Tag Archives: Food

Be Good To The Senior In You ❤️

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Ingredients
1 cup of 100% Wheat Bran
1 1/2 cup of 1% buttermilk
1/3 cup sunflower or safflower oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of AP Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (more or less) raisins

Directions:  Preheat over to 375 (convection bake). Line muffin tin with muffin paper or silicone inserts. My preference is non-bleached muffin paper that is biodegradable. Top that Starbucks & Tim Hortons!!

Bowl #1
Wheat bran and buttermilk. Mix and let it stand for 5-10 mins.

Bowl #2
Oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix with a blender on medium until creamy and smooth.

Mix bowl #2 into bowl #1. Make sure they are incorporated into each other fully.

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into mixture and mix with spatula until smooth and mixed well.  Stir in raisins.

Scoop into prepared muffin pan. Fill to the top of the liner. Not halfway. All the way to the top (see picture).

image

Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Easy right?v
Use the ‘spring back’ test to check for readiness.  Remove promptly from pan and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy warm and cooled.

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The Juice Reviewer Is Fired

Yup, that’s right, I’m fired. I fired myself from being the juicing reviewer I wanted to be. Let me explain why I have decided I am not a good candidate to promote or demote juicing as a whole.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that juicing can be an integral part of ones healthy diet. It doesn’t need to be the only type of meal you have, but it definitely can be supplementary and increase your nutrition intake.

The hardest part of juicing is the lack of convenience. I respect that not all of all life’s good choices can be about convenience, but there has to be a way that it can be somewhat attainable for the average person. I am fortunate that I work from home, but I am not home a lot. I’m often doing errands for work, volunteering or just running like a chicken with my head cut off. I do not have a refrigerator in my car to hold the large amount of produce required to juice. Nor do I carry a generator in my car to operate my juicer. I also don’t have a kitchen sink in my back seat to clean it all up afterwards. How would you juice when you’re gone from home, for your job let’s say, for 8-10 hours a day?? I’m sure there are alternatives such as one day I put my juice in a thermos for consumption later, but if you read like I did everywhere about the nutrients leaving very shortly after the produce is juiced, and if you believe all that hype why bother drinking it 6 hours later at work? It’s lacking a level of convenience to help make it a successful journey.

If you worked in an office, I hardly think it would be acceptable or tolerated if you took over the top 2 shelves in the kitchen fridge for your produce for the day, and hogged the counter for your monster juicer that you lug back and forth each day to work. I really do wonder how one would and could do an only juice regime in an office/work environment, or a construction job site etc.

Juicing would absolutely be tolerable for a weekend or a weekend detox. Beyond that for the average person it would be hard to accommodate long term, like let’s say for those 60 days in the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. If you watch the documentary, they didn’t work during the 60 day juicing fast and I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t have 60 days to take off work and excuse myself from my family and all responsibilities. Unless I get Cancer and need chemo and/or radiation. See how that works? Ugh!

Prepping the produce for juicing, in my opinion, is a lot of work, mostly because it’s 5-10 times more produce than you normally would consume in one meal and you’re likely doing this 3-4 times a day. The time it takes to clean the produce, juice it and then clean up after would break my 30 minute lunch break in an office environment. Sure you could prep it at home and lug it all to work, but some produce won’t tolerate pre-prep, like apples, pears etc. Prepping isn’t time friendly but most could and would tolerate that portion of juicing.

It’s also hard to prepare meals for the family and walk away with only a juice in your hand. If you are the meal preparer in your home, it is likely best if you have someone take over this while you do your juice program, if possible. You might even want to excuse yourself from the dinner table during meals, it helps to reduce the cravings and enticement around whole foods. For me it was extra hard to make it work. I make most of our own bread and buns for lunches, bake often and prepare our foods box free, a lot of the reason why is Flyp has food allergies and I prefer to make most of our breads and snack items from scratch. Health wise. While I juiced and removed myself from the responsibility of most meals, it ultimately meant Flyp and Einstein ate less healthy. Let’s face it, not cooking out of a box is more time consuming and when they get home at 7pm at night, the last thing they felt like was starting to cook. They ate way too much pizza during that period.

The excessive obnoxious waste. I blogged about the excessive waste from juicing and how much it bothers me. It’s amazing to me how much produce you need to make a ‘meal’ in a cup or two, but the pulp (left over produce sucked dry) that is left is very disappointing and frustrating. There really isn’t a solid way around this waste. There are some ideas online on how to use the pulp into meals, but really, if you’re juicing and only juicing there isn’t a ‘meal’ in your schedule. The point of juicing is the machine sucks or wind whips the nutrients out of the produce, so isn’t this pulp basically a dead nutrient at this point? And putting it into another meal, essentially nutrient free and feeding to your family should be questioned. If you have backyard chickens they could eat it all up for you, but if you don’t, your composter will definitely be full!! I find juicing an excessive waste program and for that reason, it is not an attainable in my books.

Financially it would be hard to tolerate juicing for a long period of time. It is very expensive to juice. We all know produce costs more than nutrient deprived convenience in a box and when you are juicing only produce you will need to purchase a substantial amount of produce to fulfill ‘meal’ requirements. I juiced primarily organic and my costs were through the roof!! It was on average, $30/day, making it approx. $900 month, for one person. I’m sure you could drop that cost by almost half if you purchased non-organic produce, but you will find most of the produce ingredients you juice on the dirty dozen list. If you’re not going to buy organic, you should definitely avoid the items on the dirty dozen. Most of us juice for the health benefits and/or a detox, both which are very hard to obtain when the produce is ladened with pesticides and herbicides. Financially speaking, organic juicing is not attainable by the average person/income long term.

Health wise, make sure you have your ducks in a row. On the documentary, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, he did say to consult your doctor prior if you have ANY health issues. The average person who tries juicing does it because they have health concerns and/or issues. My experience with juicing says, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU START!!

I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 pre-diabetes. I didn’t and still don’t have a good solid understanding of how it all works. I was struggling each day to keep my blood sugar down while juicing, and also having some of my highest readings during juicing. It was those damn dessert juices I would make with pineapple, mango and strawberries oh my!! This is all likely due to the fact that I don’t have a good understanding of the glycemic index and wasn’t even aware of the index until a few days ago. All this produce, that all has an index number associated with it, will ultimately effect your glucose levels. Just because it is fruit and vegetables doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be indexed. Who would of known right? You’d think unlimited fruits and vegetables should be a wonderful thing. It is definitely good have a lot of vegetable produce and some fruit, but quantity should be monitored in some cases. (Like diabetes) Lesson learned!!

I can’t give an honest review for the energy and feeling great while juicing. Within a few days of juicing I got a sink-my-battleship cold that Flyp brought home, unfortunately over a week later I’m still battling this beast. As soon as I started juicing the cold was introduced into our home and within a few days my insides were invaded!! So I didn’t feel the benefits of extra energy and feeling great as I was busy fighting off a nasty virus. This is not the juicing programs fault obviously, just makes any input I might have in this area null and void.

I also had what we are assuming was a gallbladder attack during juicing. This has lead to an ultrasound and blood work for the pancreas, liver, kidneys and gallbladder. I have had issues in the past with the gallbladder, where I thought I was having a heart attack and rushed myself to the hospital, thankfully to find out it was my gallbladder. If you’ve ever had you gallbladder bite back, you’ll know it is an experience you’d rather not blog about. It’s painful and until you know what it is, it’s scary!!

There are many reasons a gallbladder attack could have happened, but a sudden drastic change in your diet is usually the culprit to an already temperamental gallbladder. With an extreme change 2 things could of  likely happened. My liver may have dumped all kinds of bile into the gallbladder and without (good) fatty foods to release the bile, it builds up, causes inflammation and can cause stones, infection and better yet, death if ignored. Nice right? Alternatively my liver, when a drastic change in diet is introduced, could of dumped a shit load of cholesterol into the gallbladder causing inflammation and the possibility of stones. When the results from the ultra sound and blood work return I will have a better understanding of what happened.

My recommendations: if you’re going to make a change in your diet that you want to be beneficial and healthy do all your homework first. Make sure you have a full understanding of the pros and cons. It will help you be successful and complete your personal goals. If you have ever had any issues with your organs, talk to your doctor prior to juicing. Don’t be the wild rodeo cowboy with your health like I was. If you have any health issues or concerns, consult your doctor BEFORE juicing, I’m sure it will increase your success rate two-fold.

I am still making a juice in the mornings.  Cucumber, green apple, celery and spinach or romaine lettuce.  It’s nutritious and delicious and a great way to boost me for the day. I’m still getting my walks in, even dragging Einstein to the lake last night with me.

With all that has gone on, it would be very hard for me to preach the positive of long term juicing.  Although I’m not sure I would or could recommend it to the average person beyond a weekend due For many reasons like the inconvenient, high waste and cost factors, I still think juicing is a great addition to any diet for any period of time.  A lot of people make smoothies with fruit, this would be along the same lines.

Most of the positive for my juicing was absorbed with a cold and gall bladder issues.  Better luck (for me) next time!!

Day 3 of Juicing. Part 2; Baguette Beating.

What is wrong with the friggin world?! Didn’t they get the memo about me juicing and they should take all their drive thrus, fast food joints and pizza bars to the next city over?

I had an errand to run in a different city from where I normally grocery shop, but needed produce anyways for this dumb juicing idea I had. Getting through the grocery store with my few items for Flyp and Einsteins lunches for the week, and only my juicing items was a strenuous, bullet to my head, CHORE.

All the bakery items look so good. An employee was rolling out a new batch of warm croissants to put out and as she walked past me, I stood still (creepy to others I’m sure) and turned to suck in all of the (fake) buttery scent I could. It smells so good. I took my depressed hungry ass past the rotisserie chicken (even though it’s gross and I never eat it from there. Ever!) my mouth is watering, I can smell the plump juicy meat and know it would satisfy me better than sex right now. Sorry Einstein, unless you taste and smell like chicken and croissants you just can’t compete today.

Around the corner of the next isle, the lady is handing out samples of a new cheese (meh, I don’t care too much for cheese) but the fresh baguette she was putting it on is a different story. I had visions of beating her with the dozen baguette sticks she had there and smashing the cheese in her face and while I was walking away satisfied, I’d whisper ‘juice that bitch.’ Me and hungry don’t get along, can you tell? The worst part is I know it all tastes so delicious. It was time to hurry up and get the hell out of the store.

Man I’m T.H.E. champion. I manage to leave with my juicing commitment in tack and no one hurt. Pretty sure that’s my biggest accomplishment to date.

BUT…

As I’m pushing my cart out the door to the parking lot with $90 worth of produce for a few days of juicing I look forward. (Keep in mind I always park in the back to get those extra steps in). Crack cocaine is cheaper than juicing. What the F is wrong with this world? Seriously, I shit you not! I could be a drug addict for cheaper. Anyways, back to my cart pushing …. This is what I see. Choices. I see choices of what to cheat with.

– Baskin Robbins
– Wendy’s
– Starbucks
– Subway
– Swiss Chalet
– Tim Hortons (I don’t do Tims so that doesn’t phase me)
– The Keg
– Montana’s
– Some smoke house advertising cheap crispy luscious sauce lathered wings and ribs.

All while I’m pushing a cart full of plants and freaking starving. Can I just tell you how gooooood a smoke house smells? Omg. I checked for a pulse, this atheist thought she had died and went to heaven.

I cheated. Although I only slightly cheated, I still did cheat. I ripped 2 celery arms off and chewed on them like a cowboy chewing on tobacco. I drove out of the massive big block mall parking lot like I just lit all the restaurants on fire to burn to the ground. Right to the ground!! After I was driving like I was on a mission for the CIA, I couldn’t figure out what the Bing Bing Bing annoying noise was. Oh crap! I forgot to put my seatbelt on. I was so focused on not eating anything in sight and chomping on my dirty celery, that I didn’t hear my reminder Bing for my seatbelt and didn’t notice it for some time. That’s an act of desperation if I ever saw one.

I must be feeling better because I am starving!!!! Being light headed seems to be an issue also with juicing. I am also yawning a lot. I never noticed if I yawned before, but today I noticed I yawn a lot. I was in a meeting and kept yawning…very unlike me.

I ordered a new scale from Amazon.ca. If it doesn’t tell me what I want, someone is going to experienced being beaten with a brick of cheese while I eat the baguettes.

Juicing. Day 3. The Scale Better Be F’ing Broken!!

Blood sugar is 90mg/dL this morning. I’m pleased with that progress, which is down from 106mg/dL yesterday. I would like to see it mid 70’s or so, as from what I can tell that’s where a healthy non-diabetic person would be. Ultimately where I plan to be.

Yesterday was a much better day. I still had a headache for the day, but in the distance, much like background music playing. I am also still a bit sore like a killer marathon work out 2 days earlier, most of it being in my shoulders, neck and arms. My legs tire easily going up the stairs, which is unusual for me, and I felt a bit drained still. I’m anxiously waiting for the energy boost I’m suppose to see from juicing. I was in bed @ 9pm exhausted, also very unusual. I’m sleeping better and on 1 esophageal hernia/heartburn pill a day, down from usual 2.

I had a somewhat productive day yesterday, just at a slower than normal speed. I did some paperwork (I work from home), I made a batch of buns for Flyp & Einsteins lunches, I made banana bread for their lunch/snack and popped Flyp some popcorn and packaged up for lunches. I also made a pasta sauce with sausages for their dinner last night and knowing them it will be pasta every night for dinner until the sauce is gone. That definitely works for me, less cooking is less food temptation. I don’t really care for sausage or pasta, so there is a rhyme to my reasoning.

Round of applause please 👏👏 I didn’t eat one thing. Not even one kernel of popped popcorn. If you know me, you’d know what a feat that was!! Popcorn is my absolute favourite food. I just kept telling myself you didn’t torture yourself Saturday to give in now. It’s easy to stay on track when you went through a long dark tunnel in hell and are rewarded with a bit of sunlight the next day.

I’m not sure how to explain if I’m hungry or not. Flyp asked me yesterday, “aren’t you hungry mom?”
I said “not really but kind of, sort of, I’m not sure.”
He said “you haven’t eaten anything?”
I responded with “I chew on a carrot or celery piece while I’m juicing, but that’s it”
He put on his boots and said “wow, all you would of had to do for me was show me the fridge and I’d be out.” And off he went atv’ing with a homemade bun in his mouth.

I’m craving the chewing of food. Not even craving bad food items, just the chewing part, but when I make a juice I will chew on a carrot piece, or celery while I’m doing it. I’m not starving during the day, because my body has gotten massive amounts of micro-nutrients, but I feel like I’m missing something. I realize it’s likely the sitting at the dinner table with Flyp and Einstein and our whole dinner routine. We talk about the day, or rather they talk about their day and I listen, but it’s our come together at the end of the day. I think that’s what I’m missing the most. I miss popcorn. Friday is movie and popcorn night in our home. It was hard, but I made it through. Popcorn was forbidden. Lol.

I’m not even remotely interested in watching (and listening) to them eat dinner while I drink some green trendy micro-nutrients. No thank you! I was happy to hear this morning as they walked out the door they are working late and won’t be home for dinner. (Flyp works with his Dad after school). That translates to peace for me and I’m sure A & W for them.

Yesterday I got light headed a few times but I just whipped up something in the juicer and I was good again. My stomach is still a loud orchestra and I’m assuming it will settle as time goes on. It’s not an upset stomach or irritated, it’s just vocal. I still haven’t pooped. I’m not sure if I should be alarmed or not at the lack of pooping, but I do know my kidneys and bladder still work!

Juicing is not convenient or cheap. The prep is time consuming, but I try to compare it to making dinner. Tradtionally I don’t prepare 3 meals a day, so I am really noticing the time consumption with juicing. For breakfast normally is a latte, that’s it, lunch was usually something simple, cottage cheese, fruit, or some ham and cheese wrapped in a lettuce leaf. I know eh? Why am I fat? I’m a good eater. All I can think is I have lymphatic blockages and my body is exhausted from fighting off pollution and toxins and can’t function at its best. My body is existing, much like me, and not living to its fullest. I do have a slow thyroid that I refuse to medicate for, so that doesn’t help with weight, but I know it’s not the only reason. I won’t use the lazy thyroid as my get out of fat jail for free card. The whole reason I’m juicing is to get things back in order and repair internally.

The clean up from juicing is so annoying and if I’m honest it was bothering me at the amount of pulp that gets thrown in the garbage. But then I thought, well that pulp would likely just get flushed down a toilet after the good stuff was absorbed into my body anyways. At least this way I’m saving on toilet paper to help offset the cost of juicing. The amount of produce that is consumed while juicing is shocking and I can see how it costs and easy $500 a month to not eat anything. And that’s just one person juicing. Sometimes I share my juice if the roommates want some, but they don’t drink enough to impact my bottom line.

So I’m a person who likes to see results. Seeing results should help to keep me motivated, like most people I would assume. I believe I’m realistic and I’m not an instant gratification person, but when I stood on the scale this morning and it showed me the same weight after 2 days (3days if we include the latte on Friday morning) of no food, I’m a little annoyed, either at the scale or the process. I haven’t decided which one yet. I don’t need to stand on the scale every day, even though I initially said I would do a weigh in twice a day, I’m a realist and don’t expect to see results 12 hours apart. That was the inexperienced scale person in me talking. Twice a day. What was I thinking? Clearly I wasn’t. I’m not even convinced I need to weigh in on the 24 hour time frame. I’m good with every few days. I bought some $8 piece of crap scale because I wasn’t totally sold on the scale or not debate. When I stand on the scale and look down, the simple movement of me looking downwards, makes the needles move from where it was. Piece of $8 shit!! This morning I declared I need a digital accurate scale because If I have lost weight and my scale is telling me otherwise, thems is fighting words!! Either way I want to know. I’ll check out Amazon.ca

This morning my head is better. Still not 100% clear of the headache but definitely won’t be the main focus of my day. I have a great day ahead of me and I’m excited for what I have going on. (A project I’m working on). I don’t feel anymore energetic yet, like this sudden burst of energy you’re suppose to have, but I think I could still be in the detox mode and maybe tomorrow things will pick up.

I’m going to juice carrots like mad this morning. I will be making 90% of the juice from carrots, as I was reading last night about how amazing carrot juice is for your liver and gall bladder and energy level. Bring on the orange!! My gall bladder or liver, I don’t know which one, is bothering me. Not too much pain just enough so I’m aware it is going through ‘something’.

I’m also going to look at bikes today. It’s the lowest impact exercise other than swimming for back pain and joints. I need to exercise with respect to my current conditions, arthritis and back pain. To join a fitness club is a 30 min drive each way. That’s a time commitment I can’t do each and every day. If I’m taking 2 hours out of my day, it needs to not be for 1 hour of driving to work out for 1 hour. I think I’ll have a better work out biking anyways. I have some amazing country roads I can bike on, less traffic and it’s very peaceful out here and I’ll have some words with dude at the end of my road; he can either secure his angry dogs or I’ll have the SPCA secure them.

Well I’m off to juice some carrots and on with my day!!
Clink, cheers!!!!

P.S. Lemon hot water for my latte replacement in the morning sucks balls! Not even comparable. And I sure could eat some bacon. A lot of bacon, with home-fries, eggs and homemade bread toasted. That’s why I’m fat!!

Juicing. Day 1

I’m writing in a fog with a major headache, so I can’t be held responsible for the words that come off my fingers😁

Yesterday was a day of juicing but with a farewell latte for breakfast. I certainly can’t expect to call that day 1. I’m looking at yesterday as the prep for the bigger challenge and I expect to play by the rules and accept today as my Day 1 of juicing, not yesterday.

After weighing the pros and cons and getting some feed back, I bought a scale yesterday. After Flyp & Einstein goofed around like kids with a new toy, the scale has been placed upstairs in my bathroom for regular weigh ins. I figure I’ll weigh myself in the am and pm. I stood on the scale this morning. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s not a horror show either. My goals are totally attainable and I will continue to work towards them.

Yesterday while working at the food bank, I got hungry. I had only had a ‘juice’ before I left and that was breakfast. By the time I got home after grocery shopping and volunteering it was 7pm. I WAS HUNGRY!! I stayed true to the program and made a mother of a juice and had 2 big glasses of juice. Next week, I’m taking a ‘juice’ with me when I go in for my shift. It can be very physical at the food bank and it’s easy to work up an appetite, especially when you have only juiced for meals.

I’ve been juicing twice a day for a week and eating a balanced dinner each day, until yesterday. I think my food awareness is heightened in the last week. I’m so aware of what people are eating, their choices and I can almost identify the foods I can’t see by their smell. Everywhere I look food is being advertised. It’s astounding and it’s a killer!! It definitely has the ability to make you crack under the constant reminder of delicious food everywhere. We definitely are a fast food nation and are always looking for convenience to our busy lives. What ever you do if you ever do this juicing thing, stay off pinterests food board!!

While I was at the grocery store yesterday I found myself examining peoples cart items. Weird eh? Ya I thought so too. Well that was totally me yesterday. Then I would look at the person and decide if the contents suited that person. Working mom with 2 children, some produce, a lot of pre made or pre cut (like frozen vegetable stir fry type foods, frozen french fries etc.) in her cart. A plus size woman with a very cute baby, I didn’t see any fresh produce, but a lot of pop, pre-made and boxed foods and don’t forget the diapers. A young couple with nachos, cheese, salsa other chips, and pop and a few other random items. They weren’t overly chubby, but not fit either. 100% of the time the items made perfect sense in relation to the persons with the cart. If you looked at mine, full of juicing produce and then looked at me, for now, I would of been my own exception. I could smell the rotisserie chicken and the food from the hot counter. I could smell the bread as I walked past the fresh crisp delicious bread section. I felt like I had a gun to my head and if I even turned slightly to look the bullet was going to take me down.

Oddly enough I noticed, for the first time, that the produce section is smaller than the boxed, prepared section in the grocery store. A lot smaller actually. Still a big section, but nothing compared to the freezers that are required to hold all the pre made foods, the isles full of canned and prepared food. I then took my memory to the other stores that I sometimes shop at and the same prognosis; the produce section is substantially smaller than the remainder of the store.

On my drive home I thought of places like Italy. Market visits are daily and it’s all fresh produce, fresh foods and local community support. I lose my shit when I see garlic from China in a store when we have some of the best garlic growers in Canada, right here in our backyard, Ontario. Being industrialized has not done us any favours, that I have always known.

While I was in the lineup at the grocery store I saw some pretty unhealthy people with some very unhealthy choices. I kept telling myself to STOP thinking. Then I continued to wonder if they had any health concerns that they were aware of. Do they just ignore them? Or are they like me and waiting for the obvious to blind side them?

When I got home I couldn’t unpack quick enough and juice me something to nurish myself. I threw in kale, spinach, carrots, lemon, pineapple and green apples. I had 2 huge glasses. I was starving. Einstein even had one and half glasses and drank it willingly and said it was good. But then he proceeded to make his lunch and eat half of it while making it. Haha!

I was a bit bitter or tainted, maybe frustrated last night. When I got home I was sore from the work at the food bank and very hungry. I complained to Einstein while I was juicing my produce.
– I know a lot of people who are way more over weight and claim to have no serious health issues. How is this fair?
– People who smoke and drink seem to be trucking along just fine. How is this fair? I don’t smoke or drink. Ever.
– People who eat fast food often and prepared foods more aren’t dealing with diabetes etc.
Why is it I’m stuck with this bullshit. Of course I dropped the F bomb every other word and I was totally raunchy and crunchy all while fighting tears. He doesn’t get to hear me wallow in my own shit very often so he was a bit taken back. He also knows he’s included in one of the lists from above. He eats like he is a teenager and I’m constantly reminding him he will have a big consequence coming his way one day. I try not to harp, but if I’m honest I get on him pretty good, he loves fast food and it really pisses me off that he is very privileged to eat my cooking with organic meats and box-free ingredients. He’s getting better as more and more he would come home to an empty table for dinner with a note at his spot; Pizza is down the road. Eventually he can take a hint, after I smash him over the head with it.

He was kind and gentle in his response, as usual. He said ‘this isn’t like you, drink up.’
I did. Then he said ‘things happen for a variety of reasons’, as he filled up my glass for round 2.
‘You’re the matriarch of our family and maybe Josh and I will be healthier because your strength and determination really does inspires us.’
Hmmmm, not sure I buy that but ok. I felt more human-like with 2 glasses of juice in me and went for a walk with the dogs to try and shake off the grumpies.

Today I wake to the smell of Flyp, our teenager who is always up before the sun, making maple syrup sausages and eggs for breakfast. Pretty sure I wanted to shoot someone right in the face after I kicked them in the face. That’s the stomach talking, not me. I normally wouldn’t smell or even notice it before but today I swear I am canine like in my senses and I could taste each ingredient through the smell. I obviously can’t get angry at them for eating, but it would be so much easier if they didn’t. Lol.

My head is pounding but I’m determined to ride this out. I’m actually very tired and feel lethargic. I think I might feel like I have a hang over. I haven’t been hung over since I was a teenager. My stomach is making the most odd noises that I wonder if it is calling E.T.

My understanding is the headaches, tiredness and BLAH moodiness is part of the detox that will be at its worst for 3 days. Hopefully by Monday it will give me a bit of a break. I’m counting on it because feeling like a bag of shit for consuming healthy foods won’t make sense for long 😞

Morning Juice – kale*, spinach*, carrots*, tomatoes*, green apples*, pineapple, lemon

*-organic

Dammit Bacon!!

Bacon, o bacon, why do you taste sooo good!

Sometimes you just jump off the band wagon willingly and have something that you normally wouldn’t because it’s that good, you also know, it’s not good, which is why its that good, if you Know what I mean. Although this one was pre-meditated by adding smoked cheddar cheese to my grocery cart earlier this week, sometimes it’s a spur of the moment fling with a particular food ingredient, like pickles.  Long story.

Today I have a crazy day ahead of me. So much to get accomplished that I am typing like I have bionic fingers. Faster than fast! To be able to focus on something other than what’s to eat in that fridge of mine, I needed something that would fill me and satisfy that extra hunger or cravings that comes along with PMS syndrome. It’s a syndrome, back off!

I demolished the grilled cheese. But not just any grilled cheese. A grilled cheese with smoked cheddar cheese and loads of maple bacon. Do you have any idea how yummy that is?!!!

Yup, I’m ready to take in the day! Cheers!

Popeyes Twisted Spinach Salad

Popeye was definitely onto something when he liked spinach so much.  Thankfully we don’t have to eat it out of a can (gross)!

This salad holds its own all day, every day.  It’s a meal, or its a side dish.  It’s absolutely delicious is what I know for sure.

Check it out!!

Ingredients

3 cups of cleaned organic baby spinach

3 hard boiled organic eggs

Paper thin purple onion slivers – to your liking.  Onions are always a preference thing for me when it comes to recipes.

Real Bacon Bits (left over bacon from breakfast – takes discipline but you can do it)

Place spinach in a flat-ish bowl.  Cut up eggs and sprinkle on top of spinach.  Sprinkle with bacon bits.  Crack some fresh pepper over the top.

Are you looking to a tasty dressing to compliment this? Here you go..

Honey Dijon Dressing

1/3 cup of honey (I use local unpasteurized honey)

1/4 cup of Dijon mustard

1/3 Organic Unpasturized Apple Cider

1tbsp of Non-GMO reduced sodium soy sauce

1/3 – 1/2 cup cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (depends how much you’d like to yield)

A few cracks of fresh pepper

Place all ingredients (except Olive Oil) in bowl in order listed. Whisk until well mixed.  Add EV Olive Oil and whisk until creamy texture is achieved.

Drizzle over dressing when ready to eat.  Refrigerate left over dressing.

**Start with adding only 1/2 of the apple cider vinegar and taste.  Add more to your liking.  Some people don’t like the strong vinegar taste, others don’t mind.**

Happy Birthday Dandan

My grandfathers birthday is today. Jack Dickens. Born March 11th 1923. He would be 92 years old if he was here with us today. My sister who ‘knew’ him before me (long story) declared his name was Dandan, which is what all his grand children and great grand children have called him.

Today in his honour I’d like to share a bit about him. This was my grandfather. Dandan.

He was tall with dark hair, pleasant features and he tanned so well in the summer. As I child I remember thinking boy I’ll never be as tall as Dandan, he’s a giant. Not really, but you know how kids think.

My family is crazy and loud and full of superstars who love the spotlight. I don’t think quiet conversations ever has been a ‘thing’ when the family gathers. Dandan was always confident and quiet. He could sit in a room full of family conversing and carrying on with loud laughter and just watch the conversation flow and be more than comfortable not saying one word. Magically he was a part of the whole atmosphere without really taking part in it. I remember at times, often actually, the abundance of noise was overwhelming for me, probably the beginning of my introvert life, and he would give me a nod with a tug of his head and I’d crawl up on his lap and soak up his soothing calmness. After a few minutes I couldn’t resist my wild and crazy cousins any longer and rejoined the pack rejuvenated.

His calmness is forever remembered with me. My life has been crazy, like most and I wish I could find what I assume was his submission to all of life’s chaos. As an adult I admire his strength to exist amongst such strong personalities, hold his own and he did it with such class. You never felt unwelcome or it was a bad time, or that you were taking up too much of his time. I admire that he didn’t need to be the clown or the jokester, the drunkest, the chef, the smartest or the loudest. He would just putter around or read his books or listen to the rooms conversations.

During the period of my life with the most memories he was a math teacher, assistant head master and then head master of an all boys private school. He was fun and active. Once in a while he’d be cheeky and in my older teen years I would take a double look at him and he’d give me a wink. He played cricket, squash and I think tennis and I have thought deep, but I don’t really have memories of him swimming. My Nannie (his wife) swam a lot and taught my sister and I how to swim and to not fear but respect water. My sister and I would go and watch him play cricket and as we got a bit older we went to check out the boys. Haha! ADMIT IT SISTER!! Cricket is terribly boring by the way, but I thought he was famous or something cause they would all clap when he took the bat thing. Ok, my cricket lingo isn’t up to par. Is par in cricket? Do I get a point for that?

I remember him playing squash with my dad. I think I can even remember it was typically Thursday evenings, but a twinge of a memory also tells me it was twice a week for some time. We would normally go to my Nannies for dinner and my dad and Dandan would head to the courts and whack it out. Sometimes my sister and I would go watch but it was usually the freedom to walk around the campus that we were after. It was exactly what my dad needed with his long hours and stressful job. I always remember the difference in my dad’s mood after playing squash and they would joke about who kicked whose butt back at the house. My dad took a beating sometimes haha – or so he says he did, but for both of them I’m sure it was never about the score. In my adult perspective maybe it was a bit about my Dandan taking a somewhat of a fatherly role, one that maybe my dad lacked a bit of as a child. And/or It could of been Dandans way of inviting my dad into the family and my dad accepting the invite. It’s exactly something my Dandan would do. Good times regardless.

My grand parents took my sister and I to Florida. At least once. I don’t have many memories other than having to do school work in the back seat while we drove down south, battling car sickness. It was horrible. If I signed up for a second trip I’d be surprised at myself. I do recall that is where I discovered Filet-O-Fish from McDonalds. My sister and I would be given money and told to go explore and gather our own lunches. It was their way of allowing us to be independent, make choices and feel in control. I lived for lunch hour!!! The Sand Dollar Cafe has just surfaced as a memory, with our sun dresses .. I’m thinking we must of ate there for dinner a lot too. If you know me, you’d know that to remember food is characteristic of me haha!

It would be hard to pick out ONE favourite memory with Dandan. I do have one that is very true to the type of man he was…

Approximately somewhere between 1976-1978
My grandparents took my sister and I to an island. Not just any island, an isolated island on a warm lake were we stayed naked almost the whole time. Rabbit Nose Island.  We were instructed by my grandparents to not lie about being naked but we didn’t need to offer certain details. Yes we had a naked vacation. Being as young as we were, we understood the message and giggled about it to ourselves often. We figured our parents would lose their minds at the thought of their 2 daughters being naked all day every day for at least a week. I loved that we were doing something with permission but that they would hate. Defiant from the beginning. My sister threw her clothes off almost immediately and was in a naked state long before me. They didn’t pressure me just said it was an option if and when I was ready. It took me about 2 days but once I was naked that was it, no turning back. If I’m honest I can tell you I have no idea if my grandparents were naked with us. That tells me the age was perfect because it didn’t matter. Well done Nannie & Dandan.

Karen, do you remember the bunny shed?? Some big pink floppy eared bunny on the shed or cabin off to the side? We spent a day crammed in with dolls and books when it rained for one day. We could barely turn around with the 2 of us in there but we managed a whole day. Ha! Good times.

So during this time frame I struggled with number 6 and 9. 9 was 6 or 6 was 9 and it wasn’t seeming to sort itself out. Being a math teacher I’m sure it drove my grandfather bonkers when I said they were the exact same and it didn’t matter. (And you can bet I said it with a lot of arrogant conviction lol) I tried for hours to convince him they were the same and he was wrong. Why would they make the same number look different? It’s the same just turn it around. See? I told you so Dandan. Oh boy I was stubborn. He never lost his cool over it, I can’t say the same for me.

Anyways, while I was naked on our Gilligan’s Island, I spent most of my time in the water. I would build forts for the fish in the shallow part and capture them, put them in their safe home (so they wouldn’t get eaten) and name them all. I even had one for some little cray fish or whatever they were with their little lobster like bodies and legs. So I would count them as I caught and added them to their new Fort. 1, 2, …5, 9, 7, 8, 6 and Dandan while reading would gently correct me. I’m sure I told him he was breaking my concentration or something snippy, but he didn’t flinch or give up, just corrected me while he obviously pretended to read. Nannys rule was I had to let them go every night because they had family to go home to. I said I was their new family and what if they weren’t there in the morning bla bla bla. She said you must take one wall down and if they want to leave they can. Fine. The next day I’ll get them all this time and they can all be a family in the Fort but that was mission impossible I learned as the days went on. I’m assuming after a few days of my collection obsession Dandan must of come up with an idea. He told me he had a new game he wanted to play and asked me if I would play with him too. I asked what it was, he said either you want to play or you don’t, but once you say yes you have to keep playing until the game is done. Fine. As long as I could keep catching my new family and hugging them and naming them all. I had to count, 10 fish allowed in each Fort and if I got 6 and 9 confused (he never said wrong) I had to release them all and start back over. Challenge accepted!

I first had to build more and bigger Forts cause I was about to win a lot!! 1 fish. 2 fish. 3 fish. 4 fish. 5 fish. 9 fish. He would gently remove the rock wall on one side and the fish would swim away. I would huff and puff and storm around before settling back in to recatch my new family members. He said Sandra listen to me. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. He would repeat it a few times but me being me, I was always right (not so much) and just knew I would get it right next time. So the capturing started again. 1 fish. 2 fish. 3 fish. 4 fish. 5 fish. 6 fish. 7 fish. 8 fish. 6 fish. There goes the wall. This went on for days!!! He would write the numbers with a rock sometimes on another rock (you know, the chalk like mark it makes) and we would read together and he would wash it away. I would start my capturing again. Failure. He didn’t give up, but neither did I.

The next day he cut our toast for breakfast into soldiers, to dunk in cracked boiled eggs, and would count out loud my sisters portion and mine, making a big deal out of #6 and #9 and where they belonged. I’m pretty sure back then I even rolled my eyes.

Back out we all went to the lake and my forts. There was obviously some rough waters during the night and my forts were ruined. We decided to build some new forts and he helped. We counted the rocks together me always mixing up 6 and/or 9 and he didn’t make a big deal, he would just keep going. That day we went through the capture and release again. Not getting my numbers right at all. That night by the Bon fire I sat on his lap and cried while I told him I was dumb and we should just leave 6 and 9 alone. We don’t need them anyways, they are stupid. He cuddled like Dandan did and assured me I wasn’t dumb, and he said besides one day you need to be 9 years old and we aren’t giving up.

The next day we started the damn fishing again. Those nets where the best investment Nannie made haha! After a few errors about half way through the day I started counting my next attempted batch. 1 fish 2 fish 3 fish 4 fish 5fish 6 fish 7 fish 8 fish 9 fish 10 fish. Then I moved to the next Fort and it was 1 fish all the way through to 10 fish correctly. He didn’t say a word. I didn’t notice. I filled up the next fort counting correctly again. I continued to play and count oblivious to my accuracies. After we ate dinner we had our Bon fire and he asked me if I noticed that I got them all right for the afternoon. (You have to understand how long it took me to catch 1 fish, never mind fill 3 exotic resorts of fish!!) I said noooooo I didn’t and started half giggling and crying at the same time. He said yes you did!! What are you talking about Dandan ? I never get it right. And he took me through the recall of filling all 3 forts. How did you fill all 3 if you didn’t count it correctly? Humpfff I thought to myself still half giggling and crying. I might be smart after all.

The next morning we played 1 fish 2 fish…I got it wrong a few times but it wasn’t that frustrating anymore because now I knew I could and have been correct. By the time we left the island I had made up a bazillion counting songs. I’m surprised my sister talks to me after listening to all those numbers for almost a week. By the time we left naked-ville I had conquered number 6 and 9 but I will always give props to Dandan for being persistent, constant and holy patient batman.

The best part: For the longest time when we saw each other we would whisper or mouth the numbers to each other. It was like our very own little secret.

That is the most in-detail memory I have with him. I can even see his hat and the orange folding chair he sat on day after day with his feet in the water at the shoreline. I can even picture him, the age he must of been at. When he got up from the chair his back had the lines from the horrible plastic stringy fabric on his chair. It’s amazing. It’s a memory that has never been lost on me. I’m sure my childhood feelings today, as an adult would translate to the acknowledgement of unconditional love from him and a feeling of accomplishment for me. Amazing.

He is missed a lot and often I think of them both. I’m fortunate to have had him in my life. It wasn’t because of blood linkage that brought him into my life. Was it luck? The stars lining up? Whatever it was, it is obvious I needed him.

My goal in life is to leave a print of the same magnitude on my own children. I’m still working on it.

Creamy Homemade Cesar Salad Dressing

Slaughter vampires with one breath! It’s that good!

This is what good stuff is made of.  My sisters family has shared this recipe with me and it is a staple in our home.  We never buy salad dressing of any kind anymore. If its not Cesar Salad dressing its just wonderful olive oil with balsamic.

You can adjust to your own personal taste.  More garlic, less garlic. My sister uses an anchovy paste I believe, but I leave that out.

Recipe

1 cup of mayonnaise (or homemade if you’re that swanky)
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Cracked Fresh Pepper to taste
2 gloves of fresh garlic

Put mayo, mustard and olive oil in a bowl and mix with a fork until well combined.  Grate garlic gloves with hand held grater into the may mixture.  Mix well.  Add cracked pepper to taste.  Let flavours blend for 15-20 mins in fridge before use.  Apply to your favourite version of Cesar Salad.

Devine!  Cheap!! Creamy and a healthier option than most store bought.

Oreos In The Pantry

Definition of Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as a peanut or the venom from a bee sting.

The flood of chemicals released by your immune system during anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock; your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking normal breathing. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include a rapid, weak pulse, a skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. Common triggers of anaphylaxis include certain foods, some medications, insect venom and latex. Anaphylaxis requires an immediate trip to the emergency department and an injection of epinephrine. If anaphylaxis isn’t treated right away, it can lead to unconsciousness or even death.

My son, Flyp is an anaphylactic. He’s anaphylactic to peanuts. Most recently he has dropped tree nuts, but we will still be avoiding them for 2 years until we have a second negative test. Simply put a peanut can kill him.

Flyp is 15 years old. Over the years the availability of peanut and nut free foods has definitely been increasing. It’s wonderful. Other allergens such as gluten, milk/dairy etc. are also getting the spot light and allergens are being respected. The FDA has strict labelling laws to help protect anaphylactic persons. This makes a big difference for families living with allergies and/or anaphylaxis. Some big restaurant chains have allergen listings which helps as well. Real progress over the years.

I won’t get into the emotional and physical stress that comes with allergies today. I’d like to just keep it simple in this write.

Dare Foods is superior in peanut and nut free foods in my opinion. Crackers, cookies, jelly beans, June jubes, Melba toast. I just got an email today/press release from Anaphylaxis Canada that Dare has partnered with Cineplex for a safer environment for all. Wow. Impressive. But we also have other companies like Enjoy Life, Nabisco, Quaker, Presidents Choice, Natures Best, to name a few, who have made a lot of peanut/nut free (and some other allergens too) alternatives for families that live with allergies.

Although Flyp does gets some store bought cookies every once in a while…thank you Dare, Nabisco and Presidents Choice, he has always wondered about the famous Oreo. The one everyone loves. The one his friends say ‘man it must suck to have an Oreo free life’. Everyone loves an Oreo. I do prefer to make our own cookies, just way less junk in the ingredients list and we have become used to it with his allergies. However once in a while Flyp wants to have a store bought box of cookies.

Today I was out doing errands before the snow storm hits tomorrow and I noticed a bag of mini Oreos. The bag looked like it has the very recognizable peanut free symbol on it. I did a double take. It is!! Oreo Minis are peanut free. I read the label. Yup. Looked at the other Oreo bags, they all have peanut free symbols on them. I get my phone out and call the 1-800 number on the bag and ask all my relevant questions. They pass the test and make it into my cart. I grabbed a carton of chocolate milk and said today will be the day. A question answered. Yes it’s not the most important question in the world, but it’s one of his many questions in life.

I wish I videoed his first Oreo taste. Flyp is definitely on the Oreo band wagon. Best cookie ever. Being the good mother I am, I didn’t put him in the spot and ask him whose is better, mine or the scrumptious Oreo. I can’t handle the truth. Hahah! He’s a teenager whose never had an Oreo until today. I’m totally cool with taking the back seat for a bit.

It’s just a bag of Oreos to most, but to us it’s been a forbidden item for 15 years. That bag of Oreos is gone less than 4 hours later. I’m ok with it. Everyone needs freedom to eat a whole bag of Oreo minis once in a while.

So, today a bag of Oreo Mini’s made it to the pantry.