Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quinoa and Kale

   So I have two recipes to share.I really enjoyed them both.I only have a picture of the Quinoa salad.

  QUINOA- a super grain and one I am trying to eat way more of.It has twice the amount of protein of other grains,fewer carbs, and more healthy fats. It is a complete protein and contains all eight amino acids.It's gluten free and rich in iron,calcium,potassium,fiber, and lignans.It is also heart healthy.(source-Vegetarian Times special Healing Foods magazine) Now you know why this grain is going to be a major part of my diet from now on.
Quinoa and Roasted veggie salad.
  I took some peppers,baby carrots,baby potatoes,beets,garlic and shallots.I cut them to the same size and tossed them in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and added some pepper and sea salt.I roasted them in the oven for about 40 minutes.Until the potatoes were tender enough to poke with a fork. About 20 minutes in I prepared the Quinoa to the package directions.The Quinoa cooked very fast and I was really happy with it.
I tossed the Quinoa and roasted veggies together.I made a dressing of 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar,1 tsp of mustard grains and whisked in about 1 tbsp of olive oil.I poured it over top and mixed it together.I have enough for dinner and maybe two lunches this week.I know the flavours will get better as it sits.Yummy!!!!!

KALE- it has calcium,fibre,iron and vitamin A,C, and K.It is rich in sulforaphane,which helps keep blood vessels healthy and has been shown to have anticancer and immunity boosting properties.It boasts antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein,which promote eye health.AMAZING!!( it is making the current dirty dozen so try to buy organic or whine and get some from a garden.Thanks mom and dad!!!)

Kale and White bean soup( this was from Yoga Journal)
   This soup was so EASY!!!!! It made enough for leftovers.I will make this again for sure.It was light and very filling.

1  16 ounce can of navy beans(they suggested cannellini beans but I only had navy on hand.)
Olive Oil
1 bunch of Kale
1/2 tsp of dried sage(I used a few sprigs of fresh)
1 clove of garlic(I did two- I LOVE garlic)
3 cups of veggie stock

Drain and rinse canned beans.Heat oil in sauce pan,add Kale cook for 3 to 4 minutes(it should be wilted but, still crisp.Add beans,garlic,sage and stock cook 3 to 4 minutes or until warm.That is how easy this is and it smells Divine.

    I LOVED how easy these recipes were and that I have them to eat again.That is a double bonus.

   I would highly recommend Vegetarian Times presents healing Foods magazine.It has great info and some great looking recipes to try.I just purchased it off the stands two days ago.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer fun!


    Well this month I have been on my veggie adventure for 8 months.I can say it has been way easier than I  thought it would be.Giving up all meat, fish and chicken has been one of the best things I have EVER done.Dairy is not so hard either..I have had the occasional cheese or dairy on nights out.

    Am I 100% vegan? No not yet but,plant based-yes!!.I feel lighter and my blood pressure is a consistent 117/78 I have great hopes to bring it down even more.I am getting my cholesterol done in the next two weeks, I am hoping for a great number. I have to say that the blood pressure is my biggest accomplishment. I honestly believe that if I hadn't made the changes I was heading for a lifetime of fighting and I changed this by paying attention and focusing on the trigger...Food!!

   I feel this month I hit my stride. I am happiest with myself right now...Honestly this is the least judgemental I have EVER felt about myself.I do want to lose some weight but I am actually HAPPY.Over the past few month I have edited my closet, I was ruthless. Nothing stayed that was ugly or too small (for that moment when I was going to be smaller).  This is my journey now.This is the body I have. My best friend and I get to walk often she is my fashion hero.She always looks so put together. We talk about how the image of ourselves is so powerful and how we want to enjoy the present.I want to be happy! Not making what I "THINK I look" like the focus of my life.I want to enjoy my life now and be present.Not locked in the "if I was that size" my life would be so great.I'm a work in progress.

  My workout are really coming along.I have found yoga and meditation to be the greatest help with my hip.It has really helped with my mind.I calm down faster..deep breathing is the BOMB. I am trying to get outside for my walks as often as possible.Just for the fresh air..I miss my Shasta though she was the best walking partner..sorry Maura(you know I love you!)The treadmill has been a great addition I can get downstairs anytime I need to. Weight training is back I can already feel the difference in my arms.

gorgeous blueberries
wheat in the fields
The tables from the field.

The dinner card and the raspberry vinegar we all received.
My favorite dessert.

The BC winery -Hester creek.

The raspberry fields and in the background you can see the tents.

my girls-Anita,Marcia,me,Gabi and Maura!! This was our picture from the local paper.
 So I've had some fun this August and wanted to share some pictures.On August 6th myself and friends got to go to The Razzel Dazzle Do. It was a wonderful evening at Sweder Berries U-pick,  it had a gourmet "local"dinner, live auction and music by locals The Three Amigos.The money went to research into Cystic Fibrosis.This was my first time and it did not disappoint and the fact that I got to share it with 5 of the most vivacious girlfriends.(we usually have 6 in our group but one is currently in Vietnam with her family..she would be so proud I finally got the country right.) It had rained all day and this was an outdoor event I was praying for some sun.God did not disappoint we got to our bus and 4:00 the sun came out.  I felt so excited.It was way more than I imagined it was going to be.

   We get there and the air was warm, the sun was out, the grass was so green, the rows of raspberries and blueberries. The best part white tents with the most beautiful decorated tables.It was so much more than I had anticipated. Us girls quickly found our table,bought our wine and set out to explore.We checked out the many live auction items and donated to get silly pictures in the photo booth. It was so fun, we squeezed in and got four great pictures of pure fun.Marcia and I headed off with the owner for a tour of Sweder Berries U-pick of the berries.Their are so many different kinds of blueberries and raspberries, it actually surprised me.Thank goodness I took pictures of my favorites.Marcia and I sampled so many luscious little beauties we had to stop before filling up before our "local " dinner. Before moving to a plant based diet I would have thought vegetables were boring.Eating this way has opened my life to so many more flavours the beet,goat cheese and mint salad was amazing.

     So back to our table for some excellent music and fun company. I have had the pleasure of knowing this group of ladies for -my guess is- 12 years.We have shared and enjoyed each others company.When we get together we have a great time and these ladies ALWAYS make me smile. They make me laugh, they dance, they say" screw what people think we should be doing at our ages",they bring up intelligent and thought provoking ideas and they can share a mean bottle or two(okay maybe more:)) of wine. I think that is why this evening will be such a great memory.Great food, wine and girlfriends.Nice!!

   I will take Josh back to the Sweder Berries for some berry picking and get some great produce.I am so glad I found this little gem that evening.

  So this past weekend I was finally able to get to our farmers market downtown.It was a lovely morning and it was great to see so many people at 8:00 in the morning.Josh and I got to stroll among local farmers and vendors.Josh picked the fruit he wanted-peaches,cherries,apples and I picked out some gorgeous veggies.Peppers of all colours,Kale,a bag of the cutest carrots.I also found a lady who makes hot pepper garlic jelly...oh my word,so good.I put my treasures in the cooler I had put in the back of my car.Then off too my moms place where we got spoiled.My mom and dad have a beautiful garden and greenhouse. Josh told me in the greenhouse"Boy his grandma's and grandpa's are sure good gardeners."I managed to score a huge bowl full of small tomatoes, they were so full of flavor I have been eating them for days.Some fragrant herbs,lettuce,swiss chard,peas and flowers..I enjoyed the gorgeous scent of the sweet peas for a couple of days.So I got to watch Josh play, sit in the sun eating fresh brushetta, and visit with my mom.It doesn't get better than that.

Some of my goodies all wash and ready to eat.

Sweet peas-one of my summer favorites

the fridge after-John said it looked like a jungle:)

Some steamy swiss chard-my first time with this veggie


  I think the road to health is a journey I am trying to slow down and enjoy.In this quick fix world it is a pleasure to enjoy these moments.

"Don't wait to live your life,the perfect one you imagine you'll live one day in your perfect body.LIVE IT NOW!!"  Dr Linda Bacon

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beauty everywhere

  I think that part of being healthy is the ability to see the amazing things around you and be thankful for them.I hope to teach that to my son. He is~ as you know from previous posts~ a bug lover.I have had to put away any squeamish thoughts because I have to save them all. Spiders,moths,ants,flies they all must be taken outside to live a great life.So this week we went on an adventure. I had to get him outside.So to tantalize his almost six year old brain, I said lets bring the camera,a notebook and a pen.I found out the most wonderful things about our neighborhood from a little boys perspective.It is amazing what children think.What would have taken easily 15 minutes as a walk took us about two hours of seeing things through his eyes and taking some pictures of some pretty amazing things.