Fitness #Win!

#iWill turned into #iDID!

Early in May I re-started a fitness plan of HIIT (high intensity interval training) style YouTube videos and promised myself I’d stay on track and complete this 30-day challenge.

I had a few instances where I had to use my rest days to complete workouts, and I even did two in one day to stay on track once! But… I DID IT! 25 workouts in 30 days. Some were harder than others but I’m so happy I got my sweat on for all of them!

I had to do a Fit Test at the beginning and at the end. Here are my results:

IMG_2422Excuse the ripped page. Toddler hands.

But as you can see… I crushed it! Very proud of myself. All the exercises were done for a duration of 50 seconds of work, with 10 seconds of rest in between. I have noticed changes all over my body. Most notably in my upper body. My lower body has gained agility and endurance. I’m going to try to keep that up with running.

IMG_2406Look! Is that an actual butt in the making? Hooray for squats!

I do have a dilemma now, however. How am I going to stay motivated to keep working out now that my challenge is over? I can’t go to the gym, so it has to be an at-home program with limited to no equipment required. Any thoughts are MORE than appreciated!

 

 

What We Ate This Week [10]

Wow! Post number 10 already!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just get busy with ‘life’, and other side projects get forgotten? This was one of those weeks! I was very preoccupied with a person fitness goal that I had set for myself, that I completely forgot to log what I ate on Monday! Couldn’t remember for the life of me… Anyway, here we go!

Tuesday: Pesto chicken with mashed potatoes. I made up another batch of spinach pesto and since it was made with SO MUCH spinach (seriously, how does so much spinach make so little pesto?), I gave myself a free pass on a veggie side dish. I ate it with a small, plain chicken breast and some yummy potatoes mashed up with almond milk and salt and pepper.

Wednesday: Rice, peas and canned salmon with pesto. I usually make rice and peas with canned salmon but I was wanting to use up the pesto in the fridge because I didn’t want to find out what it was going to taste like after it ‘went’… and it was delicious with the dish! Little B loved it as well. Who doesn’t love garlic in this house?

Thursday: Chicken salad sandwich. I used some of the leftover chicken breast (I cooked up extra on Tuesday to have on hand) and stuck it in the food processor with four celery stalks, half a Spartan apple, a big spoonful of Vegenaise, and lots of cracked black pepper. It was so sweet, spicy and awesome! Braeden ate it out of his little stainless steel dish with a spoon (like a big boy!) and asked for more. I love it when food is a hit!

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Friday: Another hit, but also a miss. With springtime comes pollen – and with pollen comes itchy eyes and nose and general feelings of yuck. I had been doing really well with keeping all my food gluten free but I was just CRAVING pizza. I had whole wheat crusts in the freezer than I’d cut in half before freezing so I pulled one out and made a pizza with spinach, sliced roasted red pepper and mozzarella-style Daiya. It was crunchy and delicious but I was so bloated for the rest of the night that I told my husband it’s up to him to take one for the team, and finish the remaining two halves of crust in the freezer. I don’t think he’ll mind.

Now it’s time to get back to the drawing board. Seriously, I’ll jot down what I eat right after dinner, I promise!

Indulgent Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are my absolute favourite thing to have for breakfast. I try to make them for my family once a week for a nice treat. I have tried a few different recipes over the years but I’ve recently found one that works for me.

I think everyone has seen some form of protein pancakes somewhere on the internet. The most simplistic one I’ve used is a mashed banana, protein powder and an egg. They get the job done but they’re not quite as tasty or ‘treat-like’ as I’m used to.

So, I decided to combine my current pancake recipe with the added benefits of a full serving of protein powder! Best of both worlds! The recipe makes about ten 1/4 cup scoop pancakes and they have three times the protein as my regular recipe. Awesome!… So awesome I’ve had them two mornings in a row! Oops.

Protein Powder Pancakes (Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen):

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  • 1/4 cup (one full scoop) of your favourite protein powder – I use Progressive Harmonized Vegan
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (grind up your favourite oatmeal!)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup non-dairy (or dairy… whatever) milk – I usually use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water to save on ingredient costs… that stuff isn’t cheap!
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Start by combining the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Start heating your frying pan on a medium heat. I add my coconut oil to the pan and let it melt in there (it coats the pan at the same time).

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Measure out your milk and add the lemon juice to it. It will kind of curdle a little and will help to activate the baking powder. Add it to the dry ingredients, along with the vanilla, egg and honey.

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Your coconut oil will be melted by now, so pour it out of the frying pan (BE CAREFUL!) and into your batter.

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Mix will and let stand for a few minutes while the pan gets nice and hot. The batter will thicken as it stands, so you can decide if you need to thin it out with some more milk or water.

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I use a 1/4 cup measure to pour the pancakes. When they get nice and bubbly and matte on top, it’s time to flip!

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Enjoy with extra coconut oil, fruit, or my favourite, 100% pure maple syrup!

photo 2-1Don’t forget to lick the plate… 🙂

You could omit the honey, if you want to save a few grams of sugar. I add it so that my pancakes will brown on the outside. If you leave out the sugar, yours will be a little pale. That’s normal. You can also leave out the salt if you’re trying to avoid it. I always add it to my baking!

What’s your favourite special breakfast?

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake! (GF & DF)

It’s berry season! Taste-buds, rejoice!

I got a pound of nice looking strawberries at the store and wanted to make sure they all got eaten before they started to turn. What better way than with some yummy strawberry shortcake?

First, I cut up the strawberries and squirted about a tablespoon and a bit of lemon juice over them. I added two teaspoons of honey (use sugar or maple syrup for a vegan dish), mixed it up and allowed it to sit while I prepared the biscuits.

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I used my mom’s recipe for biscuits, here on food.com. I subbed in Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Flour and coconut oil to make it gluten free. I also used honey instead of sugar, but you could use sugar or maple syrup to make it vegan.

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I cooked them for 15 minutes because my oven seems to run cool, but I should have checked them at 13 because they got a little crispy on the bottom. Whoops! That’s what I get for multitasking.

Layer a biscuit, some fruit, another biscuit, more fruit, and then some kind of creamy topping.

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This is what I used. SO creamy!! Real whipped cream is delicious here as well, obviously!

photo 4Change up the berries if you love a different kind. Let me know what substitutions you made!

 

Beginner DIY Garden: Update!

I’m SO excited. I checked my peas the other day and they are SPROUTING! My thumb is not as black as I thought it was. I wish I had planted them a little closer together so I could have put one more in each row, but live and learn. See the little fella in there? Isn’t he cute?

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Also, the rest of my seeds arrived! I ordered a few seed packets from Heritage Harvest in Manitoba (non-GMO, heirloom varieties) and couldn’t wait to get started. They even gave me a bonus freebie packet of tomato seeds! Finding non-GMO seeds and a local-ish place to buy them from was an important decision when I planted my garden. I wanted the food to be as healthy as possible. These seeds didn’t cost any more than other seeds I’ve seen at the store so I figured I couldn’t go wrong!

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I read each packet and went straight outside to plant the ones that didn’t need to be started indoors. I planted broad beans, cilantro, and spinach. I have to wait on the other ones until I can get some supplies to start them indoors. I don’t really know where to begin with that!

Do you have any tips for me as I start my seeds inside? I know I should have started them sooner. Next year I’ll be more on the ball, for sure!

What We Ate This Week [9]

This week was slightly better than last. I made a couple of things that were really yummy…

Monday: On Instagram (follow me! ClairFBN), I have noticed a couple of delicious trends – sweet potatoes in EVERYTHING and almond butter ON everything. MMM. So I baked up a sweet potato, sliced it, and drizzled some yummy Maranatha roasted almond butter on top and called it a meal. So good!

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Tuesday: Last week, I cooked up some extra steak to eat for leftovers. So on Tuesday night I made a yummy salad with lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber, steak and hemp hearts with my favourite homemade maple mustard vinaigrette.

Wednesday: This was a busy day for us! We ended it by heading over to a friend’s house for dinner. We brought dessert (Deep Dish Cookie Pie, which my toddler son helped me prepare!) and she made us some yummy, homey beef barley soup. We were all pretty exhausted from a day of working on the farm, so we called it an early night.

Thursday: I was having a crazy egg craving on Thursday so I made a couple of runny-yolk eggs and a piece of toast. I sliced up half an avocado to go with it and it was a really tasty, quick dinner!

Friday: Another trend in the blogosphere that I’ve noticed is something called Intuitive Eating (or IE, for short). I think the gist of it is that you can still manage your weight and not be ‘afraid’ to eat foods that might be considered a little less than healthy. You can call it IE without feeling guilty about eating that after-dinner cookie or two. Or, if you feel like having breakfast for dinner, Hey! That’s ok, too. It has to do with listening to your body and not restricting things you crave, because your body might actually be NEEDING (as in, actually deficient in healthy fats, for example) something it’s craving. I think it’s important to not get hung up on having an incredibly healthy meal 3x a day. If you make an effort most of the time, you can have a little bit of a silly dinner here and there. Which is what I did on Friday. I had grabbed a handful of garden fresh green onion out of the ground at the farm on my way out and wanted to use them that night for dinner! So I cooked up some potatoes, mashed them with almond milk, and threw those suckers in there! I baked some tofu with some BBQ sauce and called it a meal. Perfect!

Do you have not-so-traditional meal that you crave from time to time?

Chili Cheese Fries (Gluten & Dairy Free!)

Fries

My mom first made this for me when I went to visit her in March. For some reason she had a feeling I’d enjoy it…

Chili Cheese Fries (serves 4, unless you don’t like to share)

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • taco or Mexican seasoning
  • 3/4 cup broth or stock (chicken, vegetable, beef, whatever you want)
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (we used almond)
  • 1 cup Daiya cheese shreds in cheddar (or more, to taste)
  • 1tsp cornstarch
  • water
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

Slice the potatoes into fries. Coat lightly with olive oil and salt and bake at 450F for 20 minutes, turning once.

Brown the ground beef in a pan and drain the fat (optional step). Add the onion and cook until soft. Add seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. I like mine with lots of seasoning!

In a pot, heat the stock and almond milk until it’s steaming. Add in the Daiya and whisk until it’s completely melted and smooth. You can use more or less, depending on your taste. You can also add salt here, if you feel that it needs some.

Remove the cheese sauce from the heat. Mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and pour into the cheese sauce, whisking. Sauce will thicken as it stands.

Layer some fries, beef and cheese sauce in a bowl and try not to drool all over yourself before taking the first bite. Oh, man! This stuff is good.