Archive | April 2013

How busy is too busy?

It’s been a while since I posted last. I’ve been pushing more 12 hour days than id like. I need a better way at combining all of my things. So far I only have one day off a week but its clearly not enough. Then as soon as June is done I have only part time work since teaching dance is done for the season. Ah the dilemma.

I’ve been working on a new song list for a group fitness cardio dance blast class. It’s a 60min cardio and conditioning class I’m calling ” dancing through the decades”. I’m pretty excited about it. Throughout the 60min it goes from music of the 50/60’s, right through to the 90’s. Now that I’m certified I can actually start teaching at places. I’ve just got to get past the nerves. I don’t do we’ll with new things. I know this and I’ve just gotta go for it.

Hopefully ill be adding some exercise videos to this blog instead of recipes only. That’ll be fun.

That’s all I got for today. Tomorrow im volunteering with the lovely Hannah Hart of my drunk kitchen and MyHato on YouTube. Then the rest of the day is mine!!!! Maybe some time to put together some videos 🙂

What are your favourite parts of the fitness classes you’ve participated in? Any dislikes?

Cabbage rolls with carrot purée

These are not your typical cabbage rolls. If you are an avid reader of my blog you will know that I am recovering from a stomach ulcer. The ulcer friendly foods I was confined to were cabbage,carrots, zucchini, rice, etc…
These ingredients got old fast so I had to become creative. Traditional cabbage rolls slathered in tomato sauce is one of my favourite dishes. That being said it did not take me long to come up with cabbage rolls.
Without further adieu here is my adaptation:

Ingredients
Cabbage rolls
1cup cooked Rice
1Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 medium Carrots
1/2 zucchini
1 head green lettuce

carrot purée
5 carrots chopped
1cup of vegetable broth (preferably homemade)

Directions:

Start a pot of water to boil. Make sure this is big enough for your head of cabbage.
If you are planning in enjoying these right away preheat your oven to 350

Sweat your onion and garlic in your coconut oil. Dice up your carrots and zucchini to tiny pieces and add to your Pan with onions and garlic. Cook until the carrots turn bright orange. This only takes a few minutes. They will cook once more so be careful not to fully cook these yet.
Add this mixture to your cooked rice and set aside.

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Your pot of water should be almost ready. Fill a second bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Take your cabbage and peel back the first layer and cut out the core.
Place the whole head in the boiling water. You will notice that the leaves will separate from the head of cabbage. This is when I took then out and put into a cold bath. Do this until you have no cabbage left. I’m not sure how necessary the cold water bath was but I know it will stop the cooking process so they don’t over cook and I thought handling would be easier with them not burning hot.

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After that is done I put my carrots for my purée in a pot. I put some broth to just cover the carrots. I guesstimated my measurement because I actually did eyeball this one. Then bring this to a boil until carrots are soft

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As your carrots cook lets get to the rolling. To be honest I’ve never made cabbage rolls ever so I’m pretty proud about how I managed to make these work.
The rolling method is not complicated. Add your rice and veg mixture to the middle centre of your cabbage rolls. Roll the stem side in and under the rice. Fold both sides in and roll to the top. This picture is probably best to look at:

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Voila! Not too shabby if you ask me 🙂

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As you can see I just used a square baking dish to put the rolls in.

By now your carrots are probably ready. Transfer the whole pot into a blender. Set to purée mode and go to town. If its not blending add more broth a tablespoon at a time.

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Now your ready to slather this on your pro skill cabbage rolls.

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You can put this in your oven now or later. Make sure it’s 350 for about 30 min.
Enjoy

Back to the daily grind

Sorry for not posting over the weekend. I was way to tired at the end of the nights and just didn’t feel like it. I can tell today that PMS was to blame for my defiance in posting lol.

Well I hope that every one had a wonderful weekend. I came to a few tough situations socially.

On Saturday which was a really busy
Matt’s family friend was in town. They decided they wanted to go out to eat. We did some research on some restaurants where I could go. If I didn’t go it would be rude but if I did and did not eat in a restaurant that too would be rude. After a quick search we discovered Karmavore. Its a vegan cafe/grocery store for people who are vegan, raw, celiac, lactose intolerant among other allergies and lifestyles. It was perfect! I was able to get a raw vegan burger. I explained my situation and they adapted my meal just for me 🙂
Here is my delicious “burger” wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.

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I urge you to check it out if your in the area.

So Saturday night Matt’s friends invited us over for a BBQ. I was devastated. I went but ate before hand. We needed to bring an appetizer so that is why I made my bruschetta..,which I could not eat. Matt was nice enough to inform the hosts that I had to eat before hand for health reasons. I had hoped no one would notice I wasn’t eating but of course everyone did. So now instead of blending in I was on spotlight. I didn’t want to elaborate about my ulcer but I got “..the foods not good enough??” from one of the guests, followed by a laugh to make a joke but I still was upset about someone thinking that about me. So to save my reputation I had to explain. I had never met these people before and didn’t want to come across as some yuppie who is better than anyone. After this situation I faded in, which in my embarrassment was perfect for me. The other hardest part is all the food there. It all looked so good. I had eaten at 430. Everyone else ate at 7. By this time I was hungry and thinking I should have packed a snack. By the time 10rolled around when we left I was starving! I’m sure partly psychological because everyone else was eating the entire night except me but none the less I was starving.
I bunged in almonds when I got home. Not a good idea being close to bed but I did anyway.

So that’s most of the exciting notes worth noting about this weekend.

Have you found yourself in these type of situations? How do you handle it?

Fresh tomato bruschetta

I made this bruschetta recipe yesterday for a potluck BBQ at some friends house. Unfortunately due to my stomach conditions I could not eat this. Matt was my taste tester so I trust his word. It was well received at the potluck as well.

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

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Ingredients
2 packages cherry or grape tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic ( I love using lots)
1/2 red onion
Handful fresh basil and parsley
Parmesan cheese to taste
Squeeze of Lemon
Baguette

Start by cutting your tomatoes. I like them quite small. I dislike finger appetizers that fall all over the place. I find finely chopped bruschetta is easier to handle.

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Next, I used a mandolin for the onion. I also hate huge chunks of onion all of a sudden in your mouth. It can be overwhelming.
Then mince your garlic. I just use a sharp chefs knife to make it small. Like onion it can be overwhelming when to large.
I love fresh herbs and they make this recipe. If you use dried its honestly just not the same. If you roll your herbs in a ball and cut them that way it’s a lot easier. Chop your herbs fine as well.
Originally I did not add the Parmesan cheese. After Matt tasted it sans the cheese he suggested adding it. Since its salty in itself I did not add salt to this recipe. *Tip: if you grate your cheese with the fine grater it goes a lot farther. You won’t end up using as much cheese. This is both useful for your bank account as well as your calorie count.
After you add the cheese cut your lemon and squeeze into the mixture. You can always add more as you need.

Now that its all in a bowl you can mix it all up and let it sit for a few hours. This helps all the flavours meld together.

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You can use a lot of different things as a vehicle for your bruschetta. As a kid I used to put in on toast or a bagel. Last night we just cut some baguettes cut on an angle. We opted not to toast the bread but you could, just be careful not to over do it otherwise you’ll have raw gums trying to bite into it.

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Once your ready,spoon your mixture onto your bread. Don’t do it too soon. The bread could become soggy if it sits too long.

I really hope you like this recipe. Like most of mine they are fast easy and frugal. Hopefully soon ill be able to enjoy bruschetta 🙂

Fast veggie soup

Fast Veggie Soup
This recipe can be gluten free and it’s ulcer friendly.

Ingredients
this is rough as it can be adapted to suit your taste
1cup + 4 cupsHomemade (or low sodium organic) veggie broth.
1/2 cup rice (rinsed)
2cups Veggies of choice
Herbs of choice (optional)

Place 1cup of veggie broth in a pot with the rice. Bring to a boil then turn temperature to low to simmer for about 15min or until rice is almost cooked

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While rice is on simmer chop your veggies as you wish. I like a chunkier soup so I made my veggies bigger.

Once rice has parboiled and veggies are cut add 4 cups of veggie broth.
Bring temperature higher an bring to a light boil. Add veggies and simmer for 10 min.

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Your done!
Fast, easy, and Frugal

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Enjoy!

Thursday… On Friday

Week is almost over….for most people anyway.
I get home at 11pm on Thursdays and I pre made lunch for today. Forgive me, I did not post yesterday.
Yesterday was a great day. I woke up at 7 and did choreography till 2. I did pause for my usual breakfast routine and lunch which was veggie soup.
I had a very important task to do yesterday. I have been working towards getting my BCRPA certification in group fitness training. I did my fitness theory an my practicum and all the rest that goes with it. I got my video submission for my ICE(individual competency exam) back and I did very well. Mild gloating moment….I owned it! Im very proud. So yesterday was the day I handed in all my paperwork the the office downtown. They even let me do my renewal at the same time. Good thing because mine was expiring April 30th. Anyway as all that was hanging on me to get done I got it done. I was so happy I took tho photo in the elevator on the way down. Never mind the face….. I wanted to see if the security guard would say anything as I exited the building. There’s a camera and they watch on he screen in the front. Plus, how old is the duck face??? I’ve got the new selfie look down pat! This look emphasizes the largeness of your beautiful eyes and shows off your teeth and tongue. Can’t tell from the picture but that’s a sexy mouth……

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Hahahaha

Anyway, back on track.
After this I was early for dance so I took a walk along the water and enjoyed Mother Nature. She’s not PMSing so we have been pretty lucky.

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I had dance again today 🙂 a lyrical, tap and jazz class. I was definitely ready for bed after all of that. I barely remember even getting Into bed.

Overall it was a nice day. I was able to relax and enjoy life in the most simple things. I could have taken the bus to dance but I decided to walk and I’m so glad I did.

Was it sunny and beautiful where you were? How did you enjoy Mother Nature today?

Soaking your Nuts? Why?

I never even thought that I should be soaking my nuts overnight. Here is an article Deidre (holistic nutritionist) sent to me.
Quite interesting. I find it brings out the almond flavor out more too 🙂

The Benefits of soaking nuts and seeds

By: Delicia Beaty and Sharon Foutch

Soaking nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes

Nature has set it up so that the nut, grain and seed may survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defense mechanism includes nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after the nut, grain or seed germinates. When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains and seeds.

Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts grains and seed can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. These inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

What are Enzyme inhibitors?

There are digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes. Digestive enzymes help break down food. Metabolic enzymes help every biological process the body does. Enzyme inhibitors will clog, warp or denature an active site of an enzyme. They may also bind to the enzyme, which will prevent the intended molecule from binding. “Once again, the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess.”

What are Phytates?

“All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.”

 

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

  • 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  • 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

“Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

What can be used to soak nuts, grains and seeds?

I have found many references to soaking nuts, grains, and seeds in water, salt water, or a warm water mixture with something acidic like yogurt, whey or lemon juice. It seems within 7 to 24 hours the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the anti-nutrients are broken down regardless of the method you choose. There is evidence that the process works when you see sprouting begin.

How long does the soaking process take?

“As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.” “Flour products should be soaked at room temperature for at least twelve hours but better results may be obtained with a twenty-four hour soaking.”

 

Are the nuts, grains and seeds used wet?

I have enjoyed almonds wet. If you choose to try consuming anything in the soaked state, make little batches and store them in the refrigerator. Usually everything that is soaked is dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting for 24 – 48 hours to remove all moisture.

Wheat berries can be soaked whole for 8 to 22 hours, then drained and rinsed. Some recipes use the whole berries while they are wet, such as cracker dough ground right in the food processor. You can also dry sprouted wheat berries in a low-temperature oven or dehydrator, and then grind them in your grain mill and use the flour in a variety of recipes. Nuts, grains, seeds and legumes can be ground up to use as flour in many recipes after they have been dried.

 

Any advice on what to do with legumes?

Maureen Diaz recommends soaking any beans or legumes in water and vinegar for at least twelve hours before cooking. Soaked and dried beans may be ground up and used as flour for thickening and baking. This is helpful for those on a gluten free diet.

One recommendation includes placing soaked kombu or kelp seaweed in the bottom of the pot when soaking legumes. Add one part seaweed to six or more parts legumes. This is for improved flavor and digestion, more nutrients, and faster cooking. “Soak legumes for twelve hours or overnight in four parts water to one part legume. For best results, change the water once or twice. Lentils and whole dried peas require shorter soaking, while soybeans and garbanzos need to soak longer. Soaking softens skins and begins the sprouting process, which eliminates phytic acid, thereby making more minerals available. Soaking also promotes faster cooking and improved digestibility, because the gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes are released into the soak water. Be sure to discard the soak water. After bringing legumes to a boil, scoop off and discard foam. Continue to boil for twenty minutes without lid at beginning of cooking to let steam rise (breaks up and disperses indigestible enzymes).”