Thursday, October 30, 2014

Secondary Infertility

Good Morning!

Please check out my latest article in the Huffington Post about secondary infertility.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: My first WIAW

A lot of bloggers participate in this link up started by Peas and Crayons.  What I eat may not be all that thrilling to some - I am not into haute cuisine or really complicated raw vegan dishes that take a long time to make or anything else that extraordinary.  But I thought it would be a good idea for me to share an example of what I eat because a lot of people don't seem to understand what being a healthitarian means (that's the label I give myself).  I am into promoting my health and well being through proper nutrition.  But this does not mean I am vegetarian or vegan, gluten-free or grain-free.  I just try to eat mostly whole, real foods.

People are also flabbergasted to see just HOW MUCH I eat.  I have always had a healthy appetite...and seeing how my kids eat, that must be partly genetic.  Being super active helps, especially weight lifting.  Muscles demand fuel to grow!!  Nonetheless, I guess I eat a whole lot for such a tiny person.  Or so I'm told.

Here you have it.  A typical day of eats for me:

Breakfast is ALWAYS a massive (made with 1.5 cups of oats) bowl of oatmeal with either chia or flax seeds, egg whites, cinnamon, nutmeg and stevia.  The bowl I use for it is so big, Adam refers to it as the "flower pot".

Lately I've been into my homemade coffee frappes instead of hot coffee, and usually have about 3 of these a day.  Don't worry, there isn't much coffee in them as I put a ton of ice in.

Lunch was grilled chicken breasts, an entire roasted delicata squash and 3 zucchini roasted with olive oil, garlic and seasonings. 

Admittedly, I probably could have eaten less, but I was really hungry at lunch.

Snacks were cheese and 2 Honeycrisp apples the size of my head (oh be still my beating heart, these apples are to die for!).

Dinner was shiritake noodles with scallops and veggies in a creamy sesame miso sauce.

Mmm, I love what I eat!

Honestly, I really love healthy food.  Adam thinks I'm nuts (he claims he would live on chicken wings and chocolate if he could), but, my body craves freshness.  So many of my clients live on fast food and I can't imagine that.  I can't even stand the smell of fried and fast food.  It just doesn't seem like food to me.  So its not a struggle for me to avoid these things that others see as temptations.

Also notice that I am not a grazer.  That might work for some people, but eating little bits all day just leaves me edgy and hungry.  I like to eat 3 big meals plus a few small snacks.  If I don't feel FULL after a meal, I get grumpy and have difficulty concentrating.  It also helps me avoid the "See Food Diet" trap.  I find a lot of people (like my father!) are prone to eating whenever food is offered or available, either because they have not planned ahead and ended up going too long without eating, or because they are totally out of touch with their body's energy needs.  I make sure that I am either full from a big meal or prepared with healthy snacks so that I am not tempted by whatever crap is around...and the unfortunate reality is that in our society, there is always crap around.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Curried Almonds

When making my last batch of almonds for Adam, I realized I hadn't made curried ones before.  Even though Adam is pretty happy with repetition (he eats the same breakfast and lunch EVERY day during the week), I always like to change things up.  These are very yummy and you can make them spicy or mild, depending on the curry powder you use.

Curried Almonds

2 lb almonds
1 tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder (mild or hot)
1/2 tsp turmeric

Toss almonds together with oil and seasonings and spread in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.  Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, rotating position of pans half way through.  Be careful not to burn.  Let cool completely and then transfer to airtight container.

This recipe has been shared with Urban Naturale's Happy Green Healthy Blog Hop.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Slumber Party

Good morning! Or is it?  Chances are, if you didn't get a good night's sleep, it isn't such a good one  for you.

I know I spend a whole lot of time talking about the importance of exercise and nutrition, but I truly believe that adequate sleep is just as critical to our health.  If you are not getting enough sleep it compromises your cognitive abilities, increases the chances you will be in a driving accident, negatively affects your mood, increases stress and decreases your coping abilities, impairs your body's metabolism, drives hunger, and increases your risk of developing obesity, and the list goes on.
Tough love guide to getting sleep. #SleepEasy
All last week while Adam was away, I didn't sleep too well.  I was having nutty dreams, as always, but was just not getting the deep restorative sleep I need.  Even this weekend, my sleep wasn't ideal and I totally felt it.  By yesterday I felt ruined.  Last night though, despite some really wacky dreams, I had a great sleep and I am now back to my old self, thank goodness.

The past few days Little A has been a little nightmare.  Absolutely impossible.  Grumpy and difficult.  Emotional and out of control.  Adam and I were trying to figure out just what was eating her.  Well, last night we discovered the answer.  For the past few evenings, after we put the girls to bed, Little A has been getting back up and going into Big A's room to play.  Big A is allowed to stay up and play or read quietly in her room, but little did we know that Little A had been staying up with her.  Ah ha!

Last night we put an end to this and made sure Little A stayed in her bed and went to sleep.  So guess what?  She woke up this morning in a delightful mood!  We haven't had such a smooth Monday in a long time.  Normally she kicks up a huge fit about having to go to school.  This morning she was happy and playful and there was so sulking, whining or complaining. 

I am telling you, sleep can be absolutely transformational.  I see this with my clients too.  Often they are not getting enough sleep, often due to anxiety, and/or not practicing proper sleep hygiene and spending too much time in the evening on their devices or in front of the television. Once I get them giving sleep a greater priority, that alone can help them with stress, anxiety and boosts their resilience and coping abilities. 

So please, don't short change yourself, make sleep a priority and I promise you will benefit in many ways!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Be Grateful for Each Day

This has been quite a week!  Adam was away in Ottawa since Sunday and is only getting back tonight. 

In case you didn't hear, there was a soldier killed in Ottawa, near Parliament Hill, right where Adam was having his meetings!  Luckily he's just fine and sent us a message almost immediately to reassure everyone he was okay.  Unfortunately, the soldier's family now have to deal with his loss.  Such a senseless crime, regardless of whether it was politically motivated or not, an innocent life was lost.

It certainly put into perspective the minor challenges I faced being alone with the girls this week.  There were good times and bad (each of them had to be put into their rooms because of major screaming fits Monday evening), but overall this annual trip Adam takes is becoming much less traumatic for me as the girls get older.

But I am still very glad he's back tonight!    I am also very frustrated by the girls' sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude.  There is a constant demand for 'more' and I know this is something a lot of parents struggle with.  Maybe they aren't old enough yet to 'get' it, but I really wish I could figure out a way for them to understand just how fortunate they are.

Discover The Power Of Gratitude To Unleash Unlimited Abundance And Happiness In Your Life
We have a packed weekend that will be busy but fun and I'm looking forward to it.

Have a happy, healthy weekend and eat your vegetables!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

Who says peanut butter and chocolate can't be for breakfast?  Not my kids, that's for sure.  No surprise, but these were an instant hit with them.  Again, I am loving oatmeal squares as a quick, healthy breakfast and they are loving them too.  Its a total win-win!

I made these with quick cooking steel cut oats.  No, that is not an oxymoron.  I found them at Costco...Bobs Red Mill Organic Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats!
Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats

These make a hardy baked oatmeal that is sure to satisfy all your chocolate cravings and power you through your morning.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

2 cups quick cooking steel cut oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
4 tbls flax meal
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup stevia, xylitol or erythritol (or 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (preferably stevia-sweetened)

Place oats and flax meal in a large bowl  Pour 2 cups boiling water over top and let sit for 20 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.  Let cool to prevent chocolate chips from melting.  Stir in all remaining ingredients.  Scrape batter into greased 9x12 pan and bake for about 22-25 minutes or until centre is firm.  Let cool and then cut into squares.  Makes 24 squares.  Keep refrigerated up to 1 week or freeze.

I have brought this dish to Urban Naturale's Plant Based Pot Luck Link Up and Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Powered by...Licorice?

Back in my addicted-to-sugar days, I ate a lot of licorice.  Not the red kind.  That's just gross candy, its got nothing to do with licorice!  No, I'm talking the real stuff.  Black. Soft.  Oh, and sweet...not the weird European, salty kind.  That stuff is just nasty!

While indulging my sweet tooth, I don't think I ever wondered what licorice actually is.  I knew it was a botanical thing, but not much beyond that.

As it turns out, this yummy (in my opinion, anyways, I know there are lots of haters out there) plant has a whole heck of a lot of health benefits.  Not in candy form, unfortunately, but in its natural form.
Licorice root is an anti-inflammatory.  It is often used to treat stomach ulcers, heartburn and chronic gastritis.   It is also used to treat a sore through, coughs, and both bacterial and viral infections.  Some people use licorice for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.  Licorice also controls cortisol production and helps to regulate the body's stress response.
I discovered all this recently when I was telling the naturopath at work about how my blood pressure is too low for me to donate blood.  She said she often works with athletes with crazy low blood pressure and recommends they take licorice.  Not just because it can elevate blood pressure a bit and control cortisol, but also for its anti-inflammatory properties.  She said it really, "puts the wind in your sails." I was completely intrigued since I wake up in the morning very fuzzy and light headed.  She told me to get the concentrated syrup, which she had at the office (this brand), and use 1/4 tsp made into tea each morning.  I love the taste, so why the heck not?
You know I'm always skeptical of remedies if there isn't evidence they work, but she was so enthusiastic about its efficacy, I immediately went out to buy some.  Unfortunately, I went to 5 different health food stores, including Whole Foods, and none of them even had heard of the syrup.  They all sold the tea and tinctures but no syrup.
Finally, I found it on Amazon.  Good ol’ Amazon!
Well, I have to tell you, I did just as the naturopath said and boy did the stuff ever put wind in my sails.  I felt like I had a whole lot more oomph for my spinning class Sunday morning.  Not in a jittery, anxious way like caffeine makes you feel, just in a, I-could-climb-a-mountain good way.  And it tastes awesome…at least if, like me, you love the taste of black licorice!
Who needs pre-workout drinks or creatine powders, this stuff is power in the bottle. 

Please do not take licorice before speaking with a health professional.  It is not appropriate for everyone.  Licorice interacts with many prescription medicines and should not be taken while pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to start using licorice.