Sunday, 28 December 2014

No Bake Caramel Almond Energy Bites


Ingredients
  • 1/2 500 gram package of pitted dates
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 scoops of vanilla Shakeology or protein powder of your choice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of caramel extract
Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients into food processor and blend. Depending on consistency of the products you use you may need to add a little bit of water. This batch I added about a 1/4 cup
  2. Using your hands, press firmly to form one-inch balls. If too sticky you can use some extra protein powder on your hands to help when rolling.
  3. Place in air-tight container and refrigerate until serving.
Tip N Trick' These freeze well, so you may want to make extras. 

The greatest things in life start with "Change"


 I am kicking off my traditional
 New Year project with just that --Change! 


For the previous 5 years I have kicked off my adventure of the upcoming New Year by creating a list of "Will Do's"! Focusing on my personal, career and financial goals. My "Will Do" lists were an amazing tool to keep me on task and having a direction to steer my ship for years but now.....





My life has taken an amazing turn and is forever evolving with new opportunities and wonderful challenges. Needless to say my carefully crafted "Will Do List" was unable to keep up with the new ideas and inspirations so it was shelved very early into the year. As we entered into the final couple months of this year my mind out of habit began to think about creating my new "Will Do List" but my heart wasn't into it and I knew it was time for something new but WHAT?




Ironically within days of my light bulb moment I received a message from one of my girlfriends letting me know that she would not be participating this upcoming years "Will Do List" but instead she had been introduced to One Word 365. Needless to say having hit my own roadblock and eager to ensure that I did have some sense of direction for the upcoming year I was all over that "google" and checking it out. 



My first instinct was "WHAT!! ONE FREAKING WORD! How is that possible?!" 

The weight and the power of that one word- Oh my! Then the inquisitive introvert in me took over and surprise, surprise if I didn't realize I had already been living my one word "YES".  At the beginning stages of my new journey I was scared and living outside of my comfort zone everyday. I made the commitment to myself that if any opportunity provided itself and it aligned with my ultimate goal my answer would always be "YES"! Whatever hurdle I needed to get over after that was mine to figure out. Who knew that one word and in my case and a very little word could make such a HUGE impact and live up to the weight! 



Insert this upcoming year and the responsibility of picking my new word to match the expectations I have of this upcoming year. I knew needed a big word with lot's of excitement and open to opportunities...... I have mediated and stewed over this word for probably 2 months-- hey this is a big deal I am giving a year of my life to this word! Then the light bulb hit again and I realized my word has been sitting here this whole time just waiting for me to see it......




2015 My Year of Adventure!

 I can not wait for the opportunities that word is going to give me the courage to do and accomplish! 


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Oh Carbs..... you sneaky little devils!



For over a year now I have been enjoying and living the most consistent foodie lifestyle of my lifetime- Paleo! I began my journey 15 months ago entering into the Paleo world following the Whole 30 and wow was it ever a life changer! I dropped 16" within the first 30 days and lost around 25-30 lbs within the first 2-3 months. I had finally found my dream foodie lifestyle and it has been for the majority of this past year and almost a half   BUT.... as time has continued my weight loss has stalled, my energy levels have begun to plummet. Now apart of this is not necessarily Paleo itself but my personal choices of limiting starchy carbs ie sweet potatoes (I can only eat so many) and the fact that I am not a huge fruit person which in turn left me on a permanent low carb venture (routinely below 20%) Can you say Carb Fog?! 


Over the last few months I have been experiencing ridiculously low levels of energy, my brain has been in a permanent fog and thank goodness for the creation of pre-workout and coffee or I might have just elected to nap on the floor versus hit a workout. 






  • Your workouts are beginning to slip
  • Recovering from your workouts is becoming harder
  • Feeling that brain fog
  • Irregularity (TMI)
  • Adrenal Fatigue






So now what do I do..... This past week I was tired, frustrated and decided it was time to just listen to my body and reintroduce carbs. Now I have reintroduced carbs twice before and both times it hasn't been a good experience. This time I am yet again feeling that fluffiness that comes from eating carbs but my oh my--- ENERGY and my brain functions! Is this how normal people feel?! 




I am excited and scared all at the same time as I head into my next foodie journey- playing with Carb Cycling! I know my body enjoys those moments when my carbs are low >> insert fat for fuel and hello weight loss! I also know now that my body needs those carbs to power me through my workouts and give me that much needed brain function. Excited yes but as in all journey's it's also scary to trust in the process.... did I mention that I am trusting this process with a trip to Mexico coming up in less then a month! Yikes! I have decided I am either going to Mexico with a 5lb weight loss or I am going with 5-10 lbs surplus! Only the future will tell but I do know it's time for me to make a change for better health and my long-term success is way more important then postponing it in fear of one trip looming that involves sand, sun, surf and gasp a bikini! I got this and most importantly I have faith and am excited!! It's amazing what can happen when your brain functions?! 











Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Ingredients


4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Banana, mashed
½ Scoop of Vanilla Shakeology or your protein powder of choice. No protein powder you could add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut flour
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup *optional
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
                         or
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
      1/8 teaspoon cloves
      1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
      1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preparation

       Food Processor! Toss all the ingredients in together minus the coconut oil and then blend.
      No Food Processor! Mash the banana then add all wet ingredients then fold in your                   Shakeology, protein powder or coconut flour
       Melt butter or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, mix the butter into the batter
       Grease the skillet and spoon the batter into the skillet to make pancakes of your desired size. I use a 1/3 measuring cup. When a few bubbles appear, flip the pancakes once to finish cooking.      

                   *I tripled this recipe and make a huge batch for the week. You can save them for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. I am going to be experimenting with freezing them as well! 

*

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Bali Glow Grilled Shrimp



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Bali Glow Grilled Shrimp


Ingredients
·         1 lb. large raw shrimp
Marinade
·         1/4 cup lemon juice
·         1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
·         2 Tablespoons of Epicure Bali Glow (Cane sugar, onion, sea salt, kaffir lime, garlic, lemongrass, chilies)
·         1 Tablespoon minced garlic
·         1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation
1.       Remove the shells and devein the shrimp if not already done. Rinse the shrimp
2.       Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour into a sealable container with shrimp.
3.       Marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4.       Start up the barbie- med heat grill
5.       You can either skewer the shrimp, or we placed ours on a bbq cooking tray.
6.       5 or 6 minutes per side on a medium hot grill cooking them until the become pink and cooked through. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Shrimp and Vegetable Fiesta



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Shrimp and Vegetable Fiesta

Ingredients
·         1 pounds shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined, (26-30 per pound)
·         2 large pepper(s), red and/or yellow, bell, diced
·         2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
·         5 clove(s) garlic, minced
·         1 cup(s) broth, chicken, less sodium
·         2 tablespoon lemon juice
·         ½ cup pineapple ¼”cubes
·         Epicure- Malaysian Spice (chili, lemongrass and ginger)
·         Black Pepper

Preparation
1.    Chop and prep all the veggies.

2. Place all ingredients into a bowl to marinade for half an hour in the fridge

3.    Remove from bowl and place into tinfoil to cook on the barbeque. Cook until veggies are still crisp and shrimp are pink and cooked through. 

Option to cook on stovetop- cook vegetables first and then add prawns for the final few minutes until pink and cooked through. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mountains, Summits, Fresh Air and Finding a New Passion!




A few years back a girlfriend of mine invited me with her family for a hike. My outdoor experience at this point extended as far as a 4WD on the trails---the END!

 I still remember the excitement and the nerves! Googling what to pack.... Yes I googled and hit print! As I recall Mike the avid outdoorsmen laughed when he saw my list. Then the questions??? What if we run into a bear? What if we get lost? Lose the trail? Meet a cougar? And let's be honest here, basically a city girl at this point- the bathroom?! Um drop my pants in the woods?! Regardless of all my neurotic worries I was completely comfortable with my hiking comrades and knew I would be safe. 



Up bright n early in the morning and then we were off.... And oh my goodness! Every corner holding a mystery and a new surprise from changing terrain, beautiful lakes and oh yes to the view at the top of a summit! It is so amazing to have worked your ass off climbing to a summit in some cases literally telling yourself right, left, right to get there.... Then it opens, instantly forgetting how tired you were just seconds before. Taking in the breathtaking scenery with no signs of modern life visible within 360 degrees radius.  There are no words to describe it! Right from the first hike I knew I was addicted! 












When I reflect over the last few years many of my happiest memories are of times with my friends on these hikes! My tale of doing a superman down a mountain, creating several wounds causing Mike to 
have to come home early from a golf game to clean and bandage me. You will have to ask me one day how these events actually led to a night to remember insert>>Lobster and Tequila Fest! 








 To enjoying shots with friends at a summit and in one occasion even a bottle of Champagne. Yes we may be outdoors but we still do things with style!




 Jump shots on a summit ledge, push ups challenges, random yogi shots through out the trail, sliding on our butts down a snowy hill, making snow angels and jumping into icy lakes and in some cases waterfalls!




 It's all about high adventure, enjoying each other's company, appreciating the beauty of nature and oh yes building up one wicked appetite! You can be guaranteed for the last hour or two of a hike my conversation is filled with FOOD! What I'm going to eat after, things I made and things I am just then deciding I need to make. That post workout meal--- oh my! The BEST! Imagine a table filled with your hiking comrades, chatting about favourite moments, rehashing the funnies, enjoying a liquid nourishment, showing off our chosen meals as they arrive. Then the blissful drive home with some falling under the spell of the hike and having a nap. My best nights sleep "always" happen after a magical day of hiking!





Sunday, 20 April 2014

Creating Your "OWN" nutritional lifestyle choice?!

I jumped into the 21 Day Fix program as an experiment. Wanting to continue my knowledge and experimenting with ways to continue to perfect my own nutrition and food lifestyle choices. Going in I knew I was going to have to make adjustments as I am mainly Paleo So the lovely yellow container affords me sweet potatoes, my treat of almond milk and my 2 pieces of chocolate. At least I still get a few good things. 



When I originally went Paleo I followed the Whole 30 route and truly recommend that to everyone but that's a separate blog. Within a couple weeks of the whole 30 I started experiencing light headnesses, dizziness when standing etc. My response was to just power through as I was near the end of the thirty days (I'm not always super smart) once I began living a dirty paleo lifestyle I was able to get my BP issues in order mainly with yes I'm going to be honest potato chips- salt, salt and more salt! Good quality gluten-free real potato chips! Maybe not my best choice but it worked like a hot damn. 


Now entering into the beginning stages of the 21 Day Fix I was hit with my symptoms in less then 24 hours. Ridiculous amounts of dizziness, feeling like I was in a brain fog and even moments where I was concerned that I was going to black out. So I returned to my tried and true my Potato Chips. In a much smaller controlled quantity and started adding sea salt to my morning water. I saw some improvement but not enough to be safe. 21 Day Fix allows for carbs and although many items on the list are a still a no for me due to how they make me feel I decided to play a little bit. Finally I am out of my brain fog, my issues of light headnesses are less frequent but my stomach isn't happy. I am near the end of my first round and experiment of the 21 Day Fix. I have already started the reflection period and planning how I'm going to continue to play and create that perfect nutritional lifestyle that matches my body! 







My second round is going to consist of putting together what I love best of both lifestyle choices! For me the 21 Day Fix is the ultimate in accountability for me to eat my veggies! I need that accountability! I'm not a huge fruit eater so everyone's favourite purple is a work in progress for me and I will be aiming to hit half of my purple goal daily.  Now the paleo side of life.... I love how my body responds and performs using fat as it's primary fuel source. Unfortunately for me the 21 day Fix is limited on its allowable containers of fat. That is an area that I will be adjusting to fit my own personal nutritional needs. 

In researching other people who have experienced similar issues I have found some additional ideas and one that makes me smile! Carbs are still an important piece of the puzzle so I will be adding more sweet potatoes, pumpkin, using fruit for its carbs qualities and the exciting part I'm going to be including some white rice into my weekly meal planning! Oh yes you read right..... Formally known as white death will be joining my nutritional plan. I have no poor side effects from it and it's a food I love! I will also be making it a focus to complete my daily sea salt added to my morning water ritual. 




My long winded get to the point! Life is an experiment and so is our nutrition. Everyone's body works in a different way and has it's own side effects. No one cookie cutter style of nutrition works for everyone. Take the time to experiment and actually get to know your body! Complete a detox and clean up your system then add one food group at a time seeing how your body responds? Keep a diary if you need too? It's a very empowering process to actually be aware and learn what your body is trying to tell you! Be creative and create "your" own nutritional code that works for YOU! 


UPDATE!

Results from my Round 2 on the 21 Day Fix with Paleo inspiration! 
Down 8 lbs and lost 2" off my waist and an 1" off both my chest and hips! Oh yeah baby!




Sunday, 23 March 2014

Erin Stern's 4 Week Trainer- Recap Week 3!

Week 3 Complete and a lesson in Post Workout Recovery!

I have been diligently taking BCAA's and P90X Rest and Recovery after my intense workouts. For some crazy reason on the beginning half of this week they seemed to elude my memory banks as a necessity. I can assure you that will not be happening again for a long time. By Thursday morning I was spent.... my legs were failing me while teaching a Pump class and sore doesn't really cover how I felt! Thankfully the rest of my Thursday was filled with yoga classes so I got lots of opportunities to stretch. Upon coming home late that evening I crawled into the tub and then into bed. After a very deep sleep I woke up completely refreshed and ready to go....  I had a yoga class in the morning then managed to hit a double workout as I had missed one earlier in the week. My legs were still not a 100% but Friday was all upper body. Chest, Shoulder x 2 and arms. The following day was the true test- "Leg Day" I gotta tell ya' I was very nervous about my legs holding up for the plyo workout! As luck would have it one of my regulars that attends my Pump and Spin classes was at the gym that morning so I recruited her to join me for my leg workout. Therefore I knew there would be no cutting corners and no complaining! Well it worked and we both nailed the workout! Yeah to workout buddies!



Inspired this morning I decided to grab my tape measure. It appears in the past three weeks without making any other changes then adding in this workout I have lost 1/2" in all areas of my body. Chest, waist, hips, thighs and even biceps! I was pretty excited about that! One more week to go......



Y-Von's Paleo Approved Potato Soup




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3 Large Sweet Potatoes Diced into cubes
1 med yellow onion
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, peeled and chopped
5 tsp jarred garlic, minced
1 1/2 containers of chicken stock or broth
2 Tbls of coconut or almond flour
1/2 c almond milk
Salt, pepper
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, green onions

Add potatoes, onion,carrots, celery, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
Cook on high for 6-8 hours
Add the flour, almond milk and non dairy cheese(if you choose). If your soup is really thick add a bit more stock to the mix. If you have an immersion blender you can blend right in your slow cooker. I usually use my food processor. I blend 3/4 and then mix it back in with the rest.
Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!

Y-Von's Potato Soup

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5lbs of potatoes ( I mix about 1-2 of sweet then the rest russet) Diced into 1" cube
1 med yellow onion
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, peeled and chopped
5 tsp jarred garlic, minced
2 containers of chicken stock or broth
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz Greek yogurt
Salt, pepper 
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

Add potatoes, onion,carrots, celery, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
Cook on high for 6-8 hours 
Add the cream cheese and Greek yogurt. If you have an immersion blender you can blend right in your slow cooker. I usually use my food processor. Mike likes his lumper so he mashed it all?! It depends on the consistency you want. I blend 3/4 and then mix it back in with the rest. 
Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!