Cherylcan's Blog

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Archive for Nutrition

Getting on Track and Living Simply

On Monday I finally recorded Episode 21 of CAWcreations Podcast (well vlog actually but many knitters still refer to their videos as podcasts). I had hoped it would be a month between episodes but it was more. I am feeling behind on everything and playing catch up. I hate this feeling and am working toward a simple living plan that will give me more time.

The hardest thing is not packing my nights and weekends with events that are draining more than they are fulfilling and replacing them with time with family and friends that I find invigorating. This means that sometimes I have to say no to things that I know I cannot do. It is freeing. For example, Wednesday night I skipped knitting to work on a pattern that I am trying to get out this week. I missed seeing my friends but I got to bed at a decent time instead of working after I got home. That late night work is not great anyways, especially when doing final edits.

I am also trying to clean out my craft room. It is now at the point where it looks worse than when I started. I need to do a stash purge and give away some of the material. This is hard because “I just might need that!”. Let me be real. I have not sewn in ages. I need to take my machine in for servicing. I have three… yes three quilts half finished. One for a military friend who has had two postings since I started it. Now I cannot even walk in the door. I have to pick at it this weekend. It is so bad that my husband would not go in to get a chair one day because there was no path through to the chair (that is 3 feet from the door). I can even see the mess now as I write and am feeling stressed about it. This used to be my go to room to relax in.

Now for the good news I am feeling healthier. It is this eating plan where I focus on vegetables and fruit with few processed foods. Some days are better than others but I am generally feeling better, no more running to the bathroom all the time and fewer migraines. Last night I wanted to be bad but instead I cut up a sweet potato and made fries from scratch using coconut oil. So good and my children loved them too. I think even making sure I drink enough water is helping.

My mindfulness and meditation focus is helping my positive outlook. Walking in the morning at coffee break or a short meditation (I am a fair weather walker even a hint of rain or wind and I will balk) makes my mornings so much better. Then I can focus on simple things like enjoying an especially good pot of coffee or how beautiful my plants look.

Here is to appreciating the little rainbows in each day!

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Lunch at the Market

I love our summer routine of going to the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market for lunch. It is great to go for a walk in the middle of the day and to see so many familiar faces. The market makes me happy. My only issue is choosing what to have. Everything is so good that I have trouble choosing.

Coffee comes first at the Caledonia House/Coffee Corner. They have wonderful double lattes. I can even get my almond milk. If you just need regular coffee you can get that too. If it is a really warm day I will go for a lemonade at the Hand Popped Kettle Corn booth (as I can get it without sugar). Alternatively, I will grab an ice tea lemonade mix from Lady’s Baker’s Tea Trolley.

Food choices always depend on my mood. Out of Africa has my favourite samosas because I absolutely love the green sauce. Everything is good so I let Makena decide when I am hungry enough for a full meal. La Sazon de Mexico is amazing, but I love their Mexican breakfast which I get on Saturday. Wednesday is my day to try something else. If I decide to have bread then I have to choose between: Chef Ross’ smoked salmon on a bagel (he has many other great things including a lobster roll but I crave the smoked salmon if I get anything else); or The Hearth’s cheese, sprouts and tomato sandwich on homemade bread. Finally, I will go to Shaddy’s for a falafel. That does not even begin to cover all the other great things. These are my repeated choices.

Nurturing Essence Raw Chocolate is always my dessert. Any time I host an event I get Katlin to choose some treats for me to share. I love chocolate but this raw chocolate is my favourite by far.

The Charlottetown Farmers Market is open on Saturday and Wednesday from 9 am to 2 pm in the summer. In the winter, it goes back to a Saturday only market. If you are in Charlottetown any of those days you have to check it out.

Gluten Free Subway Bun

Today for lunch tried the gluten free bun at Subway. It costs an extra $1 in Canada but is so worth it in my view. I got the butter chicken sub with Swiss cheese, spinach, jalapenos, and cucumber. I did not get anything I should not eat on it. This is a major accomplishment because I try to be gluten, lactose and nightshade free (O.K. so jalapenos are nightshades but there was only a few on it and I did not have green peppers too). I juggle the cheats when I go out to eat and try not to have more than one at any meal. The butter chicken was not amazing to me. I found the taste was not as “bold” as I was expecting, so I would have preferred my normal go to sub – turkey bacon. But it was fun to try something new.

My sub was toasted. The warm gluten free bun was great, at least according to my taste buds. It had the moisture and texture of fresh regular bread (sometimes I find my gluten free choices and dry and crumbly). I did not have any of my children with me so was not able to do the kid test. If they say it is good then I can actually take it somewhere or recommend it. Today I am going to be wild and crazy and recommend it anyways without their endorsement. I really enjoyed it and did not have any of the after effects that I would get from regular Subway buns.

 

Peanut Chicken and Vegetables

So I tried a new slow cooker recipe today. I had to modify so much it is not even close to the original now, but it smells amazing.

I love slow cooker recipes because you can chop everything the night before. Chill overnight in separate bowls then mix it up quickly the day you plan to serve it.

1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 package of frozen diced chicken (approx 2 lbs.)

3 medium onions (approx. 1.5 cups) thinly sliced

1 tsp garlic plus (did not have garlic cloves)
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt (I just ground some pink rock salt into it)

2 TBSP warm water
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter (almond butter if you prefer)

Chopped and cooked to desired hardness:
3 lbs. potatoes
2 heads broccoli

1/4 cup grated zucchini
2 TBSP chopped unsalted peanuts (optional use almonds if use almond butter)
1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (or 3/4 tsp., 4 mL, dried), optional)

Heat cooking oil in large frying pan on medium heat. Add diced chick. Cook until browned. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add onion to same large frying pan. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often until softened.

Add next three ingredients (garlic, curry, crushed pepper). Heat and stir for one minute until fragrant.

Mix 1/4 cup broth with cornstarch, mix until smooth. Add all broth, and salt. Stir well. Pour over chicken. Cover. Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on High for 4 to 4.5 hours.

Stir warm water into peanut butter in small cup until smooth. Add to chicken mixture. Stir. Add potatoes and broccoli. Stir well. Cover cook on high for about 5 minutes. Remove to serving bowl.

Scatter zucchini, peanuts and cilantro over top.

Mom’s Bean Salad

1 20 oz can green beans
1 20 oz can yellow beans
1 14 oz can lima beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1/4 cup onions, coarsely chopped

Rinse kidney beans under water to remove sauce. Drain beans well in colander.

Mix together:

3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup mazola oil (do not use olive oil when storing in fridge)
1/2 cup vinegar (flavour you prefer just plain works)
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a bottled and shake well to blend. Pour over the beans in a large bowl with a tight cover. Let stand in fridge for 12 to 14 hours.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1/4 tsp worchestershire sauce
2 TBSP sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp chopped chives or minced onions
1/4 tsp paprika

Combine above ingredients in a glass jar. Add:

1/2 cup vegetable oil (do not use olive oil as it will congeal in fridge)
1/4 cup vinegar

Shake very well. Let sit 2-4 hrs at room temperature.

Wash

8 cups spinach

Tear into bite sized pieces. If you cut it, the the spinach will wilt faster. Shake dressing to taste, over spinach and lightly mix. (I always have lots of extra dressing)

Add

2 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional, but I like to toast mine)

Toss gently and serve.

Recipes to add iron…

Canoe Corner asked about recipes that could add iron to a diet. One of my favorites follows:

Boston Baked Beans modified for Canada

  • 2 cups beans
  • 1/2 kg fresh pork
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 TBSP dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or molasses for traditional Boston Baked Beans)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 TBSP ketchup (optional)

Simmer beans for two hours in excess of water, until soft. Cut pork into 3 cm squares and line bottom of your crock pot (or whatever pot you use). Cut onion into large slices and layer on top of bacon. Drain water off beans and pour over onions (If you are using a slow cooker the beans will not get any softer than when you put them in the pot. Make sure they are the desired softness before draining off the water.) In a bowl mix dry mustard (and brown sugar if using it) until all lumps are gone and well blended if blending. Add water (and molasses and ketchup if desired). Pour over top of beans. Place cover on crock and cook on low all day, for 6-8 hrs, or on high for 4 hours. (If cooking in oven use 225 F for 6 to 8 hrs).

Note: Replacing the molasses with maple syrup makes for much lighter beans. You can add brown sugar to darken but I find they are too sweet that way. I usually omit the brown sugar and ketchup when I make the maple syrup ones.

Baked beans are great on a cool rainy day. For the summer weather, I do have some great salad recipes too. I will have to remember to upload my recipes for my Strawberry Spinach Salad, and Bean Salad, at a later date.