You Are Not Hungry…

I need to remind myself of this more often!

not hungry bored

Thanks to Get Moving Princess for posting this on Pinterest. Check out my Health and Fitness Pinterest board for more inspiration.

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Veering Off The Path

Veered off my path this year and got a little lost. Mostly in terms of exercise. It has become pretty well non-existent. Coincidentally, it happened the moment I stopped seeing a trainer. This gal clearly needs a trainer to keep me motivated!

My clean eating comes and goes. I do great one day and not so much the next. I have accepted, like any addiction, eating clean, healthy, whole foods will be a life long challenge. I, Ester, am addicted to sugar. And all things fresh bread! And Chinese food – that’s a food group right?!

One thing that is new to me that I think will be key to my success is meal planning. I recently joined a Meal Planning course to help me become more organized in the kitchen. This will be instrumental in reducing my family’s bad ‘take out’ habit. I’m on week 2 of the six week course. Stay tuned as a report back on how this is going.

So here we go again. I am testing out water kefir and back to making smoothies. I still juice vegetables from time to time but I will be working on making this a more consistent appearance in my weekly menu.

I’m happy to be back and look forward to sharing my journey and hearing how your journey is going too!

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Getting Kids Involved In Clean Eating From The Ground Up

Six months ago my kid’s definition of vegetables was tomatoes. On a good day they would take a bite out of raw broccoli or a carrot. Their diet consisted of fruit, dairy, meat and goldfish. Yes, goldfish crackers. It was a staple in their diet. 

When I started my clean eating journey I knew the only way it would work was if I included my family. I wasn’t about to be a short order cook making separate meals for each of us. Surprisingly it has been easier to get us ALL on board and extremely fun! From experimenting with different smoothie flavours (too much kale and they go a running); to having them involved in the washing, peeling, and stirring; to gardening. Yup that’s right. Gardening!

What better way for them to appreciate where our food comes then to involve them in growing our own food. Now for those that don’t know me, I live in Winterpeg. It is March 28 and we still have 5 feet of snow in our yard. No joke! So we are starting indoors with our herbs.

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My son filling our pot with soil.

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To avoid sibling rivalry ensure they each have their own pot and scooping bowl!

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Messy? Yes! But fun and something they surely will remember!

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Their job isn’t over yet! They get the responsibility of watering our herbs.

For now we planted Stevia, Basil, Parsley and Cilantro. We plan to grow more during the next coming weeks.

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Watch this summer as we embark on growing our very own vegetable garden!

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Strawberry Kiwi Delight Smoothie

It’s been almost six months in my weight loss journey. I get a lot a people asking me how I have lost so much weight. I’m sorry to report there is no magic pill. It’s good old healthy eating and exercise. You know the saying ‘you are what you eat’. Yup, it’s true!!!

My biggest obstacle at the beginning was eating breakfast. Let me rephrase that. Eating a proper breakfast. Coffee, more coffee, and reheating coffee is not breakfast. So I discovered smoothies. Easy and quick to make. I can take it on the run. And it’s loaded with nutrients. It will make approximately 3 cups. 

Here is a family favourite that your kids are sure to love!

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Ingredients: 

  • 3 kiwiis
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup Almond Milk (your choice of milk or milk substitute will work)
  • 1/2 cup water (add more or less to your desired consistency)

Directions:

Peel your kiwi and wash your produce. Throw it all in the blend and blend away! Easy peasy! It may look a bit green, but the moment your kids take a sip they will love it! 

Note: If using fresh strawberries you will want to add some ice to the blender to give it the icy smoothie texture. You may also substitute the hemp seeds with chai seeds or ground flax seeds. 

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Quinoa Veggie Burger

We’ve been on a journey of eating less meat and finding alternatives to our favourite meals. My husband called me on the way home from work one day craving a burger. So I jumped on the opportunity to trick him into a delicious burger that wasn’t filled with his ‘manly’ beef!

I found a great recipe in my Quinoa Revolution cookbook and adapted it with stuff I already had at home. You can find the original recipe on page 148 of the cookbook which I highly recommend you buy!

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Here’s how you can make this amazing burger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onions (I finely chopped mine to a puree texture for a picky kid who can find onions in just about anything!)
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup of Bothwell Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats (gluten-free if required)
  • 1 Tbsp sodium-reduced tamari or soy sauce (gluten-free if required)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees Celsius). Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. I highly recommend using parchment paper so it doesn’t stick. I learned this the hard way!!

Cook the quinoa in a medium saucepan by combining the 1/2 cup red quinoa with the 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

In a large saucepan add the grapeseed oil on medium heat. Add onions* and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are soft and transparent. Add the mushrooms*, garlic*, oregano and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, beat the egg. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, shredded Bothwell cheese, toasted walnuts, oats and tamari (soy) sauce. Place 1/2 cup portions of the burger mix onto the baking sheet and shape into 8 or 9 patties 1 inch (2/5 cm) thick. Be sure to leave 1 inch between each patty. Bake for 27 to 30 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy. Serve on your favourite hamburger bread (gluten-free bread if required). Add your favourite garnishes, such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mustard, ketchup or sprouts. My husband loves his cheese, so he added Bothwell Cheese Horseradish to his.

If you are in the Winnipeg area and are looking for some great gluten-free products, we found fabulous gluten-free hamburger buns at Lorenzo’s Specialty Foods at 1060 St. Mary’s Road. You can find gluten-free mustard, ketchup, oats, tamari sauce and so much more at Lorenzo’s or Vita Health.

So, how did it turn out? Both kids and my husband gave it two thumbs up! My kids thought they were eating meat, and my husband was hooked. He even took one for work the next day. The best part was we didn’t feel sluggish and bloated after eating our burgers. Next time I plan to make home-made sweet potato fries to accompany our burgers.

*Tip for those with picky eaters. I used my food processor and pureed my onions. Then I pureed my mushrooms and the garlic together. Neither kid noticed when eating their burger.

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Pumpkin Muffins Using Whole Spelt

We cut out white flour a while ago (with the exception of some special dinners involving fresh bread) and I’ve been reducing our whole wheat bread consumption. So I’ve been on the hunt for flour alternatives. I bought a bag of whole spelt a few months back and have been testing it out on various recipes. I was lucky to come across a pumpkin muffin recipe using spelt. I tested it out and the kids gave it two thumbs up. Here’s the recipe with some alterations (I used agave instead of honey).

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour

• 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend 

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 2 eggs

• 1/2 cup agave (or honey)

• 1/3 cup melted butter

• 1 cup of pumpkin puree 

• 1/2 cup of cranberries (or substitute of choice such as any dried fruit, nuts or for a treat add some chocolate chips)

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin pans with liners and set aside. Can use large or mini muffin pans. I like using mini muffin pans to make these a perfect size for the kids.

2. Mix together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and drop in the eggs, agave, and melted butter. Mix together until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. 

4. Pour the batter into the muffin pan so it’s evenly distributed. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes clean, about 18 – 20 minutes. Store at room temperature (can also be frozen).

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Thanks to Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food for this recipe! I can’t wait to try out the other recipes she has listed using spelt.

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Attitude

Words to live by……

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact
of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than
education, than money, than circumstances,
than failures, than successes, than what other
people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance,
giftedness or skill. It will make or break a
company….a church….a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice
every day regarding the attitude we will
embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past….we cannot
change the fact that people will act in a certain
way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one
string we have, and that is our attitude….

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens
to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you…we are in charge of
our attitudes.

— Charles R. Swindoll

charlesswindollquote

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My Whole Journey

Welcome to my journey of living ‘whole’.

This past year has been life changing to me. I hit my all time unhealthiest state. The heaviest ever (with the exception of two pregnancies), depression, anxiety, sleep deprived and ‘spent’. Exhaustion beyond a healthy state. So here I am. It took major life changes, loads of research, constant self motivation and the ‘buy in’ of myself to change my habits. While it’s only been four months, I am healthy, eating clean and whole foods, and exercising, all while raising my family in an industrialized, process food, fast paced world. I’ll share with you my up’s and down’s, my struggles, new findings, tips, recipes, motivations, and more. 

So stay tuned…. this journey has just begun!

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