another offer "subject to the sale of my condo."  Fingers crossed and prayers said.  P and I went to Calgary for 2 nights (my longest ever away from Avery).  I was attending the ACSLPA conference.  1 out of 2 days of the conference I really enjoyed.

November - Daddy left for Nigeria.  Ave did really well with Granny.  The crafted, they played, they sang.  A good time by both!  We finally got a 2nd car (much needed here in AB) especially with me working full time!
My very own 2011 Limited Ford Explorer!!

December - wooooo hooooo!! a good month for us!  Daddy came home from Nigeria (sadly Granny had to go home) BUT.... the condo FINALLY sold, and we got our new house!  Yippee!!!

Christmas was a lovely time with Family and friends, we were blessed with a new addition to the family two days after Christmas, so we will be looking forward to meeting Avery's newest cousin. 

Now we are getting to start the New Year.  We move January 6, so 2013 is looking to be starting on a good foot.

I hope you all can look back on your 2012 and smile with many happy memories. I feel very blessed to have had such a great year!

Take care for now,


Sunday, 30 December 2012

A Not Quite Paleo Christmas

Its been a while! A long while!  For those of you who may have seen the pictures I posted of Christmas dinner on FB, by the sights of the Yorkshire puddings, it was obviously not a very Paleo Christmas for me.

Yorkshire Puddings!
My intentions had been for a complete Paleo Christmas. Then I went to a Christmas party.  A few too many glasses of wine, a few too many espresso vodka's... and I was still not indulging in the treats, until the next day :-0.  The next day I was not "hungover," in fact, I think I may have awoken still buzzing a little, so I just faded all day long.  You know how that goes!!  I did pretty well throughout the day, I had eggs for brunch, but all I could think about was pizza.  I wanted, rather, I needed to eat PIZZA!  After hours and hours of deliberation about whether or not it was ok to eat pizza, my husband (great support) convinced me that it was.  "it's only one day, you've done so well, you deserve a treat!"  So I ordered a pizza with everything I love on pizza.  Bacon, ham, banana peppers, pineapple, we even went as far as to order the hot dog stuffed crust pizza.... gross as it sounds, at the moment it was DELICIOUS!  The next day, I didn't feel horrible, but my belly was certainly not its happy self.

I figured that would be the end of my indulgences.  Then Christmas Eve rolled around.  We were having dinner with family friends, and of course I was bringing my world famous macaroni and cheese.  I had bought some havarti and swiss cheese for the dish, so I just had to sample a little.  Of course at dinner I had some of my deliciousness, it's Christmas after all, and its just a little mac and cheese.  (and if you have ever tasted my mac and cheese, trust me, you would want some too!!! So the downward spiral continued.

Christmas day, I decided it just wasn't Christmas without Yorkshire puddings and stuffing.  YES! I indulged in it all, and some more mac and cheese, because who can really say no to my mac and cheese?!?!  I might have had some ice cream for dessert too :-O

Christmas Dinner
I figured by the next day that my belly was quite uncomfortable, I was bloated, things were not moving on out the way they needed to, that it would be easy to just jump back on the wagon.  Hahahaha! Who was I fooling?!?!  It doesn't help that my husband brought me delicious ice cream from the store, and Mrs Vickies salt and vinegar chips.

Now I find myself bloated, fat (i think i have gained about 500lbs over the past week), uncomfortable, and wondering why I have not had the strength and discipline to get myself back on track?!?!  Truth be known, I think I have enjoyed my "break" from the rules.  I enjoyed all my treats (although not how they made me feel).  I enjoyed not having to constantly remind myself to not sample the food, or lick my fingers, etc., etc.  HOWEVER, all breaks/vacations, must and do come to an end.

SO HERE IS MY END!!  Just kidding, I will get back on track January 1, 2013.  I want to enjoy some champagne to bring in the new year, and possibly some spanikopitas ;-) LOL

Until Next Year! (or possibly tomorrow)


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking experiments lately, so I thought it was about time that I shared some of the recipes with you!!

I purchased the book Practical Paleo and I have jumped right in with testing out the recipes!!  So far I have loved every single one of the them.  

For anyone interested in Paleo, the book is broken into 3 parts.  Part 1: The Why-Food and your body,  Part 2: 30-day meal plans, Part 3: Recipes. 

The why section was written well, it even made sense to me! The meal plans will be great if you are just getting started and need a little structure, and the recipes.... well just delicious!! The recipes are divided into seasoning mixes, breakfast, poultry, beef and bison, seafood, lamb, pork, side dishes, sauces and treats!!  Lots and lots of options
                                                                            for everyone!!

Today I will share my adventures with their buffalo chicken wraps!

1lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs - I used 3 fairly large chicken breasts
2 teaspoons of chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
Sea salt and black pepper to taste - no black pepper for us (I'm not a huge fan)
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 head of butter lettuce
1 avocado sliced
1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes halved
2 tablespoons chopped green onions - we skipped this part

1.  Slice the chicken thighs into 1/4 inch strips
2.  toss the chicken into a mixing bowl with the seasoning
3. in  a skillet on medium heat melt coconut oi and put chicken thighs in
4.  cook for 5-10 minutes turning occasionally untill cooked all the way through
5.  serve in lettuce cups, top with avocado, tomatoes, and green onions

The prep time took absolutely no time at all.  Cooking time was just as quick.  I took the left overs to work for lunch and they were still DELICIOUS!!!!!

Give them a try! You will love it!


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Primal Lemon Square FLOP!!

Wow! It has been a long time!  BUT, yes, I am still eating Paleo and for the most part By Design!

Christmas is just over 2 weeks away, and I felt I needed some baking in the house.  Rather than making all of my traditional family treats, I thought I would try out some Paleo treats.  

Project #1 Primal Lemon Squares.  I was quite excited to try this, I love lemon squares!  I read all the reviews there were some successes, and lots of fails.  People were having difficulty with the topping seeping through the crust and settling at the bottom, they suggested pre-cooking the crust.  When I make regular lemon squares I always pre-cook the crust, so I tried that with this recipe.  I cooked the crust for 10 minutes, and the topping still seeped through the crust. :(  I suppose I could could the crust a little longer, my concern is that it gets too dry.  I did spread my crust out over a slightly larger pan than recommended, so the slightly thinner crust could have been the cause too.  Who knows.  If you have any suggestions, or dare to try this recipe, PLEASE share your tricks/secrets!

Taste? Well I am not sold.  Paleo baking uses lots of eggs, and often I find things tasting eggy.  I think the lemon flavor is nice, but I can taste the eggy.  I am not a huge fan of the texture either... I would say this recipe is a big FLOP in my books!!

Crust ingredients
1 cup almond meal
1 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey
3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk

Filling ingredients

8 eggs
juice from 6 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

In a bowl mix together all the crust ingredients. When it's completely combined, press into the bottom of a greased 11x7 inch pan.

In another bowl wisk together all the filling ingredients except the dried coconut. Slowly pour this over the crust mixture. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top while it's still hot. This is optional but it makes it look pretty. Cool completely before serving. 

recipe from

I hope you have more success than me, and PLEASE share what worked or didn't work for you!!!!

Good Luck!!!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Life After Eat By Design

Yep, I am still going, and still going strong.

It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since I officially finished the challenge.  I said I would continue with the diet, and I have.  It doesn't even really feel like work anymore.  I still need to make sure I have lunches made etc, but I honestly think it has become a habit.

What do I need to work on now?
I need to cut down on the sugar.  Even though I am using natural sugar sources, I still eat quite a bit.  It is the Christmas season, and I love mandarin oranges (they aren't as good the rest of the year), so I am eating at least one a day.  Then I like to bake cookies so I have some paleo cookies, then I have developed a taste for dark chocolate, so I eat some of that.  What can I say,  I love my sweets!  It used to be a daily does of cake or cookies, so at least I am on the right track.

I need to work out more.  Something always seems to come up to get in the way of my workouts.  The baby has been really sick so I didn't go yesterday (that is a legit excuse).  Last Wednesday it was something, the week before it was the weather, the week before that my father-in-law was in town.  The excuses can go on forever.  It is hard to get some where when you are dependent on other people for you to be able to do it.

My Next Step?
Getting the baby to eat more by design.  I read the "why?" in my practical paleo book, and the more I read the more it makes sense.  She has been sick since we arrived in Alberta.  Obviously diet is not the only factor, I am sure there are some environmental factors, but diet is something I can have control over.

Anyways.... it will be a long night with my sick muffin, so I better get some rest!


Monday, 5 November 2012

Paleo Thai Chicken Soup

Its that time of year where you want to eat soup!  My husband also needed a root canal, so he needed to eat soup too.  Kind of a win win situation for me.  I get to try out a new recipe, feed the family, and stick to my By Design way of eating!!

The soup was/is absolutely delicious, and really quite easy to make.  I skipped a few steps and changed a few things, but I will add those notes into the recipe for you ;-) The first time I made the soup I measured most of the ingredients, and stuck to the recipe (minus the veggies).  The second time I made it I didn't measure a thing, and I added shrimp and crab. Delicious.

Paleo Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients:  (8 servings)

1 tablespoon grape-seed oil  - I used olive oil
3 shallots, chopped  - I just used a regular old onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro I didn't bother chopping it since you strain it out anyways
4 cups chicken stock - I just used whatever came in the carton I bought
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk - I had coconut cream
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 (8 ounce) package crimini mushrooms, sliced - we skipped the veggies
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast meat - i just pulled a part a rotisserie chicken
2 teaspoons red curry paste - i used 1/2 the jar, added some cayenne pepper and smoked paprika
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Serrano chile peppers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
8 lime wedges

1.  Heat the grapeseed oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
2.  Cook and stir the shallots and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro in the hot pan until the shallot has softened and turned translucent, about 4 minutes. 
3.  Pour in the chicken stock, coconut milk, and agave nectar; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
4.  Once the broth reaches a simmer, strain through a mesh strainer into a clean saucepan; discard the shallot and cilantro. I scooped mine out with a spoon so I did not need to use and extra pots.  It worked fine (i did not chop my cilantro and i cut big chunks of onion to make it easier)
5.  Return the broth to a simmer; stir in the mushrooms and broccoli and cook until the broccoli becomes tender, about 4 minutes. once again i skipped this step.  I added my shrimp to cook at this point!
6.  Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink, stirring constantly. 
7.   Stir the curry paste, lime juice, and fish sauce in a small bowl to dissolve the curry paste; mix into the simmering soup.this is where i added my smoked paprika and cayenne pepper
8.  Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro, serrano peppers, green onions, and lime wedges to serve.

A big thank you to for the original recipe!  Its a keeper!!



Friday, 2 November 2012

Eat By Design: Day 30

Yep! You got it! I survived 30... yes THIRTY days of Eating By Design, and it really wasn't all that bad!!

I told my husband that this was day 30, and the last day.  He said we should celebrate, it's not over yet! I have to finish the day out!  It's been a long week.  Not a great week for me either.  With lack of sleep and some long days at work I am pretty tired.  I was resting on the couch, and didnt even realize what time it was, I asked my mom and realized  I had missed crossfit.  I really wanted to go tonight. BOO

My husband is leaving for Nigeria on Tuesday for a month.  So it will be just me, my mom, and the baby.  I won't have anyone to hang out with or drink wine with in the evening, so I may end up getting some extra sleep. IF we can get the baby back to sleeping through the night!  My plan while he is gone is to make up some lost time at Crossfit.

This morning I weighed myself, as I do most mornings right before I get in the shower, and was pleasantly surprised (I actually have been all week).  I have miraculously lost 5lbs out of nowhere. I am pretty sure it will find its way back somehow.  It seems to do that.

What did I eat today?
Breakfast - coffee, scrambled eggs with banana peppers
lunch - roasted veggies
dinner - roasted veggies, chicken with tomato sauce
snack - handful of nuts
treat - red wine and dark chocolate

How Do I feel?
Hahaha! Tired! Glad it is the weekend!

How Do I feel about my 30 day challenge?
Pretty good.  I am giving myself a pat of the back to taking the challenge and sticking to it.  I have had a few things that are not ideally by design over the past 30 days (I'm sure my yam fries were not cooked in olive or coconut oil), and I may have eaten a little more dark chocolate and drank a little more red wine that prescribed, but I still did it. My dark chocolate isn't always as dark as it should be and I've been using liquid whipping cream in my coffee.

I am really glad I did it too. I feel better. My belly generally feels better.  My digestive system still needs some work, but It has only been 30 days and it is working much more efficiently, and I haven't had a gassy bloated belly feeling.  I proved to myself that I can do it, that I can eat healthy, and I can do it without having negative feelings or missing the foods I eliminated.  Sure there are times that I want to eat something I shouldn't, but it is only usually when that food is right in my face.  Although, I wouldn't mind eating a pizza.  I think that is one food I will definitely miss.

What Were My Biggest Challenges?
The first week or so was tough when I was explaining to people what I was doing. but everyone got used to it.  I think the explaining it to people (the best I could) helped me stay on track.  It just kept reiterating the facts/ reasons for me deciding to do the challenge in the first place.

The time.  It is for sure time consuming to Eat By Design.  You have to be prepared.  You have to have meals and snacks ready that you can eat.  When lunch was being catered at work I had to pack a lunch.  You can't really get caught on the run hungry, because it is hard to find an appropriate snack.  You have to give yourself extra time in the morning to scramble those eggs.

(Did I ever tell you that I don't really care for eggs?  Well I dont.  In the past I have had to be in the mood for eggs.  The have to be scrambled, in an omelet or in egg salad.  I will only eat egg salad I make myself too. I cannot stand hard boiled, poached, or deviled eggs.  Egg yolk is just vile, and the texture is even worse!  Over the past month I have gotten over some of my distaste for eggs.  I am eating scrambles every day! Still can only eat them scrambled though. Funny how things change)

Back on track.... my challenges

I thought eating out would be a challenge, but it has not been all that bad.  Everywhere serves chicken or fish with roasted veggies... you just need to skip the sauce.

Which brings me to my last challenge..... sauce.  I love sauce.  I am a dipper.... Ranch, Ketchup, Tartar Sauce, Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce etc.  I miss having sauces.  I tried making mayo so I could make some sauces, but it never worked out.  Please share your mayo recipes with me!!

So What will I do now? 
I will continue to eat relatively by design.  The principles make sense to me.  It fits well into my life. I just need to get my husband and baby on board!  I don't foresee myself changing the way I am eating now.  I have enjoyed the meals I have made, and the recipes I have tried.  I like the way my belly is starting to feel, and I think my body needs some more time to adjust. I would really like to see how I feel in another 30 days!!

So stay tuned.  I won't be blogging daily about eating by design anymore, but I will get back to blogging about my recipes I am trying and my going ons as I did before.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Eat By Design: Day 29

Wow wow wow!!  Only 1 more day to go!!  Can you believe that it has already been 29 days??  I sure can't!!

Today was a long day.  I was at the chiropractor at 7:30am.  I spent the morning at my school in Claireview, went to the office for a few hours, then off to the west end for a meeting at another school, that lasted until 4pm.  All that driving, especially in this weather, makes for a very tiresome day.  It doesn't help that I was up with Avery again at 4am.... silly baby.  She needs to get back to her good sleeping habits! I'm just exhausted.  4 Nights in a row without a full nights sleep, it is really taking its toll on me.

What did I eat today?
Breakfast - coffee, eggs and salsa
lunch - sphagetti squash and ragu sauce (it was all we had in the house)
Dinner - roasted veggies, rotisserie chicken
Snack - handful of nuts
Treats - dark chocolate, red wine

How Do I Feel?
Other than being exhausted, I feel pretty good.  Today I was yawning all day long, but generally, even when I am not getting great sleep, I am not feeling the fatigue until I come home and sit home, which is great!

My Biggest Challenge today?
Making my lunch.  My Father-in-Law has been visiting us, and so we have been eating out a bit.  I haven't bought any groceries and I haven't done any shopping.  When it came time time to make my lunch I was kind of at a loss.  I grabbed some Ragu (not ideal, but not the worst thing I could have chosen) and poured it over some spaghetti squash and packed it up!!  It was tasty.

See you on day 30!!


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 27

My Husband said ... wow it's been 27 days already?!?!  Its gone pretty fast!!

Why is it that they baby being up in the night on Sunday has thrown me so out of whack?  I didn't get up to run this morning.  It's not even 8pm and I think I could call in for the night!

I didn't snack today, just had my meals, could that be why I am tired?  When I snacked this evening, but that was more just comfort eating.

Why am I comfort eating? Have I told you how much our realtor in Victoria SUCKS??  My husband called him 5 days ago, and I sent him a text 4 days ago and yesterday, and he has still NOT responded to us.  Talk horrible service with a huge price tag.  We thought about switching realtors, but our place would be off the market for a week, and we just couldn't get into that sort of a situation while making a conditional offer on another house. It gets a little stressful at times when I think we may lose the house.....

What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - coffee and scramble with salsa
lunch - spaghetti squash and sauce
dinner - earls - cedar plank salmon (no sauce) with veggies and sweet potato fries (a little treat)
Comfort snacking - dark chocolate and nuts

How Do I Feel?
I am tired.  It could be the night I disturbed my sleep patterns, it could be my stress levels, it could be I didn't eat enough (i doubt that).  It could be my cycle is starting.  It could be a million things!!

My Biggest Challenge Today?
Definitely eating out with the family.  I still managed to have a good meal though.  I just looked at the menu at some of my earls favorites, and kinda wanted just a taste!

See you on day 28.... only 3 more days to go!!


Monday, 29 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 26

Who knew there was a group/boy band called day 26??  I never did, but when I did a google search for an image, they were all that came up!!

Today was a typical Monday.... work work work.  Last night wasn't so typical though.  Avery woke up at about 1am and decided it was morning and she wanted breakfast?  I love her to bits, but I don't enjoy being awake for a few hours in the middle of the night when I have to work the next day.

Went to Crossfit this evening, and it was a GREAT workout.  When I looked at the website I almost thought about not going (as I have many times in the past).  I sucked it up (so one day I don't have to suck it in) and went.  Surprisingly, it was not as hard as I thought it would be and I really enjoyed it.  Don't get me wrong, it was challenging, and I can already feel my entire body, but it is not as bad as I though!  Good good good.  I love Crossfit. I just need to get my groove back!

What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - coffee, red pepper and tomato scramble
lunch - roasted veggies, spaghetti squash and homemade sauce
dinner - sausage, spaghetti squash & homemade sauce, roasted veggies
snack - hand full of nuts, and sausage
treats - small glass of wine (I am weening LOL)

How Do I Feel?
I'm tired from lack of sleep, feeling my workout with a little muscle fatigue,  and I am ready for bed.  Overall I feel pretty good!!

My Biggest Challenge?
I think my biggest challenge today was getting myself to Crossfit, but I did it, and I am glad I did!!

Its time for bed!! 


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 25

25 days, and I indulged a little.... I had a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. BAD ME! LOL

I went to Crossfit this morning, and it was choose your benchmark day.  I did Helen.  Its the same workout I did the last time I was there for choose your benchmark, except today I was on the airdyne bike and not running.  WOW! I suck at the airdyne bike! lol.  Terrbile.  My WOD was bike for 50 calories, 21 kettlebell swings at 35lbs, and 12 pull ups.  I suck at pull ups, I still have my foot in the giant rubber band.  I also realized I'm not very "fit."  That bike almost killed me.

As you all know I am frustrated with my weight loss, or lack of it.  I was chatting to my Crossfit coach about it.  He said it may take some time, but by body composition is probably changing.  We talked about running, and I told him that I know if I started running that the weight would start to fall off.  I know running long distances are not ideal, but he said if I am running 5km, and I am not doing every day, I will be ok.  

I've decided running is what I need to do.  I enjoy running.  I like the competitiveness I build within myself.  I like the quiet time with me and the road.  I am a runner, I was born a runner, and I always will be a runner.  I competed in my first race at 7 years old.  I ran competitively for 14 years.  It seems natural to me.  I know that long repetitive runs are not great for you, but that is not my plan.  My plan for now is 5km.  I probably can't even run 5km right now.  I would be happy if I could make it 2km without stopping!!  Running is also something I can do before work.  I like a workout before work, and I have not yet convinced Crossfit Edmonton to have a 5am class! LOL

So what did I do today.... convinced my husband we needed a trip to Lemons  (aka lululemon) so I (he) could buy some winter running pants, gloves and an ear warmer.  I almost bought some hunter boots while we were shopping, but they were sold out of the smokey grey :-(

My plan is Tuesday/Thursday mornings to start. If I dont crossfit on a sat or sun I will go for a run.  I feel better having a plan, and a plan I know I will have success with!

Oh Yes, I am also giving up red wine, bacon and nuts for the month of November.  I have scheduled a cheat day so I can attend a wine party.

What Did I Eat Today?
breakfast - coffee
lunch - spaghetti squash and sauce, roasted veggies
dinner - crab cakes, snow crab legs, roasted veggies  
treats - red wine

How do I feel?
Better.  I have a plan.  Running always helps me shed lbs.

My Biggest Challenge?
Today I decided to make homemade mayonnaise so I could make crab cakes.  This is not an easy task.  My first batch was disgusting.  My next 2 didnt turn out and the 4th wasnt so tasty.  BAH!  What an expensive experiment! I threw away at least 2 cups of Olive Oil today. YIKES.  We used the last batch anyways to make the crabcakes, I threw in some "slap chopped" red pepper, coconut flour, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper... and they were pretty good!!!

If anyone has a good homemade mayonnaise recipe please share it with me!!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 24!!

wow!  I have done well (pat myself on the back)!

Well I didn't write yesterday.  It was a busy day.  I will say that I did Eat By Design all day long!

Today was a busy day too, except I got a late start to the day.  We slept in until 9:30am!  WOW!!  Hahaha. That was a nice treat.  Avery was up at 5:30am, but granny got up with her.  The downside is I missed crossfit (I didnt make it Friday night because we were still trying to get dinner made).  Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

I went shopping today.  It wasn't a great experience, but it wasn't horrible. I was hoping I would have lost some weight by the time I really needed to buy some clothes, but sadly I haven't.  I needed some decent clothes for work now that the winter seems to be setting in to I had to suck it up and buy clothes anyways.

What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - eggs, bacon, coffee
lunch - rotisserie chicken, plain green salad
dinner - spaghetti squash with my super sauce, roasted veggies
snacks - a few nuts
treats - red wine

How Do I Feel?
Pretty frustrated.  I've been eating well, exercising fairly regularly, and I am still not shedding the pounds.  It makes no sense.  Yes my arms and legs are toning up, but that is not my problem area.  I want my belly and love handles to disappear!!  I'm tempted to hang out with my soup diet for a few weeks.  At least I know I can kick of the lbs fast, then work on the maintenance aspect of it. BAH!  I hate being fat and I just dont understand why it just wont go away!! BAH

My Biggest Challenge Today
Eating lunch at the mall. LOL.  A day out with the family, and lunch time rolls around.  We ended up getting chicken from Swiss Chalet.  Seemed to be the most "by design" option available.

Tomorrow is a new day.  I will lose at least 10lbs before my husband returns from Nigeria!!!!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 22!!!

22 days and still going strong!!  Yup Yup!

What a long day!  I started with my chiropractor at 7:30am, I worked 2 grade 1 classes on the southside (Millwoods), I went to the office (Goldbar area), then to family programming at one of my schools (Claireview area), didn't reach home until 5:30pm!  Of course it was speedy dinner then off to try and sort out insurance for the car.

Why are insurance companies such butt heads.  I get my abstract from ICBC (who insured me based on my abstract from California), yet the still need me to collect more information from California.  Why are there no mutual agreements between provinces?  It makes no sense!! UGH!!

I am treating myself to a glass of wine this evening!

What did I eat today?
Breakfast - coffee, bacon, and my scramble
Lunch - roasted veggies and avocado
Dinner - roasted veggies and chicken
treats - wine and dark chocolate

How Do I Feel?
Other than the stress of my condo not selling, and the house we are trying to get having lots of action.... oh, and the stress and frustration of obtaining car insurance.... I am feeling pretty good!!!

My Biggest Challenge Today?
Managing my stress levels and not freaking out. I don't deal with stress very well.  Lucky for me I have an amazing husband who can handle my freak outs pretty well.  He is super calm.  I tend to be a little on the anxious side on a good day, so when I get stressed out, he is just the medicine I need!!

See you on day 23!!  Only 1 week to go until it is a lifestyle not a challenge!!


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 21

Wooo Hoooo!!  I have a habit! LOL!  21 days!!

Nature is cruel.  Not only does the baby have a chest infection, but she is teething.  So in between the coughing, sneezing, and runny nose, the poor kiddo is pawing at her mouth and gums :-(  I think her fangs are coming in ;-)

Today was another day of sitting on my rear end in meetings.  One of my co-workers was asking me about my "diet"  I told her the bits I remember, and the next questions was "do you have allergies?" I said no,  "Well why are you doing it?"  I responded with "my health, I want to feel better, and I want to be able to run around and play with my grandchilden (someday)."  I got a really positive reaction!!  She said "good for your, I couldn't do it, but good for you for being strong."

What did I eat today?
Breakfast - coffee, tomato, banana pepper and mushroom scramble
snack - pumpkin muffin (my co-workers were having cobbs cinnamon rolls)
lunch - roasted veggies with avocado, apple
snack - muffin
dinner - roasted veggies, salmon

How Do I feel?
Its Hump day, its my tired day of the week, but I worked, had an adjustment and went to crossfit, so I am feeling not too bad!  (definitely ready for bed though)

My Biggest Challenge Today?
It may not be a challenge today, but something I have seemed to notice throughout the challenge.  I think I am snacking out of habit (something I have done a lot longer than 21 days) rather than snacking because I am hungry.

Until Tomorrow!!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 20

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit... Almost there!!!!!

Today was a pretty typical day... well maybe not.  I had MDT (multi-disciplinaryteam) meetings all day.  Sooooo, that meant sitting on my butt for 6 hours straight discussing the needs of the kiddos with their teachers.  I took some of my "paleo pumpkin muffins" for everyone, and they were a HUGE hit.  My co-workers were impressed with how moist the muffins were, and how tasty they were without using any of the traditional ingredients!  Yay me!

My co-workers often comment on how delicious my lunches look and smell.  That is usually followed up with comments along the lines of "i couldn't give up bread", or "I love dessert too much."  One meal at a time I say.  Make one small substitution and see how it goes.  It's really not bad, I love my  meals, and I am not really missing any particular food.  UNLESS, it is right under my nose. LOL

What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - coffee, and my famous scramble
snack - blackberry square
lunch - roasted veggies
snack - mixed nuts
dinner - roasted veggies with sun-dried tomatoes with shrimp

How Do I Feel?
Today I feel pretty good.  It was a rough night with the baby, but I am still feeling ok physically.  I wish I could have stayed home with my little girl today.  She has not been feeling well the past few days, and last night was a bad night.  All she wanted was to cuddle with mommy and daddy, and I had to try and sleep as much as possible so I could get to work today.  Daddy took her to the Dr, and gave her all the cuddles she needed. Boo to working full time.

What was my biggest challenge?
Today it was not being able to be with my baby when I knew she needed me, or rather, I needed to be with her. I miss her so much, and even more so when she is not well.

Until day 21, where eating by design will be a habit ;-)


Monday, 22 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 19

Yep! 19 days and counting!!  

I made a commitment that I would go to Crossfit this evening and I did!!  Every inch of my body feels it, and not one inch of me regrets it!! 

It was honestly a tough choice to make!  My BFF invited me to a movie premiere, that sounded like fun!  My mom went, so I am sure she will fill me in.  After dinner I was tired and got in the "I'm tired funk."  Today My hubby was very supportive and told me to just go and do the best I can. I'm so happy he pushed me to go.  I loved my time there, and feel great for going!!

What Did I Eat Today?
Probably a few too many treats, but I am so enjoying them I'm over treating myself! LOL
Breakfast - coffee, salsa, mushroom, egg scramble
snack - blackberry squares, mixed nuts
Lunch - butter chicken with spaghetti squash
Snack - apple
Dinner - roasted veggies, spicy chicken sausage
Snack - blackberry squares, nuts, chocolate.

When I look back at what I ate today, I sure did eat a LOT!  I will not eat this much tomorrow!!

How Do I Feel?
A little bloated today, but I have eaten a lot of nuts and they tend to do that to me.  There is almond flour in some of the treats, so that is something I am going to have to keep an eye on.

My Biggest Challenge?
Obviously managing how many treats I am eating!  I went a little overboard today.  I have been so long without treats, I think I may have over indulged, but it is  ok.  I will find a balance!

Today after Crossfit I had a chat with some of my fellow crossfitters who are also doing the challenge.  It was nice to chat to some people who are going through the challenge.  They shared some of the blogs they read, some of the recipes that they like, and some of the challenges they have.

I must get ready for my day tomorrow and rest!!


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Paleo Blackberry Bars

I have been on a mission to find some fun recipes that I can bake and still indulge in once in a while.  I thought it was about time that I shared some recipes with everyone!

Today I made blackberry squares.  I must say, they are pretty tasty.  The texture is not what you would expect, but that is the coconut.  They tasted like banana, coconut, blackberry squares to me.  Nevertheless, they are yummy!! (yes I couldn't resist taking a bite before I took the picture).  My hubby enjoyed his sample (minus the fruit of course) The true test will be with Avery tomorrow!!

  • 1 cup coconut flour (shredded coconut blended into powder) i bought my flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut i put too much in my measuring cup and couldnt be bothered to put it back, so I used about 3/4 of a cup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup NuNaturals Baking Blend (or sugar, agave, maple syrup, honey, whatever you’d like) i used natural honey
  • 2 bananas (about 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (may use olive oil) coconut oil for me
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 cup almond milk i put in most of the cup, i figured i had added extra coconut so i should add all the almond milk
  • 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen (or berry of choice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add in the NuNaturals Baking Blend or sugar sub, if using, mixing again.
n the same bowl, add in the bananas, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup almond milk. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated, adding in more almond milk, as needed for mixing.  

Amount of almond milk varies as coconut flour does soak up liquids quickly, and using more or less coconut flour or shredded coconut will change the absorption of liquids. Add in enough almond milk so the batter is the consistency of cookie batter (but will probably be slightly drier).  my mix was "wetter" than cookie batter.... my squares are a little heavy, but i like them

Fold in the blackberries and spoon the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until the sides are golden.

Remove from oven and cool. Cut into about 16 squares. they take a while to cool, i tasted mine scorching hot. lol

I got the recipe on Pinterest, and it is pinned from: 

Happy Gluten-Grain-Dairy free baking!!


Eat By Design: Day 18

Yep, that's right!  Day 18!!

 Yes, peek inside my 18th day of eating by design!  What did I do today?  Well, we went to Hawrelak park to play, we went to the dollar store (riviting I know ;-)), we did a drive by to stalk the house we have the offer on, and we took Avery to the park at the splash park.  It was a good day.  The fresh air did Avery the world of good!

Much better than our night!  Avery had a very very high fever 38.5C.  That's hot!  I got some tylenol in her and the fever finally broke.  At about 11pm she woke up upset, i brought her out of bed, and she puked EVERYWHERE!! Several times, it was disgusting, and I was covered in it.  Poor baby.  It seemed to turn things around for her though.  I had a rough night though, I slept on the couch with the baby monitor so I could be closer to her just in case.  (she sleeps downstairs)  couch sleeping is never fun!

What did I eat today? - deliciousness all day long!!
Breakfast - coffee, pumpkin muffins
Lunch - butter chicken and spaghetti squash (I made lots so I have lots of left overs)
Dinner - butter chicken, spagetti squash and spicy chicken sausage
Snacks - handful of mixed nuts
Treats - Paleo blackberry squares (made with coconut flour, coconut and almond milk)

How do I feel?
Great!  Well obviously tired after a rough night, but not so tired I cannot function.  My belly feels good, I'm loving my meals, and now I have discovered baking?!?!  LOL.  I love to bake, so testing out some of these recipes is a lot of fun for me.  I am very surprised at the results too!!

What is my biggest challenge?
Exercise seems to be my biggest challenge right now!  I have not been to Crossfit in over a week!!  Life gets in the way and then you lose the routine.  Tomorrow I plan on getting back into the groove. My mom is here to help our with the baby, so it is easier to get out of the house.  I need to get back to at least 3 days a week.  I love goings, so I have no excuses for not getting my butt there!!

Hold me accountable.... Crossfit tomorrow evening 7pm!!


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 17

Wow!  17 days!  (yes I missed my day 16 blog, but be assured that i did stick to my challenge!)

Today has been a lazy sort of day.  Avery has been running a fever on and off and hasn't eaten much today.  Poor baby.  The only thing we did today was some grocery shopping, and my poor baby really didn't enjoy that.

Today I did do some very exciting experiments in the kitchen.  I made bacon wrapped egg muffins, ketchup, pumpkin muffins and butter chicken.  All pretty delicious, and all abiding by my Eat By Design rules!  I also tried making some mayonnaise, but that did not work out at all.

What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - coffee, bacon wrapped egg muffins filled with mushrooms and bacon and topped with salsa
Lunch - I missed lunch, we had a late breakfast, and then I got busy
Snacks - pumpkin muffins
Dinner - spaghetti squash seasoned with indian masala seasoning, and butter chicken (made with coconut milk/cream instead of yogurt)

How Do I Feel?
Physically I feel pretty good.  I am sad for my baby though.  Poor little thing!

My Biggest Challenge?
Today has been a good day.  I cannot select anything that was particularly challenging today.  I enjoyed cooking and testing out some new recipes!!

Will post again soon (hopefully some recipes) my baby is calling me!


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 15

Day 1 of week 2.... and yes, I am STILL alive!

Today I spent the day listening to Alex Dunn discuss Smart Inclusion:  Mainstream (iPad, SMART Technology) and Assistive Technology as a Part of a Universal Design for Learning Toolkit.  Quite honestly I was a little disappointed.  The first half of the morning I felt was pushing inclusion, I work in a strictly inclusive setting.  The afternoon discussed some research, and that sent me right to sleep.  I was hoping for some more hands on, examples I could apply to my practice.  The speaker was great, she had a lot of passion and a lot of energy.  I just wanted more.

Once again I was at a place where food was catered.... unfortunatlelyt I was not in a place where I could make my own meals!! AGH!  

The best part of my day... My hubby and I went out to dinner.... ALONE!  We didnt have to rush, we could go to a "grown up" restaurant... and we could sit in the bar because we didnt want to wait for the dining room.  After some research of menus, I figured The Keg was our best option!  It was also absolutely DELICIOUS!!

What I ate Today?
Breakfast - Hotel Buffet - coffee, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit
Snacks - coffee, fruit
Lunch - lettuce with nothing on it (disgusting)
Dinner - bacon wrapped scallops, creole chicken (with scallops and shrimp) and grilled veggies 
Treats - dark chocolate, and plenty of red wine... after all, its date night ;-)

How Do I Feel?
Frustrated with the limited options of food.  I suppose I could have ordered a special diet, but I registered for the conference a long time ago and it never crossed my mind.  BUT, if I told them I needed a grain free, sugar free, un-processed, dairy free option, I am sure they would have been at a loss of what to feed me.  I am not sure if they would even accomodate such a request.

I should have gone to the restaurant in the hotel and ordered something I could eat, but that is a lesson I learned for tomorrow.  I was soooooooo hungry by the end of the day!!

My Biggest Challenge?
Despite difficulties with lunch, I find the most challenging thing is the question "what are you going to do when the 30 days are up?"  The honest truth is I dont know.  I really want to see how I feel at the end of the 30 days.  My ultimate goal is to keep it up.  I feel good, and 90% of the time it is really not that hard.  I had a delicious dinner.  I can't guarentee that my meal was 100% by design, I didnt make it myself, but it was pretty close.  Protien and veggies. No cooking, and no cleaning up!!!! LOL!!

I'm off to hang out with my favorite guy!


Eat By Design: Day 14

14 Days - 2 weeks!!  It feels pretty normal!

Today has been another one of those days that I sat on my rear end "listening" and not eating catered food.  Grade 1 callbacks - meetings and PD with our Grade 1 teachers, and as usual, our lovely office caters breakfast and lunch!  I brought my own lunch, and I enjoyed it.

Right after work we hopped on the road to Calgary.  Over the next two days I will be attending the Alberta College of Speech Pathology and Audiology Conference (ACSLPA).  I anticipate some challenges with Eating By Design, but I will do the best I can.

What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - coffee, salsa egg scramble
Lunch - roasted red pepper soup, apple
dinner - omelette, sweet potato fries (not ideal I know)
snacks - pistachios
Treats - dark chocolate

How Am I Feeling?
Pretty good!  I seemed to have kicked the tired bug in the butt.  I am tired, it is 9:30pm, but I don't feel totally drained.

What was my biggest challenge today?
Where does one "Eat by Design" when they are on the road?  I figured my safest bet was breakfast for dinner.  Any ol' diner will do for that.  I had an omelette, and I ordered it minus the cheese.  4-5 bites in I realized that there was cheese in my omelette, so I sent it back.  I am sure i had a bite or two of cheese, but I think I will survive ;-)

Let's hope the next few days are easy enough for me to find some "By Design" meals!!


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 13

Unlucky for some 13! That's just a line I remember for playing prize Bingo at the seaside as a kid...

Today as been a very uneventful day.  I sat in MDT (multidisciplinary team) meetings all day long.  Not a lot of movement happening.  Although it was a quick day, it was a long day.  I am TIRED.  It is 8pm and I am feeling ready for bed. Of course I still haven't packed for the trip tomorrow (I am heading to Calgary after work for the ACSLPA conference).

What I ate today?
Breakfast - coffee, salsa egg scramble 
Lunch - roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup, apple
Dinner - honey garlic shrimp, roasted veggies
Snacks - almonds

--they honey garlic shrimp I made from scratch.  some garlic and some natural honey... it was delicious--

How Do I Feel?
The past 2 days I am tired.  Not sure why, I am just tired.  I haven't had much motivation to exercise (which probably makes me more tired).  

I wish Crossfit had some 5am classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It would make my life so much easier.  6am isn't early enough for me to get home, get ready for work, get Ave to daycare, and to actually get to work on time.  I wouldn't miss as much quality time with my little one if I could go in the morning either.

What Was My Biggest Challenge?
Still not the eating part of the challenge.  I am enjoying my meals and not really missing the foods I am not eating.  Right now my challenge is why are the numbers on the scales not going down???  I know I have not been working out as often as I need to.  BUT, with any of the other "diets" I have tried, the lbs have always just fallen off.... so why when I am eating so well, are they not falling off??

I must go pack for my trip!


Monday, 15 October 2012

Eat By Design: Day 12

If it were December.... it would be Christmas!!!  One the 12th day of eat by design..... ;-)

Tired is the word of the evening.  My mom arrived late last night, and we visited with my cousin (who had dropped her off).  Then I was up for a chiropractic appointment at 7am.  Screenings at my first school.  Off to the next site, activities in both my kindergarten classes, an activity in the 100 voices class, starting to screen the grade 1's, meeting with the teacher, and by the time I got home from Millwoods it was 5pm.  THANKFULLY, I have an amazing husband (who was probably nagged by my mother), but dinner was ready when I came home. 

Have I told you lately that I hate working full time?  I like my job, just wish I could do it part time.  10am-2pm would do me good. (One Day!) I got home and I was drained, so no working out for me tonight.  Hopefully I can make it happen tomorrow.

I realized that 7am is too early to go to the chiropractor.   It would mean I would have to go home to take Ave to daycare, and that just seems silly.  I will not go at 7:30am on my way out of town.  Much better idea.  I love adjustments.  I'm excited to have a straight back and for my neck to bend back the right way!

So What Did I Eat Today?
Breakfast - coffee, salsa egg scramble
Lunch - roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup, apple
Dinner - salmon, roasted veggies
Snacks - almonds
Treats - red wine ;-)

How Do I Feel?
Tired, but still feel pretty good.  I am tired because I didn't have a good nights sleep, and I had a busy day at work.  It was not until I got home and sat on the couch that the tired took over.  I wasn't yawning and sluggish all day.  I was yawning with a pep in my step. LOL

What Was My Biggest Challenge?
I forgot my lunch today.  My challenge, was do I go back home and risk being a few minutes late to work, or do I go without lunch?  I decided that I needed to go back for my lunch.  I can't just run out and grab a bite to eat, and I look forward to my lunch break.  I am glad I went back, because my soup was absolutely DELICIOUS!!! (I will try to post the recipe I used)

I forgot to wear it today... I was so bummed out :-(

Early night for me tonight!

See you on Day 13!!