Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

Archive for April, 2011

Almond Milk Chocolate Pudding (no sugar)

Our recent trip south followed by Easter preparation and celebration totally derailed my new healthy lifestyle. Starting this Tuesday, I am back tracking my food and exercise with www.myfitnesspal.com. I have made it to the gym once this week and went for a walk once. Better than nothing but not near where I need to be. My craving for chocolate is bad and at night I am weakest so I need something to satisfy it without a big cheat.

It is really interesting how once I am into to program, I love it and feel so much better. Self-sabotage seems to be my middle name right now. (All the chocolate does not help either). Monday I did well most of the day but then night eating was back. Today, I am off milk, and gluten (mostly). Now I am working on my nemesis again… the nightshades (bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and rhubarb). I love them all. Before this change I would have them at least three times a day. Now I am to avoid them. It sucks, but nightshades cause many problems, such as joint pain, and stomach pain. They also deplete the body of Calcium. Since, I am not absorbing calcium properly and have cut out dairy; I should avoid nightshades.

There are so many great foods that I can have. If I focus on that then I am less cranky about the loss. In an effort to stay on track, I made my homemade Almond Milk Chocolate Pudding without sugar. Allowing me to indulge my chocolate craving without going off my diet. It looked perfect when it was finished. (So good that my daughter wanted to take it to school, until she tasted it. My baby has her mother’s sweet tooth.) I just had the pudding for my snack. It was wonderful with a banana but definitely not for someone who has been eating sugar regularly.

Here is the recipe that I modified from Hershey’s Classic Recipes
1/4 cup    cocoa
3 TBSP     cornstarch
1/4 tsp     salt
2 1/4 cups almond milk
I used Blue Diamond vanilla almond 90 calories per cup so it is a bit sweet. I did not add the tsp vanilla extract. But I added just a couple of drops of peppermint extract for a cool after taste.
Stir together cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla if desired.
Pour into individual dessert dishes. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface (if the slight skin on surface bothers you), refrigerate.
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All I need to know about exercise I learned from knitting (via fitknitchick)

O.K. I never thought to apply my love / knowledge of knitting to the gym.

All I need to know about exercise I learned from knitting I have two great passions in my life (besides my husband, and sometimes, my children); fitness and knitting. At first glance, they seem to be rather incompatible past times. One involves vigorous whole body movement, the other sitting on the couch, barely flicking one's fingers for hours at a time. There are special clothes for exercise. Not so much for knitting. You can knit and drink a glass of wine and watch TV simultaneously. No wine at the g … Read More

via fitknitchick

Old fashioned work socks

Both my grandmothers were pros and knitting socks. The 100% wool work socks were a staple. My Grampie Yoston even taught me how to darn them properly without leaving a big bump in the sock (if only I could remember that now). The heel is turned the Justena MacDonald way, I think. If I am wrong, then I am sure my family will correct me. Years ago you could tell who knit the socks by the pattern that was used i.e. heel turn, cast on method, and stripe pattern.The nice thing about wool socks is they still keep you warm when they get wet.

We used these warm woolies whenever we went out fishing early in the spring, skiiing in the winter, or prepared for any other activity where our feet might get cold. Even though I have many fancy patterns for socks, when people ask me for warm winter socks I knit these (usually at least 3 pair a year).

As I was preparing to teach a friend how to knit socks, I typed out the sock pattern. I thought I would post the pattern here for other knitters:

Old Fashioned Work Socks can be found on Ravelry for $1 in the recent version with logos and a nice picture. The older pattern of old-fashioned-work-socks (updated Feb. 8, 2016) is available for free here.

Thanks for the comment that reminded me to update the pattern). I insert the tables for people who want to check off their rows as they do them. Please comment if you find any errors in this pattern or find it hard to understand.

Live Your Life According to You by HeatherWilson

“Imagine the world if EVERYONE believed in themselves and made choices that followed their hearts and dreams. That would be an amazing place to live. It all starts with you.” Heather Wilson (p. 38).

Wilson starts this book with a story of an ant who wants to change but everyone says it cannot be done. Eventually, he is able to buck tradition and follow his dream. That is what this book is about. “Living Your Life” not just existing or getting by but truly choosing your path, and creating action plans to get there. Wilson even provides the workbook pages in the text.

Right now the message really resonated with me. I am on my own life change journey starting with a healthier lifestyle. Also, my oldest child starts university next year and needs a bit of direction too. I hope that he will read it too. The message is not new but the simple steps make it seem attainable. Anyone who is making a life change should take the time to read this book.

Formosa for sale…

Whenever I need a relaxing get away in Charlottetown, PE I head to the Formosa Tea Room. I love their tea and cuisine. My little get away right in Charlottetown. Generally, I go by myself. I order tea and sometimes food. The atmosphere is what I crave. I know that I rush around too much. When I get there my urgency slips away and lose myself in the flavors and, if I am lucky, a new book.

Last week to my horror I discovered that it is for sale! The family running the shop needs a break too. I can understand, even though I selfishly want them to stay around. Maybe the store will take awhile to sell, maybe it will sell quickly, but for those of you who are as hooked as I am make sure you stop by before they are gone.

Family focused Saturday

There are not many slow Saturdays for us. My baby, Bicca, and I were the only two up early. We decided to go to a pancake breakfast before her choir practice. The Dunstaffenage 4H club was hosting a pancake breakfast with proceeds to support Japan relief efforts. Knowing how important it is to get people at pancake breakfast, enjoying some mother-daughter time,  and loving breakfast made us kind of hyper on the way there. It was a beautiful day. We were pleased to be up early enjoying it.

Half-way there I realized that I should have checked out where the hall was. Bicca was talking a mile a minute, while I was madly scanning for the hall. I should not have worried, the 4H kids were on the front lawn waving traffic in for breakfast. There were so many volunteers and a nice crowd for a small community early on a Saturday morning. At the table, Bicca started with apple juice and a chocolate chip muffin. I got a coffee and orange juice to drink. We were still talking about how great that was  enjoying muffins and cheese, when a couple of girls brought us our pancakes, sausage, and orange slice. Yes, I cheated on the gluten free part of my lifestyle change, but hey it was our morning. It was so yummy and fun to have some girl time. We ate quickly as we had to get back to Cornwall for nine-thirty choir practice.

Later, Hubby and I stopped at Bluefield Natural Products Meat Shop in North River. My parents were coming for a BBQ and we wanted some great island grown organic beef. The service there is wonderful. They suggested some steak rolled with bacon, sirloin steak, and healthy hot dogs. At home, we added potatoes, and salad to the meal (I did not cheat and have potatoes, although the kids said they were amazing). An enjoyable afternoon of visiting and cooking was shared. I love a big family supper. All the kids got to enjoy time with us, although my oldest had to leave for work shortly after we finished eating.

Topping off the afternoon, hubby’s parents stopped by for a quick chat in the yard. We were able to catch up on what was going on and plan for our Easter Saturday celebration in Summerside. Before I went out to enjoy the ECMAs, hubby and I watched one of our favorite shows, then I grabbed what I had planned to be quick nap. When I awoke I realized that I had probably missed the people I’d hoped to meet.

My baby boy and I headed off to UPEI for stargazing. It was cloudy but I did not have the heart to tell him that we may not see anything. He was very chatty all the way in, as the middle child, he loves one on one time together. Many parents of teens will realize what a treat it is to actually get to hear what is going on with your teen. We met friends on campus and spent time chatting before heading up to the observatory. It turned out that all we could see was the moon and even it was unclear. He still enjoyed seeing the telescope and fooling around with everyone who was there.

This slow Saturday ended up be family filled fun.

Spring Knitting

Spring is such a wonderful time of year. I love the joy of a warm sunny day with the promise of more to come. Saturday I spent a couple of hours soaking up the sun on the back deck knitting a sleeve for Daniel’s sweater. By this point, I realize that I have started many more projects then I can realistically finish before outdoor activities curtail my knitting to only a few hours a week. As I sat there knitting, I would notice numerous yard projects that I need to get to. Another case of many projects puttered away at moving from one to another without finishing many. The story of my life.

My husband tells me the knitting never stops. He even had to snap a picture of me knitting on our trip to Cuba this March. O.K. so I admit I am a bit of a knitting nut. I need the knitting. It calms me, especially when planes are delayed. Plus, the sweater in the picture was for a baby shower happening the Sunday we returned. I love knitting, my Friday night knitters, and the beautiful projects that I create for friends and family. It is a good addiction.

Yes I even knit on vacation