Tag Archives: health

Inspired Creations

Clearly I have not been very diligent with writing blog posts, recipes tests, or anything on here! So much has happened since the last time we “met” …

First off, it’s March … so we’ve by-passed February completely! In missing February, I can’t recall anything of great importance that happened.

Except my birthday :o) my 35th birthday, to be exact! I love my birthday and this year was great! I had multiple lunch dates (obvi not on the same day!) and was able to celebrate during the evening of the specific date with a group of friends & coworkers!

At the very beginning of February, I was accepted into the Diploma Program in Applied Holistic Nutrition at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition! I chose the part-time evening program, as I cannot afford to quit my job to attend school, so I will be attending class Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm for a 2 year period! I am beyond exciting to get this started … which isn’t until September!

Luckily, that time is going to be well spent re-doing, arranging, and organizing a new office/work space at home, as well as doing as much bookkeeping as possible to help pay for this program!

One thing I didn’t have much of in February was inspiration or the desire to cook. It’s kind of weird how it ebbs and flows! March has been a bit different because I’ve been following more people on Instagram, through my GonaGetHealthy account, and found some great Instagram Stories and links for recipes!

The first one that caught my eye was the Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce as shown on the Instagram account and the website of Pinch of Yum!

It looked easy to make, with simple ingredients, and turned out really flipping delicious!

Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce

I was previously displaying my kitchen & cooking skills on Snapchat, but since it’s more of a personal account, I decided to move my health, food, and cooking trials to Instagram, and this recipe was the first that I did using Instagram Stories.

I had many people watch the story, and even a few friends & co-workers comment or ask questions in person! I think I’ve convinced a few people to go out and buy a spiralizer … they are affordable and can make “noodles” out of so many vegetables!! I have many in mind that I plan on trying out in the coming days/weeks/months as spring arrives and local produce becomes more readily available!

This morning while I was procrastinating the start of bookkeeping (which I’m still procrastinating on), I saw an Instagram Story via the Vital Proteins account, on which Kelsey of Little Bits Of was making her Vanilla Shortbread Energy Balls!

Again, this recipe looked SO SIMPLE with easy ingredients! I did have to hit up the health store for a couple of items, but that was on my list of chores for the day anyways!

While I was shopping, I did a bit of research (thank you awesome cell phone data plan!!) regarding buying almond flour vs. buying almonds and making flour …

The ~400 gram bag of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour retailed at this store for $18.99, and from what I could tell, was not derived from organic almonds.

Whereas I bought 300 grams of organic raw almonds and simply put them in my Vitamix dry container to make flour! This amount of almonds retailed for just less than $15.00 and they were ORGANIC! So not really any question of which to use or if I made the right choice!

Vanilla Shortbread Energy Balls

These bites came together very nicely and taste fabulous! Definitely a recipe to go into my collection to be made again and again!

If you know of anyone on Instagram or who has a great website, whom you feel I should check out and/or follow, or if you come across any amazing recipes that you think I should test, please comment below, or send me an email with the details!

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It is with a Heavy Heart …

It’s only heavy because it’s working so hard to pump blood to my unhealthy, overweight body!

Today, January 1, 2017 … I weigh in at 241.8 pounds (109.6 kg).

Today, January 1, 2017 … is the heaviest I will be in 2017 … and beyond!

Today, January 1, 2017 … I bundled up (it’s a balmy 2 degrees in Vancouver today) and walked to the Robert Lee YMCA and signed up for a membership.

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Today, January 1, 2017 … today is a new day, a new year, a new chance!

 

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Blogmas Day 15

BLOGMAS DAY 15

You know what that means!? 9 MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!

I had big plans for work today … lots to accomplish …

None of it happened. Another day went by and I really couldn’t tell you what I did for 7 1/2 hours!

I’m off tomorrow for a medical day. One appointment I have is to get my blood drawn and rechecked for the possibility of being pre-diabetic. And honestly, I don’t want to know the results. I want to be blind and oblivious to it.

I’m sure I’ll get the results before Christmas … I need to have the results before Christmas.

But since I have to fast before this blood work, I am going to forgo my Advent Calendar tea choice for today. I usually have my tea in the 8 o’clock hour, and that’s when I’d like to start fasting. I’m only required to fast for 10 hours, but I’d like to fast for 12 hours just to give my body that extra 2 hours to digest and rid itself of the sugar.

I was going to eat really healthy today so as to possibly skew the results … but that would be lying to myself even more. So I had my normal shake for breakfast, opted for a soup & sandwich for lunch, and had some oven-heated focaccia bread with artichoke dip for dinner.

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Aside from my other appointments tomorrow, I am getting my hair cut … ok, trimmed! And I’d like to go see The Office Christmas Party.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better blogmas!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

A quick look back on contestant number 2 (“Loaded Sweet Potatoes” from the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook) … after the “Avocado Cilantro Crema” married all its flavours together overnight, it was much more flavourful. Again, as with contestant number 1 (“Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” from The UnDiet Cookbook), the leftover serving was quite a bit better.

Tonight I tested out a recipe from Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook …

Contestant Number 2: Thai Baked Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

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I’ve done my best to make these recipes exactly as detailed. One difference I had to make between this recipe and my version is the chickpeas … I substituted in black beans instead as chickpeas don’t agree well with my digestive tract.

Again, this recipe was easy to follow. It called to rub the sweet potatoes with grape seed oil before baking, but given how the other sweeties turned out without oil, I opted to omit this oil.

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The book lists a sub-recipe for “Ginger Tahini Sauce” inside the main recipe and it was also very easy to follow. It called for 1 – 4 TBSP hot water to “thin” the sauce and I used 2 TBSP, but honestly, it didn’t really need any water. The tahini & ginger created quite a bit of sediment, so I ended up using a sieve to make it smoother. An after-thought would be to throw these ingredients into the Vitamix to get it mixed up well, and next time I think I’ll use the suggested tahini alternative of peanut butter.

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There was the perfect amount of beans to cover each of the servings, and just the right amount of sauce, too.

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As I posted this picture, I realized I opened my bag of sesame seeds but totally forgot to put them on the dish!!! #BlondeMoment #IWasStarving

This was a very nice dish. I prefer this one over “Loaded Sweet Potatoes” (contestant number 2), but I think I still prefer “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” (contestant number 1) overall!

I had a couple of observers that seemed pretty interested in all 3 recipes!

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This first batch of Recipe Taste Off has been VERY successful and I am looking forward to the next batch which will consist of Soba Noodle recipes!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

The other night I made the 1st of 3 sweet potato dishes (“Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” from The UnDiet Cookbook). I had the second serving for lunch the next day and it was almost better than fresh the night before!

Tonight I’m on to the next recipe by Angela Liddon and her Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook …

Contestant Number 2: Loaded Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

loaded-sweet-potatoes

This one looks great … let’s see how the recipe turns out!

This recipe was easy to follow. It called for EVOO to saute the garlic & onions, but I was low on it, so I used coconut oil (as I have a huge “tub” of it from Costco!).

Loaded Sweet Potatoes - 1.jpg

Inside the recipe is a sub-recipe for “Avocado Cilantro Crema“. This was easy as well, but I had to use 3 TBSP more water than the 1 TBSP it called for as it was just a little thick, but light, for my Vitamix and wouldn’t stay down with the blades to become creamy.

loaded-sweet-potatoes-2

I cooked the sweet potatoes for a full hour and they were perfect this time. Now to assemble this dish!

The amount of crema that was made seemed like a lot, but the recipe didn’t indicate that you only use a portion of it, so I used half per serving. Same went for the black bean mixture … the recipe called for a whole can, whereas the other recipes call for 1/2 can.

loaded-sweet-potatoes-3

Ok … so there was a LOT of toppings on this spud, and it was a bit over-powered by the crema. But it was tasty.

It’s got a different taste than “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” (Contestant Number 1) but it’s also got a completely different dressing being avocado instead of tahini/tamari.

I would recommend this recipe, but suggest making or only using half the crema and beans. Also – the cookbook picture has the sweet potato topped with a white substance, but it was not mentioned in the recipe.

At this point, I’m a bigger fan of “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes“.

Friday I’ll likely make up the last of the 3 recipes in this Recipe Taste Off and provide my comments and suggestions!

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Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

Last week I attended the Vancouver Sun’s annual book sale and snagged Meghan Telpner‘s “The UnDiet Cookbook” for a whopping $2.00!!!

Then after work on Friday, I stopped by Indigo on Granville Street to view a couple other cookbooks. I ended up spending a few tens of dollars and picked up Dana Shultz‘s “Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking” and Angela Liddon‘s “Oh She Glows Every Day“.

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday morning looking through each of these cookbooks and found that on a couple, possibly a few occasions, they had similar recipes. So what else is one to do but a Recipe Taste Off!

The first match up features the following 3 recipes:

  • Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes ~ The UnDiet Cookbook
  • Loaded Sweet Potatoes ~ Oh She Glows Every Day
  • Thai Bakes Sweet Potatoes ~ Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

So I make a list of the ingredients for all 3 recipes, determine what I already have on hand, and reduce my list to the few items I have to pick up. Turns out, 6 medium sweet potatoes can run a person upwards of $10 LOL

One of the recipes is already set to serve 2 and since there is only one of me, I decided to make all three recipes to serve 2 …

Contestant Number 1: Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

dressed-to-the-nines-sweet-potatoes

Damn, right!? Ok let’s get this show on the road!!

The recipe was very easy to follow. The amount of coconut oil that is called for to cook the onion and garlic seemed like a bit much, but it worked out perfectly.

I also had to make the “Tahini Dressing” in this cookbook as it was called for as the drizzle on the sweet potato. And this also super easy recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Holy Hannah it’s got flavour!!!

The sweet potatoes could have cooked for another 10 – 15 minutes longer, but I’d already cooked them the “maximum” 60 minutes as outlined in the book … and I was starving! Plus it all smelled so good, I couldn’t wait any longer.

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Once assembled, and photographed – of course!, I dug right in. I’m really glad I started out with this recipe as it lived up to its typed hype!

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I would absolutely recommend this recipe (& cookbook) and cannot wait to try some of the other recipes!

Just a couple of nights from now I’ll dig into the next Recipe Taste Off contestant! Stay tuned …

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Welcome October

I overheard a transit driver today telling some tourists that the weather in Vancouver is “turning bad” … so I thought I would snap a picture and prove how horrible today was:

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Ridiculous, right?!

I was supposed to attend the CFL game last night between BC & Ottawa, but I was battling yet another headache/migraine. I actually went to bed around 8:30 pm.

Unfortunately, that meant I was up early … WAY early! I was up today at 1:30 am and was unable to get back to sleep. I made my morning very productive … I cleaned out my freezer, organized my dresser drawers, cleaned the kitchen … and then took a nap around 6:00 am for about an hour.

I did a quick trip to Costco … picked up some peas for snacks and spinach for my smoothies. One of my October Goals/Habits is to incorporate a salad every day … but I truly do not like/crave salad, so I compromised with adding spinach/greens to my smoothie instead!

Here are my October Goals/Habits:

  1. walk to work each work day
  2. make the bed each morning (not health-related, but definitely something I don’t do right now!)
  3. strength exercises 2 – 3 times per week
  4. core work 3 – 4 times per week
  5. limit caloric intake to 1,500 daily
  6. walk home from work or 30 minutes of cardio in the gym after work
  7. incorporate greens into daily meals (likely in my smoothie)

I picked 7 goals/habits as there are 7 days per week … just one of my OCD things 🙂

Here are a couple other great shots I got this week:

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Watched a YouTube video today by Kalyn Nicholson and she offered a Fall Reading List … so I think I’m heading to Chapters/Indigo tomorrow to review them!

I also cleared up a concern with my Mom that I’ve had for a while. I’ve already spent $419 for a round-trip flight home at Christmas, and I’ll have to spend ~$150 for my cat sitter while I’m gone … plus there’s the cost of Christmas!

We agreed to do only stockings and keeping the dollar limit to $50 each. Now, since I “have” to buy for Mom and Wayne, I know that means $100 … but I honestly don’t suspect they will keep my stocking to $50 (as there are 2 people to put into it) LOL

Now to figure out what to get them for $50 … I was thinking of gift cards … but that would mean maybe 2 x $25 cards each and nothing else? We always get magazines in our stockings, and they can run about $15 total per person …

I’ve suggested that I would like a Corkcicle because I’m always late thinking and buy wine on the way home … but it’s not cold. the Corkcicle would fix that in a jiff!

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Royally Perfect

This week was a good week. Nothing of great importance occurred during the week.

Friday after work, a few co-workers from my group and I went to Cinema Public House in Vancouver. Our firm was holding the annual Post-CFE Party and all staff are invited to attend. I didn’t attend last year because I had only been working at the firm for about 6 weeks and didn’t really know anyone.

This year was nice – we had some drinks and a bit of food. Then headed to Republic Nite Club for a couple more drinks. It was actually the first time I’ve been to a night club in Vancouver! And holy hell did it ever make me feel old!

I totally remember being in my early to mid 20’s and going out almost every weekend. We’d hit up the night clubs in Kelowna and stay out all hours of the night. We’d drink and dance and get smokies from the vendor outside the night club when the club shut down.

This Friday was different. I was old. The music was loud and I didn’t know 99% of it. And it was crowded. I am just old. LOL

Saturday was a mellow day as I was slightly hungover. Nothing like I used to live through in my early to mid 20’s, but definitely enough to need bacon & eggs, and an afternoon nap!

Sunday (today) was different. I let myself sleep until I’m ready to wake … something I do as often as possible on weekends … and today is was about 6:15 am. I had hoped to be up by 7:00 am so that I could shower and dress for the big morning. I wanted to be down at Jack Poole Plaza by 8:00 am. We were having big guests in town …

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Yes … the spot I secured was PERFECT! I was about 4 feet away … this picture is not zoomed or anything! I was THIS CLOSE to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!!! OMG such an amazing experience!

Granted … I (and others around us) did let a young girl with flowers stand in front in order to coax the Duchess towards our area! And at first, it was the Duke on my side of the walking path … the Duchess was on the other side. But the location where I was standing was right near where the motorcade was parked … and the Duchess came over to my side just in time to greet the young girl, receive her flowers and pose for a split second for me to get this shot!!!

This afternoon was mellow. I am sort of binge watching Grey’s Anatomy … again. So I have had it on while I puttered and lounged around. I’m planning my October … the health and fitness aspect of my October.

And then the day got bright and I got out for a nice walk. I walked around Lost Lagoon … 4.55 km round trip (00:52:31 total time) … and was able to capture this lovely shot:

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So it’s been a great weekend … and the next week will be great … it’s the last week of September and I’m getting excited and geared up for a very successful October!

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Forgot … Completely Forgot

My two lovely fur babies let me sleep in today until after 7:30 am! I was up just before 6:00 am for a quick bathroom visit, but was luckily able to get back to sleep.

I have to get up early (5:30 am) tomorrow so that I can be at work for between 7:00 am and 7:30 am. Our group is doing a 1-day “Boot Camp” event, updating everyone on the happenings of the past year and the future year. We’re also doing 4 breakout sessions to provide insight to some new standards we’re rolling out.

Anyways back to the past week …

Sunday. What happened on Sunday? I’m going to go with “nothing”. Nothing happened on Sunday. It was a very relaxing day.

Monday. Yes Monday. I got up with my alarm. Went through the basics of getting ready for work, all the while still battling the headache/migraine I had Saturday. Around the time I was supposed to leave to walk to work, I decided to take a personal/sick day. I binge watched Grey’s Anatomy … right back to the beginning. I was also able to get crush some of the bookkeeping I had been procrastinating on. Yes, I wasn’t well enough to go to work, but I worked at my own business. In very sporadic periods. No specific hours.

Tuesday. Wednesday. Nothing much … back at the office. Back to routine. The migraine nicely subsided so that I was able to get back to life.

Thursday. I opted for a really not healthy lunch and got Chinese Food from the food court next to our office. This day is also one of my best friend’s birthday. I sent her a beautiful card, a $50 Lululemon gift card, and one of each of the 3 new types of tea I recently bought. She has 3 kids (aged 6 1/2, 2 1/4, and 9 months) and we’re planning on an adult-only vacation next year to Vegas. I got her the Lulu gift card so she can get herself something workout-y, something that makes her feel good, and gives her the want to get healthy and fit again.

Friday. I made 2 smoothies … one for breakfast and one for lunch. But my lunch smoothie stayed in the fridge. I decided to get a Sweet Potato Wrap from Creme de la Crumb.

Saturday. My plan for this day is shopping. Clothing shopping. At work, we’re allowed to wear jeans/be a bit more casual all day every day. So I wanted to find some more versatile items that could be worn to work, and during my weekends. I headed out to Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby. It’s a great big mall! I think I was there for about 3 hours … spent a shit-tonne of money … but got some awesome items! I have a few favorites:

I’m so excited to make all these new outfits! Especially since the weather is TOTALLY changing and Fall is definitely upon us here!

I also stopped by the Superstore at Metropolis to pick up some Larabars because they are on sale for $16 per box (works out to $1 per bar!) but they didn’t order the full boxes!!! I used to work for the company and was the person who did this part of the ordering … you look at the flyer for next week to know what you need to order!!!! C’mon people!!! *Fail

Last night I did one last trip out and picked up some new gel pens from Michael’s … they had a 50% off one item that was ending yesterday. After grabbing the pens, I headed to Joey Burrard for dinner. I ordered a Budweiser and the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich. Please do check out this post … it was one of the better experiences I’ve had.

Sunday. Today. I went out for breakfast to Red Umbrella. Afterwards, I decided to look up the next closest Superstore for Larabars. It was going to take me 45 minutes each way on the bus so I decided to grab an Evo car share instead. I also decided to call the store first, to make sure they had stock! Since there was a limit of 4 boxes, that is what I limited myself to. This afternoon, I’ve been binge watching Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy, and also made a big batch of some fantastic chili!!! Can’t wait to have lunches and dinners this week!!!

Oh and the title … I totally forgot to weigh myself this morning!

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Social Media

I should start using my day planner as a bit of a diary or “what I do each day” journal. Right now, I look back through my Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to remember what I did all week!

Monday was a holiday and I did NOTHING! It was absolutely splendid!

The week consisted of work. Not “hard” but work. I (still) have a ton of bookkeeping to do and should really get on it … I’ve been procrastinating for upwards of 6 weeks now!

Friday after work I headed to BC Place to take in the BC Lions vs. Montreal Alouettes CFL football game. It was a nice evening.

Near the end of the game, the announcer comes on to indicate which player would be going to a local taphouse … and Friday was Jonathan Jennings (BC Lions QB).

I decided to head to the taphouse and just have a drink … not ready to head home.

I was sitting at a table and this decent-looking guy came and asked if he could sit with me … sure, why not!

We ended up having a great time! Seemed to have a lot in common. The bill came and he pulled out his card and said he’d pay the bill (how nice, right!?) I headed to the bathroom before heading out, and when I came back to the table, the guy was gone … to the bathroom? Gone home?

I waited a few minutes, guessing he was in the loo … but nothing. So I took the bill (that was on the table) to the waitress and asked if it was still outstanding.

Yup. Unpaid.

What. The. Fuck.

So I paid the bill cause I couldn’t just walk out … and headed home. What an asshole!

Saturday was a mellow day. I didn’t do a ton … had to go to Adrenaline Tattoo on Granville as I have an appointment near the end of the month, but I’m having second thoughts on the artist, etc. … so I wanted to cancel the appointment and have my deposit refunded. The receipt clearly indicates that deposits for custom tattoos are non-refundable. So I was already prepared to fight LOL (I have only made the appointment 2 days prior).

Thankfully, there was no problem. Appointment cancelled. Refund issued.

I had a ticket to the Keith Urban concert Saturday night, with Maren Morris and Dallas Smith as openers. I had been battling a bad headache most of the afternoon, and thinking it was because of the beers the night before … had a drink to combat the headache – you know, “Hair of the Dog”!

I had a couple of beers at the concert and enjoyed Maren Morris. Then bathroom break … bit of a line up … probably 5 minutes in and out.

Up next was Dallas Smith. He’s awesome – just love him! Then bathroom break … and the line was HUGE! I waited in line for a stall for almost 20 minutes! Not to mention I had to go for about 15 minutes before!

So now I’m all annoyed and still have a headache that keeps getting worse. So I actually opted OUT of staying for the headliner, Keith Urban. I have seen him before and he’s good … but I was NOT feeling well.

Home I went. And to bed I went.

This morning I feel better … but still feel a tightness in my neck.

I did some books this morning, but should really do more.

I’ve returned from getting groceries … going to make some salads this week:

  • romaine lettuce
  • black beans
  • peaches & cream corn
  • avocado
  • homemade tomato salsa
  • sour cream
  • cajun chicken

I decided to create an Instagram account for my health journey. You can find and follow me @gonagethealthy

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