6 Months Later….

6 Months Later…..

My latest progress report

As I mentioned in my previous post this week, I was on holidays the week before my 6 month check in. I am sure some of you were expecting shocking results, but no, the pictures and measurements are pretty much the same. In fact, I gained 3 pounds on holidays, but I do not regret it! We had a wonderful time, I enjoyed ice cream, hamburgers, and hot dogs; all the yummy goodness that you should enjoy while camping. I am back to the grind this week. Ice cream and goodies were left back in Penticton, but I still have so many yummy healthy foods to enjoy! Again the results are not jaw dropping, but I promised I would update every two months so here they are: 

Weight (lbs) Waist (in) Bust (in) Chest (in) Hips (in) Thigh (in) Calf (in) Arm (in)
Start 200 39 40 35 46 27 16 13
Month 1 190 38 39 33 44 26.5 15.5 12.5
Month 2 185 35 38.5 32.5 43 26 15 12
Month 3 182 34.5 37.5 32 42.5 25.5 15 12
Month 4 182 34 37.5 32 42.5 25.5 15 12
Month 5 182 34 37.5 32 42 25.5 15 11.5
Month 6 185 34 37 32 42 25 15 11.5
Month 7 185 34 37 32 42 25 15 11.5
Month 8 185 34 37 32 42 25 15 11
Month 9 185 33 37 31.5 42 25 15 11
Month 10 185 33 37 31 41.5 25 15 11

         Front                             Side                            Back                

               Start 

Before 1   Before 2   Before 3

2 months 

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4 months 

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6 months 

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My Top 5 List

Month 6 – Week 4

My top 5 lists for breakfast, lunch, & dinner


Reflecting on my journey after half a year

Hi friends! Sorry I am posting SO late!!! I was on holidays last week and the wireless was kind of terrible. However I did not mind being disconnected, it was nice to focus just on family for a week. Along with being disconnected from electronics, I took the week off from meal planning. I ate terribly and I did not regret a minute of it! Even after weighing in with an extra 3 pounds on the scale. Holidays are meant for ice cream, snacking, and not feeling guilty as you indulge.

The only downside to a week of no planning was terrible timing. My week off coincided with my 6 month anniversary since starting this blog. I really struggled if I should take a week off at such a crucial milestone, but then I realized I do not have an end goal. This journey is all about SUSTAINABILITY! While 6 months is significant, setting goals at key intervals was never the purpose of this blog. I have to remember that. My hope is to adopt smart habits that will help me obtain and maintain a body that I am happy with, while still enjoying life’s simple pleasures like Tickleberry’s ice cream at the beach!   

Speaking of 6 months, I cannot believe that it has been half a year since I embarked on this journey! Even more so I cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since I was officially diagnosed with ARVC. How life has forever changed in such a short time. I am still getting use to my new reality. 

My weight loss journey has definitely plateaued since the first 2 months, but I am happy with the sustainability of my program. In fact, I love that my “program” is not at all a program, rather a smart approach to daily living. My “diet” has the best of both worlds. There has been little to no impact on the routine of my family’s lifestyle, but I have definitely noticed a change in the improvement of my body composition.  Charley and Jordan have been grateful that I have not forced them to eat quinoa and chicken for the past 24 weeks. And as I mentioned earlier, I have also not had to deprive myself of all the wonderful treats that make your heart smile. I am looking forward to seeing what the next 6 months of this journey will have in store. 

Thank you so much to all of you for your wonderful support and encouragement through this crazy adventure! I love you all! In honour of celebrating 6 months since the start of Fitless Flavor, I am going to share with you my top 5 favourite Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners. It was extremely difficult to narrow this list down but here it is, some of my favourite recipes so far: 


 Top 5 Breakfast Recipes

5. Breakfast pizza

Week 10, Day 3: 490 kcal

Who does not love breakfast? and who does not love pizza? So who would not love a breakfast pizza? Right!!! I really do not feel that this even requires further discussion. The words breakfast and pizza together is enough to understand why this dish is number 5 on list.

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4. Toasted coconut blueberry breakfast quinoa

Week 14, Day 3: 442 kcal

I have toasted quinoa before and found it to be an unnecessary extra step. It was tedious and did not really add any additional flavour. When this recipe called for toasting the quinoa I was not excited; more work for no reason. But HOLD THE PHONE!!! Toasting the quinoa in this recipe is what solidifies this dish at number 4 on my top 5 list. The flavour of the quinoa absorbs from being toasted in the coconut oil before cooking is fantastic! It provides a wonderful rustic and subtly sweet flavour that permeates the entire dish. LOVED this dish! Just writing this makes me want to go and make this dish again. 

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3. Blueberry banana quesadilla

Week 5, Day 3: 351 kcal

I know this quesadilla recipe only contains 5 ingredients, but something magical occurs when you warm them all together in a skillet until golden brown! I guess you will just have to see for yourself why this recipe came in at number 3 on the list. It only takes 5 minutes to make this recipe and I am sure you have all these ingredients in your fridge, so no excuses! 

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2. Any of the chia jam recipes

Strawberry Week 9, Day 3: 281 kcal

Blueberry Month 6, Week 3, Day 3: 292 kcal

Chia jams are wonderfully fresh. I also love that they are not sickly sweet in comparison to grocery store jams. Aside from tasting heavenly, chia jams add a nutrient packed punch that other jams do not. Chia seeds are high in fibre, omega 3 fatty acids, phosphorus, and magnesium. It is easy to see why the chia jam recipes came in at number 2 on my list.   

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1. Vegan Whole Wheat Chia Waffles

Week 11, Day 2: 535 kcal

I know this surprised me too! By no means am I vegan or even a vegetarian, but there is something so cozy and wonderful about this waffle recipe. These waffles have a delightful earthy flavour and make you feel like you are being cuddled in the biggest, softest, warmest blanket ever, in front of a wood burning fire place. I think they refer to that feeling you get from eating something heavenly as comfort food! There is something so comforting about this dish. Definitely my favourite breakfast recipe thus far. 

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 Top 5 Lunch Recipes 

5. Spiralized Greek Cucumber Salad with Lemon and Feta

Month 6 Week 1 Day 4: 241 kcal

I have to laugh that my friend Tamara was so concerned that I might not like this recipe, yet here it is coming in at number 5 on my list. This dish was perfectly simple! It was not overly elaborate. The simple flavours and one ingredient ingredients make this dish irresistible. I was so sad when my plate was done! I could have eaten it all day. I loved the creaminess of the avocado oil with the saltiness of the feta and the freshness of the vegetables. How many others ways can I explain that this was perfect?!!! 

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4. Creamy pumpkin pasta

Week 6 Day 3: 322 kcal

This dish surprised me. I thought it would be sweet, but it was not at all. The spicy kick from the cayenne pepper was amazing. Even though this was a creamy pumpkin sauce it did not feel heavy. This dish was super fast to prepare and had tremendous flavour. 

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3. Mango Basil Pizza

Week 14 Day 1: 303 kcal

This recipe is surprising pleasant. The mango is so refreshing and pairs perfectly with the basil. This simple, fast, and delicious lunch comes in at number 3. 

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2. Zucchini feta hummus and balsamic pizza

Week 5 Day 1: 237 kcal

I made this dish 5 months ago now, but it has still managed to leave an impression. I love how playful this pizza recipe is. I enjoy a good tomato base, but every now and then it is nice to mix it up. The creamy hummus base, with the salty feta, warm grilled veggies, and savoury balsamic reduction puts this mouth-watering dish at number 2. 

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1. Gruyere and Chicken crepe with truffle mushroom sauce

Week 11 Day 3: 513 kcal

I was proud of this recipe. This was one of the first recipes that I just winged it (other than the actual crepe recipe, which was not mine). Before this recipe I would consider myself a ‘recipe follower’ and not a cook. As I a have been spending more and more time in the kitchen I have becoming more confident in my culinary skills. I was delighted when this dish turned out FANTASTIC!!! The rich mushroom sauce with the moist chicken and creamy gruyere cheese was the most scrumptious combination of flavours ever!!! This has by far been my favourite lunch recipe so far!  

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Top 5 Dinner Recipes

5. Coconut Lime Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle aioli

Month 5, Week 1, Day 2: 290 kcal

These tacos were super yummy! I loved the toasted flavour of the coconut with the refreshing hits of the lime zest. The zesty chipotle sauce rounded off the flavours of the sweet coconut prawns perfectly. This dish easily made my top 5 list. 

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4. Glazed Salmon Dinner

Week 2, Day 1: 679

This dish had to make my top 5, coming in at number 4, when my husband actually finished his full portion of salmon with no complaints. Jord HATES salmon, but he throughly enjoyed this dish, along with Charley and myself. The salty, sweet glaze on the salmon is so delicious. The glaze also provides a divine sticky and crunchy texture to the fish. Out of all the salmon dishes that I have tried this one is by far my favourite. 

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3. Mac & Cheese Spaghetti Squash

Month 5, Week 3, Day 2: 373 kcal

How can you go wrong with this dish? You get the best of both worlds: the indulgence of a creamy and cheesy pasta sauce, with the high fibre, low calorie goodness of spaghetti squash. This dish was all kinds of yummy! It was an easy decision to place this dish in the top 5 list, coming in at number 

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2. Prosciutto and goat cheese crepe

Week 6, Day 4: 266 kcal

My mind was blown after this dish! It was the first time I realized you could have a truly fantastic savoury crepe. Before this recipe I always thought that crepes had to be sweet; loaded with sugar and the odd piece of fruit. I was elated to discover that there is whole world of savoury crepe options out there! The creamy goat cheese, with the salty prosciutto, fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, and sweet balsamic reduction is the most heavenly combination of flavours. This recipe comes in at number 2. 

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1. Pork tenderloin with asian cauliflower rice

Week 8, Day 4: 363 kcal

This meal was LIFE CHANGING!!! Who knew cauliflower rice could be so delicious and more satisfying that actual rice?!!! And the amazingly sweet and sticky glaze on the moist pork tenderloin was nothing but epic!!! Hands down this was one of my favourite recipes so far! 

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Month 6 – Week 3

Month 6 – Week 3 

Preparing meals for others with minimal additional work to yourself

This week I adapted the meals that I already had planned to make a couple of dinners for my dear friend who just had the most beautiful baby girl! All I did was double the recipe of what I was already making. This way we still had dinner and I had dinner for my friend. Really without any additional work for myself I was able to bless a friend who really appreciated not having to make dinner. If you would like some unique ideas of what you could do to bless someone else requiring a meal, check out dinner day 1 and day 2 this week. 


Nutritional Analysis

Kcal

Total

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Day 1

1338

360

0

358

33

587

Day 2

1133

446

0

353

0

334

Day 3

1035

292

0

296

88

359

Day 4

1653

384

0

477

0

792

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Proteins (g)

66.73

77.29

83.12

80.81

Carbohydrates (g)

174.76

123.8

122.75

219.02

Fats (g)

45.83

40.58

25.13

51.72

Omega 6 (g)

12.72

2.11

2.26

3.27

Omega 3 (g)

1.98

0.47

1.3

0.28

Dietary Fiber (g)

29.45

28.18

27.61

18.24

Water (ounces)

40

80

70

50

Steps

3,750

4,000

5,750

3,700

Dietary Lows (anything less than 50% of DIV) Vitamin D 4.14 µg, 28% Vitamin D 4.23 µg, 28%, Vitamin E 4.68 mg, 31%, Thiamin 0.48 mg, 43%, Vitamin D 1.39 µg, 9%, Vitamin E 5.35 mg, 36%, calcium 407.81 mg 41%, potassium 1662.98 mg, 35% Vitamin D 2.49 µg 17%, Vitamin E 3.48 mg 23%, Calcium 448.61 mg 45%, Potassium 2001 mg 43 %

These values are approximations. They are accurate but not precise. Many factors can change the accuracy of these numbers. Such as measurement and products purchased. 

My recommended intake based of my sedentary lifestyle 

Total daily Kilocalories: 1733 

Protein (g): 72.57 

Carbohydrate (g): 191.0 – 276.0 

Fat, total (g): 37.0 – 66.0 

Omega-6 fatty acid (g): 12

Omega-3 fatty acid (g): 1.1

Dietary Fiber, total (g): 25 

Water (g): 2700 that is 10.8 cups per day or 86.4 fl oz

  • If you are following along and adopting my meal plans please be aware that everyone’s nutritional needs are very individual. For those who are quite active you may require more calories, along with a varied macronutrient and micronutrient composition in your diet. But please feel free to use and be inspired by my meal plans.

Day 1 


 Breakfast 

Cinnamon apple & pear amaranth porridge (360 kcal) 

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Put amaranth in saucepan with almond milk
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Bring to a boil
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Reduce to a simmer and cover until amaranth is a porridge like consistency

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I like to add extra milk to my porridge

Thoughts: I really enjoy the texture of amaranth. It makes for a really great porridge. This recipe calls for a lot of cinnamon. I love cinnamon but I would maybe only put 1 tsp next time instead of 1 tbsp. I also added an additional 1/2 cup almond milk after I made it. I would definitely consider making this again. 4/5

Original recipe: Nutrition Stripped 

My portion 

  • I had the full amount of amaranth 
  • 1 cup almond milk 
  • 1/2 the apple & pear topping 
  • 1 tbsp walnuts

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup amaranth 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla) 
  • 1 cup water (for cooking, use as much or as little to achieve desired thickness of porridge) 
  • 1/4 cup Fuji apple, diced (I used 1 medium apple)
  • 1/4 cup pear, diced (I used 1 medium pear)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (I would use 1 tsp ground cinnamon instead) 
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tbsp walnuts, chopped 

Instructions 

  1. Bring almond milk and amaranth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes or until amaranth resembles a porridge like consistency. You may add additional water throughout the process, amaranth will continue to absorb the liquid. 
  2. In a separate saucepan combine together apples, pears, maple syrup, & cinnamon. Cook until softened; about 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Stir apple mixture into amaranth and garnish with walnuts and a dash of nutmeg. Top with additional almond milk if you desire. 

Lunch 

Broccoli apple salad (358 kcal)

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Thoughts: This was tasty. The greek yogurt lemon dressing provides a lighter approach to this classic dish. I had some broccoli I had to use up, this was the perfect recipe to do that. 4/5 

Original recipe: The recipe critic 

My portion 

  • 1 1/2 cup salad 

Ingredients 

Salad

  • 1 head broccoli 
  • 1 carrot grated 
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (I used 1 shallot, I find the flavour of shallots less intrusive raw than red onion) 
  • 1 large red apple, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (I used 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, and 1 tbsp flaxseeds) 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I only used 1 tbsp) 
  • 1 slice prosciutto, cooked until nicely crisp (about 30 second per side in a frying pan) 

Dressing 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I only used 1/4 cup) 
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I only used 1/4 cup) 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I used honey) 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/8 tsp pepper 

Instructions 

  1. In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, onion, apples, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and dried cranberries. 
  2. To prepare the dressing, combine together mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat until evenly distributed. Serve chilled and garnished with cooked prosciutto. 

Snack (33 kcal)

  • 1 cup sugar peas

Dinner 

Guinness Beef Stew (587 kcal) 

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Thoughts: My best friend gave birth to the sweetest and most precious baby girl yesterday!!! She is gorgeous! However, this adorable little monkey surprised everyone by showing up two and half weeks early! Of course we are all beyond excited to have her here early, but my dear friend had no time to prepare any meals. This is always one of my go-to meals when I am preparing a dinner for someone else. It is delicious and everyone always enjoys it. The Guinness makes such a delicious and rich gravy. Jordan always gets so excited when I tell him I am making this for dinner! 10/5 

Original recipe: Browned Eyed Baker 

My portion 

  • 2 cups stew 
  • 1 small ciabatta bun 
  • 1/2 tsp margarine 

Ingredients 

  • 1 (3.5 – 4 lbs) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed and cut into 1.5-inch pieces (I just use stewing beef cubes) 
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I only use 1 tbsp) 
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped fine 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (I just use the whole can) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (My friend cannot have wheat so I just used 2 tbsp cornstarch) 
  • 3 cups chicken stock (I usually end up using double this, I always use 6 cups) 
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness draught, divided 
  • 4 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar (I totally forgot this ingredient, but it still turned out amazing, not in diet analysis) 
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme, dried works too 
  • 1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (I use mini potatoes, cut into eighths) 
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and diced 
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley, or dried 
  • *2 cups frozen peas 

Instructions 

  1. Place oven rack on the lower-middle position and preheat to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper. (I like to brown my beef before placing it in the stew, it provides a much richer flavour. So I brown my meat in a frying pan until seared and golden brown on the outside and then remove from heat. This step is just to sear the meat, it will cook as it stews. 
  3. Heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium-high heat, add the onions and salt. Cook string occasionally until well browned, 8-10 minutes. *Make sure you are using a pot that can transfer from the stove top directly into the oven.
  4. Add tomato paste and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour or cornstarch and cook for one more minute. 
  5. Stir in chicken stock, 3/4 cup Guinness, brown sugar and thyme. Be sure to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan as you stir. 
  6. Bring pot to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, approximately 3 minutes. 
  7. Add beef and return stew to a simmer. 
  8. Place pot in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 90 minutes. Stir halfway. 
  9. After 90 minutes add the potatoes and carrots. Place back in the oven and cook for another hour, or until the beef and vegetables are tender. I find an hour for the beef is more than enough time, but the vegetables always take longer than an hour. 
  10. Remove pot from oven and stir in 1/2 cup of Guinness. (I usually never do this step, I only add the Guinness during the cooking stage; I know the alcohol has been cooked off completely). 
  11. After stew has been removed from the heat I add frozen peas. I let the heat of the stew warm the peas. If you add them too early you lose that gorgeous vibrant green colour. 
  12. Serve with a slice of whole grain bread and enjoy! 

*The recipe warns not to use Guinness Extra Stout because it is too bitter. 


Day 2 


Breakfast 

Yam, spinach, egg and feta bowl (446 kcal) 

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Thoughts: This was filling and yummy. However, it is not a quick breakfast to just whip up. It is easy to make, but takes some time. I am undecided if I would make it again. It was good, but (just for you Erin :)!) it was not life changing! Very nutrient dense though. 3.5/5

Inspired by: Edible Perspective 

Ingredients 

  • 1 small sweet potato 
  • 1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 cup spinach 
  • 15 g feta 
  • Dash of pepper 
  • 1/2 cup gooseberries 
  • 1/2 cup strawberries 

Instructions 

  1. Wash potato thoroughly by scrubbing the skin with a vegetable brush. 
  2. Score the top of the potato and brush with oil. 
  3. Place in oven either directly on the rack or on a baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes or until potato is tender. 
  4. Using a spoon mash the potato down to create a small bowl. Add spinach, egg and then top with feta. 
  5. Place back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until egg is cooked and the cheese is bubbly. 
  6. Serve with fruit. 

Lunch 

Tomato tuna melt (353 kcal) 

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Thoughts: If you are watching the carbs or the gluten then you will enjoy this twist on a classic dish. I am not afraid of carbs. I should clarify, I am not afraid of complex carbohydrates. I do not mind a tuna melt on a whole grain slice of bread. My motivation for preparing this dish was not to cut carbs, I just thought it looked fun, I am glad that I tried it. This recipe has not converted me for life away from the classic way to prepare a tuna melt on toast, but I would definitely consider making it this way again. 4/5 

Adapted from: Home Made Interest 

Ingredients (this was my portion)

  • 1 large tomato 
  • 1 can white fin tuna, in water 
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley 
  • dash of salt and pepper 
  • 1 slice (20g) cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup sugar peas 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Remove the top of the tomato and hollow out the inside with a spoon. Be careful not to cut through the bottom of the tomato. 
  3. In a bowl flake tuna and combine with mayonnaise, yogurt, parsley, salt & pepper. 
  4. Scoop tuna mixture into hollowed out tomato. Top with cheese slice and place in oven for 5-7 minutes; until cheese is nice and bubbly. 
  5. Enjoy! I served mine with 1 cup of sugar peas. 

Dinner 

Baked Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps (334 kcal)

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Thoughts: Right after I had Charley I was stuck in the hospital for an additional week on top of the week that I had already been in for. I was living on hospital food and I was not allowed to leave the floor for the two weeks other than to deliver Charley. I remember how desperately I wanted fresh fruit and vegetables when I got home. I had appreciated everyone’s generosity, but I needed a break from the casseroles and just wanted a salad. A dear friend of mine who is clearly able to read my mind brought us a taco salad that night for dinner! It was perfect! Exactly what I needed! 

I have spoken with other friends who have felt the same way. They so appreciated the generosity of the meals prepared, but just longed for something light and fresh. I try to be very conscience about this when I am preparing a meal for someone else. Especially for someone who has had to rely on the help of friends and family for an extended period of time. I usually try to make an effort to make something unique that they hopefully haven’t had already. 

My go to is always lasagna, but recently I have been challenging myself to try new dishes. Also lasagna is a classic so many others also tend to lean towards a lasagna. I do not want to be the 4th lasagna of the week. Now that I have been doing this blog for half a year and my culinary skills have grown, I feel convicted to try new recipes. I want to bless someone who is going through a new transition or a difficult time with something fresh, full of fruits and veggies, just like my dear friend did for me! Along with the beef stew that I had prepared the night before I also took this dish to my friend. It made enough for our family and their family to have dinner. I added quinoa to this dish and loved it! I would definitely consider making this again! 5/5 

Original recipe: Just a taste 

My portion 

  • 2 lettuce wraps
  • 1/4 cup quinoa per wrap 
  • 5 meatballs 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup whole milk (I did not add this, I find ground chicken does not need the extra moisture) 
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (I used 1 cup coconut flour as a binder instead to avoid wheat) 
  • 1 lb ground chicken 
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions 
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic 
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce 
  • 1 large egg (I used 2) 
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce 
  • 1/4 cup blackberry preserves 
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated 
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together milk and Panko breadcrumbs. Let sit for 5 minutes. *I did not do this step. 
  3. Add ground chicken, scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and egg to the bowl with breadcrumb mixture (I just used 1 cup coconut flour instead of breadcrumb mixture)
  4. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. 
  5. Shape chicken mixture into balls using about 2-3 tbsp of meat per ball. 
  6. Place each meatball on prepared baking sheet until all of the chicken mixture is gone. 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until meatballs are fully cooked. (I found 15 minutes was perfect; fully cooked, but still moist. Just make sure they are fully cooked, no pink left in the centre)  
  8. While meatballs are cooking prepare the sauce. Whisk together hoisin sauce and blackberry jam on medium heat in a small sauce pan. 
  9. Remove cooked meatballs from the oven and coat with the glaze. 
  10. To prepare lettuce wrap scoop 1/4 cup quinoa onto a large piece of butter lettuce, top with 1-2 meatballs, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy! 

Day 3 


Breakfast

Blueberry chia jam with hardboiled egg (292 kcal)

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Thoughts: You know me I love chia jam! I especially love that this recipe can be prepared within 15 minutes of wanting to eat it. At 11:30 pm on tuesday I had realized I totally forgot to prepare the jam and I was not going to do it at the point. While you still can prepare the jam the night before, I did it in the morning and it was perfectly gooey, warm, and delicious! I loved the freshness of this recipe with the lemon juice. The lemon juice kept the blueberry jam from being too sweet. I was planning on using the leftovers next week…..there are NO leftovers! Charley also downed this breakfast, she has been eating terribly lately, so this recipe deserves a perfect score 6/5!  

Original Recipe: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen  

My portion 

  • 2 tbsp chia jam 
  • 2 slices whole grain toast 
  • 1 hardboiled egg 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries 
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (I had a panic moment and did not trust the recipe so I added a third tbsp chia seeds, it was still fine, made it thicker) 
  • 2 slices whole grain toast 
  • 1 hard boiled egg 

Instructions

  1. Place blueberries and honey in saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  2. Heat until berries are soft and bubbling; approximately 5 minutes. 
  3. Reduce heat and slightly mash blueberries with a potato masher or fork. 
  4. Add in chia seeds and stir to combine. 
  5. Turn heat back up to medium-low and let it gently bubble until jam thickens; about 5 minutes. Watch that jam does not burn, especially close to the end when chia seeds start to gel.

*Note: Original recipe said that you can store this jam in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  

Lunch 

Avocado, bean and lemon veggie wraps (296 kcal)

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Thoughts: Well if you were trying to sell me on being a vegetarian, this may be the dish to do it! It was light and had all the perfect rustic flavours you hope for from fresh vegetables. I would make this again, especially on a hot summer day! 4.5/5 

Inspired by: The Garden Grazer 

My portion 

  • 3 wraps 
  • 1 cup avocado mixture 
  • 3/4 cup sprouts 
  • 1 roma tomato 
  • 15 g feta cheese 

Ingredients 

  • 15 oz. can cannellini beans 
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cored  
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
  • salt & pepper to taste 
  • 3/4 cup sprouts (I used a deli mixture) 
  • 1 tomato 
  • 15 g feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 1 head butter lettuce (I used the leftover lettuce from dinner tuesday night) 

Instructions 

  1. In a medium bowl mash cannellini beans with a potato masher or fork until all the beans are mashed. 
  2. Add in avocado and mix together while also mashing the avocado. 
  3. Add juice, salt, & pepper to the mixture and combine. 
  4. Scoop 1/3 of a cup of bean mixture onto a butter leaf. 
  5. Top with sprouts, tomatoes, and feta. Enjoy! 

Snack (88 kcal)

  • 2 cups popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar peas

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Dinner

Honey garlic shrimp with zucchini noodles (359 kcal)

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Thoughts: My favourite part of this dish is how quickly it took from prep to eating. There are those days that you just do not feel like cooking, even if you do love it, and today was one of those days. So it helped that this was simple, quick, but turned out restaurant quality! 5/5 

Original recipe: The Cooking Jar I altered the method slightly so if you would like to see the original recipe go to The Cooking Jar

My portion 

  • 8 shrimp 
  • 1/4 cup sauce 
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini noodles 

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb shrimp skin off and tail on (make sure shrimp are defrosted if using frozen) 
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced  
  • 4 tbsp honey 
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 4-5 small zucchini, or 2-3 medium zucchini 
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

Note: For this recipe I used jumbo shrimp 

Instructions 

  1. Combine garlic, ginger, honey and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Spiralize zucchini. 
  3. Warm a frying pan pan over medium heat. Add EVO and first tsp of garlic.
  4. Add zucchini noodles to pan and cook until tender and slightly golden brown.
  5. While noodles are cooking, warm a skillet over medium high heat.
  6. In a medium bowl pour sauce over shrimp and make sure all the shrimp are coated. Place shrimp and sauce directly into the skillet. Depending on the size of the shrimp cook until pink and shrimp has curled in. I used jumbo shrimp so it took about 5 minutes per side. Smaller shrimp may only take about 1 minute per side. 
  7. Serve shrimp on top of zucchini noodles and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. 

Day 4 


 Breakfast

Carrot cake crepes (384 kcal)

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Oh that face!

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Dry ingredients
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Wet ingredients
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wet & dry ingredients together

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I do not know why it looks like she has a tub of maple syrup on her plate. She doesn’t I promise. I am so stingy with real maple syrup because it is so expensive! I only gave her like half a tbsp.

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Thoughts: I had tried to make these a couple of weeks ago, but it was an epic fail. It was the morning that I had to get to my cardiologist appointment. I would have tried a second time, but there was not enough time left. I thought I would attempt the recipe again today. At first I followed the recipe exactly, other than only using coconut sugar. A replacement of coconut sugar for brown sugar is 1:1. So coconut sugar would make no difference. I found that the batter was not holding together when I attempted to flip, and it was also much thicker than a classic crepe. It was almost between a crepe and a crepe. Adding the two additional eggs seemed to help, while the cakes were still on the thicker side, the additional two eggs seemed to prevent the crepe from falling apart when trying to flip it. Aside from the pains and irregular crepe batter constancy this dish was scrumptious! I would definitely consider making this again, but maybe on a saturday when Jord is around! 4/5 

Original recipe: Carls bad craving 

My portion 

  • 2 crepes 
  • 3 tbsp chia jam 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 

Ingredients 

Wet ingredients 

  • 2 cups peeled carrots, roughly chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (any kind is fine, but nonfat) 
  • 2 eggs (I used 4 eggs) 
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Dry ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used coconut sugar) 
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar (again I just used coconut sugar) 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger 

Blueberry sauce (I did not use this portion of the recipe, instead I used leftover blueberry chia jam from the day before, the jam has a lot less sugar and is one less step to worry about. Diet analysis considers chia jam not this portion of the recipe) 

  • 1 pint blueberries 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch 

Cream cheese filling (Again, I did not include this portion of the recipe. I am sure it would taste heavenly, but sadly this filling does not fit with my meal plan).  

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (optional) 
  • 2 tbsp milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Topping: pure maple syrup 

Instructions 

  1. In a large bowl, combine together dry ingredients until well combined. Set aside. 
  2. Add carrots to blender with 1/2 cup milk. Pulse until carrots are broken up and then mix until smooth. 
  3. Add the rest of the milk along with eggs, butter, and vanilla. Process until smooth. 
  4. Combine wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at leaf 30 minutes, while preparing blueberry sauce and filling. (I did not let the mixture sit, not sure what that would have done for it, but I did not feel like waiting) 
  5. To prepare the cream cheese filling, whip cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix again until smooth. (I did not do this step) 
  6. To make the blueberry sauce combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook for about 5-8 minutes, when blueberries have broken down. Remove from heat and allow to thicken (I did not do this step, I used left over blueberry chia jam from the day before). 
  7. To make the crepe pour about 1/3 of cup batter in the centre of a lightly greased frying pan and swirl the batter out to create a very thin crepe. Cook about 1-2 minutes per side. 
  8. Place 1 tbsp of blueberry jam in crepe, roll, and top with another 1/2 tbsp of blueberry jam and 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup. 

Lunch 

Repurposed Asian Chicken Meatballs (477 kcal)

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Thoughts: I had leftover chicken meatballs from Tuesday. Any leftover poultry has to be consumed within 1-2 days. If I did not use the leftovers today, I would have had to throw the rest out. This recipe was extremely filling! This salad provided just enough of a twist that I did not feel like I was eating the same meal again from Tuesday night. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recreate this dish again, unless I had left overs. If I had to make the meatballs from scratch to prepare this dish I wouldn’t bother. But I would definitely make the lettuce wraps again, which would inevitably result in leftover meatballs that I would use again to make this salad. 

Ingredients (My portion)

  • 1/4 cup whole grain couscous
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach 
  • 1 cup butter lettuce, chopped 
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced 
  • 1 green onion, chopped  
  • 1/2 cup sugar peas, chopped 
  • 4 asian chicken meatballs, leftover from Day 2 dinner
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar 

Instructions 

  1. Prepare couscous by bringing both the couscous and chicken stock to a boil. Cover pot, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes use a fork and fluff up the couscous. 
  2. On a plate mix together butter lettuce, spinach, radishes, couscous, sugar peas, and green onions. 
  3. Top with meatballs, cut in half. Drizzle with rice wine vinegar. Enjoy! 

Dinner 

Wendy’s due to my most recent pintrosity(792 kcal)

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This definitely does not resemble restaurant quality fries! Pin fail!!! Has anyone ever tried a similar recipe? I was going to pair the fries with a veggie burger, but was not up for making them once this happened!

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Thoughts: I had obviously had other dinner plans. But it was a complete fail! I found a recipe that supposably allows you to cook restaurant quality french fries in slow cooker with minimal oil. I ended up with mash potatoes instead of fries! I felt defeated at that point, it was 6:30 pm, Charley was starving, and Jord was still not home. 

I threw in the towel and got Jordan to pick up dinner. This was my healthy option from Wendy’s; obviously minus the frosty. It is ridiculous that pretty much only two spoonfuls of frosty is 200 kcal, but it was so worth it! Your best option would be to go with the grilled chicken sandwich and the garden salad with dressing. You could easily go with half the dressing for 25 kcal, you really do not need the whole package. That total would be 410 kcal. My total was slightly higher! Oh well! It is Wendy’s so 5/5. If I had to choose between Wendy’s grilled chicken and A&W grilled chicken I would go with A&W. 

Ingredients 

  • Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich 360 kcal 
  • Wendy’s Kids French Fries 200 kcal 
  • Garden Salad (without croutons) 25 kcal [croutons alone are 90 kcal]
  • Ranch dressing 50 kcal
  • Jr. Chocolate Frosty 200 kcal 

 

Month 6 – Week 2

Month 6 – Week 2 

Summer, Simple, & Stampede Breakfasts

It feels like it is a record hot summer this year. Do not get me wrong I am by no means complaining, I am loving our weather, but the heat definitely deters me from making elaborate dishes in the hot kitchen. This week I tried to make only simple, light, and refreshing summer dishes. I feel like I was very successful. It is also the Stampede this week in Calgary, so we enjoyed a classic pancake breakfast on Thursday. I hope you enjoy this weeks menu plan!


Nutritional Analysis

Kcal

Total

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Day 1

1577

135

175

402

374

491

Day 2

1956

367

122

564

233

670

Day 3  

336

0

467

262

408

Day 4

1822

483

218

380

0

741

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Proteins (g)

65.64

107.15

101.29

91.28

Carbohydrates (g)

192.43

227.22

148.01

209.64

Fats (g)

66.95

75.75

60.74

69.48

Omega 6 (g)

13.96

13.39

7.72

5.86

Omega 3 (g)

1.28

1.74

1.39

0.3

Dietary Fiber (g)

25

33.89

36.06

12.38

Water (ounces)

40

40

90

50

Steps

2500

4,300

battery died

totally forgot it!

Dietary Lows (anything less than 50% of DIV) Vitamin B12 0.6 µg 25%, Vitamin D 0.25 µg 2%, Vitamin E 6.33 mg 42%, Iron 8.87 mg 49%, potassium 2223.56 mg 47%  Vitamin D 3.05 µg 20% Vitamin D 4.98 µg 33% Sodium was alerted as high 3090.72 mg Not accurate. Sodium was altered as high 2651.89 mg

These values are approximations. They are accurate but not precise. Many factors can change the accuracy of these numbers. Such as measurement and products purchased. 

My recommended intake based of my sedentary lifestyle 

Total daily Kilocalories: 1733 

Protein (g): 72.57 

Carbohydrate (g): 191.0 – 276.0 

Fat, total (g): 37.0 – 66.0 

Omega-6 fatty acid (g): 12

Omega-3 fatty acid (g): 1.1

Dietary Fiber, total (g): 25 

Water (g): 2700 that is 10.8 cups per day or 86.4 fl oz

  • If you are following along and adopting my meal plans please be aware that everyone’s nutritional needs are very individual. For those who are quite active you may require more calories, along with a varied macronutrient and micronutrient composition in your diet. But please feel free to use and be inspired by my meal plans.

Day 1 


Breakfast 

Greek yogurt with strawberries and flaxseeds (135 kcal) 

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Thoughts: This is the perfect summer breakfast: fast, refreshing, filling, and yummy! I really enjoyed the texture that the flaxseeds provided 5/5! 

Original recipe: World Lifestyle 

Ingredients (my portion)

  • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced 
  • 130 g greek yogurt (I used a raspberry pomegranate flavour) 
  • 1 tsp flax seeds 

Instructions 

  1. Fill a bowl with yogurt, topped with strawberries, followed by flaxseeds.   

Snack 1 (175 kcal) 

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  • 1/2 apple 
  • 2 cups popcorn 
  • 1 fudgesicle bar (western family) 

Lunch 

Leftover vegetable summer rolls (402 kcal) 

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Thoughts: I had a bunch of leftover vegetables in the fridge that needed to be used up. I open up my produce draw grabbed what was in there and threw it into these tasty summer rolls. They were refreshing and light, perfect for summer. I put pretty much everything in there but the kitchen sink! 4/5 

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

  • 1/3 cup Napa cabbage, shredded 
  • 1/3 cup red cabbage, shredded 
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced  
  • 6 snow peas 
  • 1 green onion 
  • 160 g rice noodles 
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 bell pepper, sliced  
  • 2 rice paper wrappers 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp peanut satay sauce (You can make one, I just bought a pre-made one) 

Instructions 

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package. When rice noodles are cooked, mix noodles with 1/2 tsp sesame oil.
  2. Prepare rice paper according to instructions.
  3. Top wrapper with rice noodles, cabbage, avocado, peas, onion, and bell pepper. Fold and roll together. 
  4. Serve with peanut satay sauce 

Dinner 

Grilled chicken burgers with salad 

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YES PLEASE!!!

Thoughts: Burgers and summer go together like peanut butter and jam, eggnog and Christmas, James Franco and Seth Rogen. You cannot have one without the other, it just feels wrong! Like Taylor Swift and an epic breakup song. A bit off topic, but honestly what are we going to do when Taylor actually finds someone and settles down? Has anyone thought about this?!!! Would it be the end to her genius?!!! Anyways refocus, back to burgers. I need a good burger in the summer and a classic grilled chicken burger is always my go to. I love this dish in the summer, it is tasty, quick to prepare, and always a hit with the whole family! 5/5

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

  • 75 g boneless skinless chicken breast 
  • 1 slice (21g) medium cheddar cheese 
  • 1 slice tomato 
  • 1 romaine lettuce 
  • 1/2 tbsp shallots 
  • 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 2 tsp bbq sauce 
  • 1 small white bun (I would normally never use white, but we had some leftover) 
  • 1 cup green salad (spinach, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, & red onion) 
  • 1 tsp avocado oil 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice 

Instructions 

  1. Warm grill to medium-high heat. 
  2. Using a meat tenderizer flatten chicken breast to an even thickness. 
  3. Place chicken breast on grill, approximately 6-7 minutes per side. 
  4. Brush with bbq sauce and top with cheddar cheese. Allow cheese to melt. Remove from grill and serve on bun with your favourite toppings and condiments. Diet analysis accounts for cheese, tomato, lettuce, shallots, mayonnaise, bbq sauce, and bun.  

Snack 2 

Melon ball sundae (144 kcal) & Brazil nuts (230 kcal) 

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Thoughts: This is the perfect healthy cure for a sweet tooth! 5/5 

Ingredients (this was my portion)

  • 1/4 cup frozen yogurt 
  • 3/4 cup watermelon, balled 
  • 1/3 cup cantaloupe, balled  
  • 1/3 cup honeydew, balled  
  • 1 tsp cacao nibs 
  • 35 g Brazil nuts 

Instructions 

  1. Using a melon baller scoop and form all three of the melons into tiny balls. 
  2. Top with frozen yogurt and cacao nibs. Enjoy! 

Day 2 


Breakfast 

Chocolate almond quinoa stuffed strawberries (367 kcal) 

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Thoughts: This was tasty, not life changing tasty or anything, but enjoyable! The reason I would make this dish again is because it was CRAZY FILLING! I feel so full, but not like nasty full after going to a buffet and challenging yourself to get your money’s worth! I am so satisfied that I feel like I could go the rest of the day without eating, or at least make it to lunch without daydreaming of pizza! 4/5 

original recipe: POPSUGAR  

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa 
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup 
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract 
  • 24 strawberries (I obviously did not have 24 strawberries, I had 6 strawberries and just ate the rest of the filling separately) 
  • 12 almonds (again I did not have 12 almonds, I had 1 tbsp slivered almonds 

Instructions 

  1. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a small pot. Once a boil is reach reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is light and fluffy. With such a small quantity of quinoa I found it did not take as long to cook. 
  2. When quinoa is ready place in a mixing bowl and combine with maple syrup, banana, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and almond extract. 
  3. Wash, dry and hull strawberries. You want to make sure that strawberries are neatly hauled so that you have enough room to fill with quinoa mixture. 
  4. Add a small scoop of quinoa mixture to each of the prepared strawberries. 
  5. Top with a few roast slivered almonds. Enjoy! 

*Note: if you have prepared these to snack on throughout the day then place in the fridge in a covered container. 

Lunch 

Bruschetta chicken pesto wraps (564 kcal)

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Thoughts: I did not enjoy this as much as I thought. I don’t know why. It seems like pretty straightforward flavours, but something just seemed off. I think it was maybe too rich. Either way I am not sure that I would make this again. 3/5 

Original recipe: Our Best Bites 

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1/2 tomato, diced 
  • 1 shallot, diced 
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar 
  • dash of salt 
  • 1/2 tbsp mayo 
  • 1/2 tbsp plain greek yogurt 
  • 1 tbsp pesto 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice and a little zest 
  • 1/2 cup (125g) diced cooked chicken breast, use extra cooked chicken breast from the night before 
  • 1/2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 
  • 1/4 cup shredded romaine lettuce 
  • 1 whole grain whole wheat tortilla 

Instructions 

  1. Combine together tomato, onion, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. In a separate bowl mix together mayo, plain greek yogurt, pesto, lemon juice and zest. Stir and combine mixture with chicken and pine nuts. 
  3. To assemble, scoop chicken mixture onto tortilla, top with bruschetta mixture, followed by lettuce. Roll up and enjoy! 

Snack 1 (122 kcal)

  • 2 cups watermelon 
  • 1 cup popcorn 

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Dinner 

Breakfast for dinner – Prosciutto & Kale omelette with whole grain toast and peanut butter 

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Thoughts: I had something else planned for tonight, but Jord had to work late and Charley had eaten earlier. I wanted to make something the was more appropriate for one person. One of my favourite things is breakfast for dinner, and an omelette is the perfect dish when cooking for one person. I also love how flexible omelettes are, you can add pretty much anything for a filling! 4/5 

Ingredients (this was my portion)

  • 1 tbsp butter, divided 
  • 2 eggs, well whisked until you cannot see any whites  
  • 2 slices prosciutto 
  • 1 cup kale, leaves removed from stem roughly chopped 
  • 1 shallot, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 
  • 2 slices whole grain bread, toasted (my 2 slices were 140 kcal) 
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter 
  • 1/2 tbsp ketchup 

Instructions 

  1. In a small frying pan on medium heat, lightly brown prosciutto; about 1 minute per side. Remove prosciutto. 
  2. Add kale and shallots to frying pan and cook until kale is tender and shallots are golden brown; about 5 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. 
  3. Add 1/2 tbsp butter to pan and melt. Should be bubbling but not burn. Add well whisked eggs to pan at this point. 
  4. As egg is cooking use a fork or a spatula and pull the egg towards the centre, allowing the uncooked egg to fill in the pan. Continue until the top is cooked. (There are some really great videos online if you want to watch the process). 
  5. Add filling and fold. Serve with toast and peanut butter! I also had a 1/2 tbsp ketchup. 

Snack 2 

Mango Ice Cream (233 kcal)

Thoughts: Yes this does fill any ice cream void you may have!!! I love the texture of the cacao nibs on top, but I know the flavour is not for everyone. They do have a very fruity flavour so I think they work perfectly with this simple dish. 5/5 

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Original recipe: POPSUGAR 

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks 
  • 1 frozen banana, peel removed 
  • 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 tsp cacao nibs 

Instructions 

  1. In a food processor or a blender add frozen banana, mango and yogurt. Combine until smooth. 
  2. Once smooth add vanilla and mix for a few more seconds. 
  3. Add to a bowl and top with cacao nibs. 

Day 3 


Breakfast 

Soft boiled with soldiers and grapefruit topped with vanilla sugar (336 kcal) 

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I swear if clutter did not stress me out, I would totally become a collector of egg cups! I don’t know why, but I am always drawn to them. I find them so enduring! And it is not like I am a crazy egg person. I know, I am lame, but honestly look how CUTE this egg cup is!!! I instantly fell in love and had to have it! It actually inspired this creation of this dish!

Thoughts: This is such a classic breakfast and for good reason, it just makes your heart smile! Nothing better than toast with runny egg yolk! I paired this lovely dish with a grapefruit topped with vanilla sugar. I picked up the vanilla sugar from Silk Road Spice Merchants  not having any idea what I was going to use it for, but just knowing that it smelled heavenly! It takes them three days to make this spectacular sugar. This sugar was made for grapefruit!!! It was fantastic!!!! I give this breakfast comfort food a 10/5!  

Original instructions: No Recipes  

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1 egg 
  • 2 slices whole grain whole wheat bread (140 kcal for both), toasted  
  • 1 tsp butter, for toast  
  • 1 grapefruit 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar 

Instructions 

  1. Place egg in sauce pan. Fill sauce pan with water to about 1 inch over the egg. Bring to a boil. 
  2. When water reaches a boil start a timer for 4 minutes. 
  3. After 4 minutes remove egg from heat and place in cold water. 
  4. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut into the egg and remove the top, exposing the lovely runny yolk. 
  5. Cut toast into soldiers and use to dip in yolk! 

Watermelon and mint infused water 

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Thoughts: This was a very refreshing infusion! I like to use this mason jar because it can carry 8 cups of water. In the morning I fill it about 3/4 of the way with ice and the rest with water. I love cold water, this guarantees that my water stays cold as I drink it throughout the day. By dinner I refill my jar about halfway and voila I get my daily intake of water for the day! 

Ingredients 

  • Handful of cubed watermelon 
  • Handful of mint leaves, muddled 
  • 5 cups crushed ice 
  • Fill the rest of the way with water 

Lunch 

BLT Ranch pizza (467 kcal)

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Thoughts: This was FANTASTIC, enough said 5/5!  

Inspired by: Babble 

Ingredients (this was my portion)

  • 1 prepared pizza crust, I used a multigrain with flax flatbread (140 kcal) 
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved  
  • 3 slices prosciutto 
  • 35 g jalapeño cheddar, shredded 
  • 1 green onion 
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula 

Instructions 

  1. Warm broiler. 
  2. Spread ranch dressing over pizza crust. 
  3. Pan fry prosciutto about 30 seconds – 1 minute on both sides. Until golden brown. 
  4. Crumble prosciutto evenly over pizza. Top with halved cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and green onions. 
  5. Place pizza under broiler for 2-3 minutes, until cheese has melted and gone golden brown. Remove pizza from oven. Top with fresh arugula and serve. 

Snack 

Peanut butter and jam smoothie (262 kcal)

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Thoughts: I was making a peanut butter and jam sandwich for Charley and I was jealous! I wanted a peanut butter and jam sandwich, but that does not fit in with the blog. This smoothie was inspired by my craving, and boy did it do the trick, incredible!!! 5/5! 

Ingredients (this was my portion)

  • 1 banana, frozen 
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, frozen 
  • 1 tbsp all natural peanut butter 
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

Instructions 

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! 

Dinner 

Crockpot chicken and black bean taco salad (408 kcal)

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Thoughts: There was nothing life changing about this dish. I always love a good taco salad. It was one of my go-to dinners before the blog. The dressing was light and refreshing. I would consider making this again. In the summer it is nice to use crockpot recipes for those times that you are not cooking on the grill. It is too hot to use the oven or the stove top. 4/5  

Original recipe: Dessert Now Dinner Later  

My portion 

  • 2 cups romaine lettuce 
  • 1 cup chicken mixture 
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes 
  • 20 g cheddar cheese 
  • 3 tbsp dressing 

Ingredients 

Crockpot:

  • 5 small chicken breast 
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning (I used my homemade seasoning) 
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 cups chunky salsa 

Avocado dressing: 

  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk & 1 tsp lemon juice [this is what I used]) 
  • 1 small jalapeño, deseeded 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (I didn’t add this) 
  • 1 medium avocado 
  • 1-2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 green onion 
  • 2 tbsp lime juice 
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 

Salad: 

  • 1 head romaine, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

Instructions 

  1. Put chicken in the crockpot. Season with taco seasoning and top with beans and salsa. 
  2. Cook on low (I cooked on high) for 4 hours. Shred chicken with two forks. 
  3. Prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients: buttermilk, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, pepper, and salt, into a blender. Blend until smooth. If too thick add some more buttermilk to thin. 
  4. To assemble salad fill a bowl with lettuce and top with chicken mixture, cheese, corn, tomatoes, and dressing. 

Day 4 


Thoughts: I knew today was going to be a busy day so I actually did not even plan anything for today. I knew that if I did, I would have probably just ended up wasting groceries. So I am sorry there are not fun new recipes for today, but this is what I ate 

Breakfast 

Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast (~483 kcal)

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My hungry little cowgirl!
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Yay! Pancakes!

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Thoughts: Well it is that time of year again here in my hometown, the Calgary Stampede! With the stampede comes a multitude of free pancake breakfasts! We attended the breakfast at our church this morning. It was so yummy! A stampede pancake breakfast provides the same wonderful warm feelings as Christmas dinner; it is something you wait for all year and it never disappoints!  I know it is just pancakes, but there is something about cowboy hats, country music, summer, and friends that make them taste so much better! 10/5 

My portion 

  • 2 large pancakes 
  • 1/2 tbsp butter 
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 slices watermelon 
  • 1/2 cup red grapes 

Snack (218 kcal)

Small mango smoothie 

Lunch  

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken (~380 kcal)

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Thoughts: After the stampede breakfast I had to run some errands. It was getting late and Charley was hungry. We went to McDonalds. I had the Greek salad with grilled chicken. This was the first time I have tried this salad and it was surprisingly delicious. I have tried the head over harvest salad before and I was not really a fan. I would definitely order the Greek salad again. I did not add the pita chips and I had a bottle of water. 5/5 

Dinner 

Beef dip with garden salad (~741 kcal)

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Thoughts: My wonderful cousin is in town so we went out for dinner tonight. I went with a beef dip on a pretzel bun with a side garden salad. You can never go wrong with a beef dip! 5/5 

Heading into month 6!

Heading into month 6!

Fruit Harvest Selection In Bowls

I cannot believe that it has almost been half a year since I started this blog! I promised at this start of this project I would be honest about my journey, so here it is, my results last month were dismal. No change in weight, and only one inch lost.

Weight (lbs) Waist (in) Bust (in) Chest (in) Hips (in) Thigh (in) Calf (in) Arm (in)
Start 200 39 40 35 46 27 16 13
Month 1 190 38 39 33 44 26.5 15.5 12.5
Month 2 185 35 38.5 32.5 43 26 15 12
Month 3 182 34.5 37.5 32 42.5 25.5 15 12
Month 4 182 34 37.5 32 42.5 25.5 15 12
Month 5 182 34 37.5 32 42 25.5 15 11.5
Month 6 185 34 37 32 42 25 15 11.5
Month 7 185 34 37 32 42 25 15 11.5
Month 8 185 34 37 32 42 25 15 11
Month 9 185 33 37 31.5 42 25 15 11
Month 10 185 33 37 31 41.5 25 15 11

I am almost becoming at bit depressed at this point in my journey. Each week I step on the scale it is such on overwhelming reminder of my new reality. I become so discouraged, and then bitterness quickly follows. I have a pity party for myself that starts off with: “I do not get it?!!! I am essentially eating perfectly.” Then the unhealthy comparison game starts playing in my head, “why can so many of my friends eat a Big Mac meal like it is celery and drink alcohol like it is water?!  The only ab work I have ever seen them do is the odd sneeze or giggle here and there, and if I even think about a Big Mac I gain 5 pounds.” From there it spirals into ugly wallowing in self pity “it is bad enough that I have this life threatening heart condition, I also have to struggle with my weight. Can I not just catch a break somewhere?!!!” I ended up wallowing in a two cheeseburger meal from McDonalds and topped it off with an Oreo McFlurry…. and a few of Charley’s chicken nuggets! You cannot get much more honest than that!

I am not sharing these thoughts to be a downer, or to make you feel sorry for me, rather it is to be honest about my struggles with this journey. I feel like I am constantly sharing all of my highs and I want to be transparent. When Charley was 7 months old I was finally able to sit back and let my reality sink in. I experienced a pretty terrible time of depression. I struggled all the more when I saw other people facing difficulties with a smile on their face. This made me feel guilty that I was not able to do a better job at coping, and the depression became even worse. I do not want you to read about my journey and think that I am only having positive weight-loss experiences. I am also having my fair share of challenges. Please do not be discouraged at whatever point you may be in your own weight-loss journey! I know that this road will continue to be full of highs, lows, and new challenges.  I have been blessed with all of your incredible encouragement. Many of you have commended me on how amazing it is that I have turned a difficult situation into something positive, when many others would choose to wallow. But trust me there has been lots of wallowing, and I am sure there will be some more in the future. 

I knew that I would hit a plateau, but I did not think it would last this long. When I was a personal trainer I never put any weight into what the scale had to say (pun intended). With exercise there are such drastic changes to your body composition. As a result, the scale is not a reliable indication of your progress. However, as far as I know (based on the infant knowledge base of nutritional sciences) diet does not have the same impact on body composition. 

When I was a trainer I would always find ways to challenge or shock the body. I would never let it get use to the same program or exercises. This was a highly successful approach for my clients, especially when they reached a plateau. This week I knew I had to do something with my meal plan to challenge my metabolism. I have been reading a lot lately about foods that are considered “metabolizing booster foods” or “negative calorie foods.” When the body requires more energy to breakdown a food than the calories the food provides, it is considered a negative calorie food. I am not sure I agree with this theory, but I am willing to try something new to promote my metabolism. 

Metabolism boosting and negative calorie foods

Green Organic Vegetables

I incorporated all of these metabolism boosting and negative calorie foods into the meal plan for Month 6 – Week 1:

According to ELLE kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods, it clears toxins from the body, and suppresses appetite.  Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids, which assist in communicating with the bodies fat storage hormones. Brazil nuts are considered little fat-burners. They assist in converting the thyroid hormone to its active form and they intercept toxins that are stored in fat cells, which contribute to cellulite. Chia seeds activate fat-burning hormones and suppress appetite. Supposably, Wild salmon can spot reduce and metabolize fat, specifically from your abdomen by improving insulin sensitivity. Wild salmon also activates the thyroid hormone. Oysters are the richest food source of zinc. Zinc decreases appetite and cravings induced by ‘that time of the month.’ Consuming at least a 1/4 tsp of Cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar. 

SHAPE promoted tuna, grapefruit, oats, and hot peppers as metabolism boosting foods. Supposably tuna, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids stimulates the production of leptin and revs up your metabolism. Leptin is a key hormone in reducing weight by providing a feeling of satiety. Grapefruit is a source of naringenin. Apparently, this antioxidant assists insulin to stabilize blood sugar and it improves how efficiently you burn calories. Oats and whole grains make you feel full for longer and according to SHAPE they take more energy to digest than they provide. Finally, spicy pepper contain capsaicin, which can increase the efficiency of your metabolism for up to 3 hours after consuming.

Bembu encourages consuming asparagus for its low caloric content, but high nutrient composition. Beans also have a positive impact on boosting your metabolism. Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are high in B vitamins, which are a great support for your metabolism. According to Bembu Celery    is a thermogenic food and is pack full of calcium. Cucumber boosts your metabolism due to its high water content, low caloric content, and rich reservoir of micronutritents. Ginger has metabolism-increasing properties. Lemons allegedly clean the digestive tract (funny the article did not actually explain how they do this, you have got to love it when people make all these wonderful claims, but do not back it up with research or an explanation of the physiology). Melons are great for satisfying a sweet tooth while being low in calories. Water, key component in metabolism reactions.

Finally, according to the Foodie Junky these foods burn more calories than they contain. As mentioned already, celery, grapefruit, cucumber, and asparagus, . Other foods that burn more to digest than they contain include: lettuce and leafy greens, watermelon, lean meats like chicken breast, broths, yogurt, oranges, tomatoes, and arugula.

While I might not agree with the claims that these are ‘negative calorie foods’ or ‘metabolism boosters,’ they are still all perfectly healthy options. So this week I took all of these suggested foods and incorporated them into my recipes. The results after one week?! ….. no weight loss! I realize one week is a very short period of time. However, I am normally eating all of these foods anyways. I did feel thinner, which is vain to say, but the scale did not budge. I will continue to incorporate these ingredients into my meal plans, because they nutrient dense and healthy, not because they may be negative calories or metabolism boosters!