Meal Plan Week 54 – Confessions of a food blogger

Confessions of a food blogger!

(or likely just confessions of Lauren)

Week 54 Free Meal Plan


I do not think I have EVER been this organized since starting the blog! I actually have a meal plan out and ready to go less than 12 hours after taking my last bite of dinner day 4! The kitchen is clean and the dishwasher is empty!!!! I know none of you probably care about this, but it feels so amazing to be organized! I am juggling about 100 different things on my plate right now, so I enjoy the small victories like getting the blog out in record time! Okay anyways enough of my blabbering… but seriously sometimes I feel like I am the only one in the world who is completely disorganized. I will pop over to a friends house last minute with no warning and the place is spotless! HOW??? This is the truth for so many of my friends with multiple children and pets! I have one child with no pets and our house looks like the aftermath of a level 5 tornado! 

On top of all of my friends having spotless houses, they always tell me what a disaster their houses are and they desperately need to clean them. This makes me feel better, thinking that I am not the only one in the world who cannot stay on top of the day-to-day chores. Then I pop by expecting to see dishes everywhere and toys hanging from the ceiling fan… no their version of the house is a disaster is that they have not scrubbed the floors on their hands and knees in over a week! I actually do not remember when I last cleaned my floors. But if I am being honest, I average about 2-3 times …. per year!  Yes I know I am disgusting! My poor orderly German husband! I know it is love!  

This confession may surprise many of you. Each week I share pictures of beautiful plates of food, meticulously arranged. I may be fooling you into thinking that my entire household is like that. I cannot believe I am showing you this, but if I were to step away from neatly plated dish you would see the truth: 

I had just finished shooting this gorgeous photos:

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Two steps back reveals the chaos

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You cannot fit another dish into that sink!
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Oh the LOOK of disappointment! She was born with her father’s orderly tendencies and German genes! 

I know I titled this confessions of a food blogger, but it is likely just confessions of Lauren! I am sure other food bloggers would see this and gasp in shock and horror to my working conditions! I hope I have not ruined some of the magic for you. I am sending out a plea, is there anybody else out there like me?!!!! Or is this something I should seek professional help for?

Anyways I know you are all here for a meal plan so I will get on to it! I really enjoyed the plan this week and I hope I can provide you with some inspiration heading into next week! Enjoy! 


Meal plan 54 


Day 1 

Calories 1594, Protein 65 g, Carbohydrates 222 g, Fat 56 g 

Dietary lows (any nutrients under 50% of DRI): Omega 3 0.34g, Vitamin B12 1.07 mcg, Vitamin D 34 IU


 Breakfast 

Green Smoothie Pancakes 

(632 kcal for 3 pancakes, 1 kiwi, 1 cup raspberries, 1 tbsp maple syrup) 

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Thoughts: This recipe was okay for flavour, nothing life changing, but what I loved about these pancakes is how filling they were. I took three pancakes and could not finish them. These wonderfully green flapjacks are so nutrient dense you are left completely satisfied and not counting down the time to your next meal! If you do not want to think about food every 5 minutes at lunch until your lunch break then definitely start your day with this breakfast! Flavour: 3.5/5 Satiety 5/5 

Original Recipe: The Lean Green Bean 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup spinach 
  • 3/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds 
  • 1/4 cup all natural peanut butter 
  • 2 kiwis, peeled 
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a blender combine spinach, yogurt, eggs, hemp seeds, peanut butter, kiwis, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. 
  3. To spinach mixture add cinnamon, baking powder, and flour. Blend until just combined. 
  4. Warm a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add batter to warm pan 1/4 cup at a time. 
  5. Cook pancake for 1-2 minutes and then flip. Cook the opposite side for an additional 1-2 minutes. 
  6. Remove from pan, place on an oven-safe dish and put in the oven to keep warm. 
  7. When all the batter has been used up serve pancakes with a drizzle of peanut butter or maple syrup and fruit. 

Note: I found these pancakes did not necessarily cook like a traditional pancake. If you are waiting for the bubbles to show up on the top of the pancake to know when to flip you will probably do what I did and burn a batch of pancakes. The batter is so dense it does not bubble the same. Instead rely on time. 

Lunch 

Asian Pasta Salad

(147 kcal per serving, made 2 servings) 

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Thoughts: With my pursuit to discover fast convenient healthy food this quick and simple recipe was created. Frozen veggies are awesome! They are a great way to add to nutrients to any meal with out lots of prep work. I really enjoyed this dish. It took 10 minutes to prep and was really yummy. 5/5 

Sauce 

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp ponzu 
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds 

Instructions 

  1. Prepare pasta according to directions. 
  2. In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the sauce: soy sauce, ponzu, rice vinegar, honey and sesame seeds. 
  3. Warm a frying pan over medium heat. Add cooked pasta, frozen veggies and sauce. 
  4. Mix until sauce evenly coats pasta and veggies. Cook for 6-8 minutes until veggies are cooked. Serve immediately. 

Dinner 

Jalapeño Popper Black Bean Burgers

(668 kcal for 1 burger, 1 whole grain bun, 1 tbsp mayo, 30g cheddar cheese, tomato and spinach)

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Thoughts: I love a good veggie burger! However, this was not good! It was a hot mess actually. Only one of the three burgers held together somewhat, and the flavour was lacking. I had high hopes for this recipe, but I was left feeling disappointed. After my first burger fell apart I coated the next ones in a Panko crust, which seemed to help hold them together better. This was alright, but I did not enjoy it enough to make again. 2.5/5 

Original Recipe: Eats Well With Others 

Ingredients (I halted the original recipe and I did not add cilantro) 

  • 2 jalapeños, halved and seeded (I used poblano, grocery store was out of jalapeños) 
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed well 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • pinch of cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped 
  • 1 shallot minced 
  • 2 oz cream cheese softened 
  • Topping options: cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado etc!  

Instructions 

  1. Roast jalapeños and bell pepper by placing them on your gas oven burner until skin turns black. Remove skin it should come off easily. If you do not have a gas stove top click here and refer to step 1 in the instructions. 
  2. Place 1 1/4 cups black beans in a large bowl and mash until smooth, set aside.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together egg, cumin, salt and cayenne. 
  4. Stir egg mixture with remaining beans, Panko, bell pepper, and shallots. Mix in with the mashed beans. 
  5. In another small bowl combine roasted jalapeños with cream cheese. 
  6. To assemble, form bean mixture into 3 patties. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among the patties. Stuff the cream cheese in each patty so that the black been mixture completely surrounds the filling. 
  7. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer add patties and cook until both sides are brown; about 4-5 minutes per side. 
  8. Assemble burger with toppings and enjoy! 

Day 2 

Calories 1647, Protein 78 g, Carbohydrates 228 g, Fat 53 g 

Dietary lows (any nutrient under 50% of DRI): Vitamin D 200.54


 Breakfast 

Black bean burger burrito & simple fruit smoothie

(832 kcal for burrito and smoothie) 

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Thoughts: The burgers from last night did not hold together very well so to make a burger with the leftovers was not really an option. I decided to use the left overs in a breakfast burrito and it was fantastic! Even Charley downed these burritos. I would definitely have this dish again, but I am not sure I would repeat the black bean burger recipe. I will have to try a different black bean burger recipe so I can make these burritos again. 5/5

When I run low on fresh fruit I rely on frozen fruit and veggies. It is a great way to obtain some of your DRI values. I made just a simple smoothie nothing fancy, but it was really yummy and I know Charley will always down a smoothie! 5/5 

Ingredients 

Burrito (my portion) 

  • 1 whole grain tortilla (I used a sundried tomato tortilla because that was all I had, but whole grain is your healthier choice) 
  • 1/2 black bean burger from dinner on day 1
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • 1 egg, hardboiled or scrambled 
  • 1/4 cup salsa 

Smoothie (made 2 servings, I had 1 serving) 

Instructions 

Burrito

  1. Mash black bean burger in the centre of the tortilla. Place in Microwave and warm for 25 seconds. 
  2. Top with cheese, cooked egg, and salsa. 
  3. Fold all the the ingredients into your tortilla and serve. 

Smoothie 

1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. 

Lunch

Flax & Chia Cheddar Green Onion Donuts

(184 kcal per donut, made 6 donuts) 

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Thoughts: Ummm….YES!!! When I saw the original recipe from The Kitchy Kitchen I thought the addition of the nutmeg would be disgusting, but it worked so perfectly with the other flavours! The only reason I played around with the original recipe was because I wanted to increase the nutrient density. Flax seeds and chia seeds are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. I hate working with all-purpose flour, there is no nutritional value to it, but when it comes to baking I get nervous playing around with it. Instead of changing the flour I chose to add the flax and chia. The flavour of the flax seeds works perfectly with the nutmeg! I will definitely eat…I mean make these again! (best warm right out of the oven!!!) 5/5  

Adapted from: The Kitchy Kitchen 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tbsp white sugar 
  • 3 tbsp flax seeds 
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 3 tbsp water 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced 
  • 2 tbsp butter/margarine, melted 
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl combine chia seeds with water and set aside. 
  3. Grease a donut pan and distribute 1/4 cup cheese evenly between each donut tin. Set aside. 
  4. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl combine together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, sugar, and flax seeds. Place to the side. 
  5. In a small bowl whisk together milk, lemon juice, chia seed mixture, and green onion. Whisk in melted butter/margarine. 
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until they are just mixed together. DO NOT OVER MIX!!! Over mixing will leave you with a very dense donut. 
  7. Scoop donut batter evenly into donut pan. 
  8. Place in oven and cook 12-15 minutes. It is okay if they are not golden brown. 
  9. Claire from the Kitchy Kitchen recommends that you switch your oven to broil after the donuts have cooked, flip the donuts over onto a baking sheet so that the cheese is facing up, and broil your donuts for 1-2 minutes. You want to broil just until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Do not walk away they can burn quickly! Anyways I did follow this recommended step and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you listen to her! It provides the best crunch to the donut! So wonderful! 

Dinner 

Crispy Orange Beef

(631 kcal with 1 cup rice and 1 cup mixed vegetables – peas, corn & edamame. Recipe made 4 servings of beef) 

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Thoughts: While the picture looks beautiful none of us were fans of this dish. Jordan and I both found that the citrus was overpowering. I had high hopes for this dish because it looked delicious, but we were let down. I did have to make some substitutions because I thought I had some groceries that I did not! Ugh I hate it when that happens. The original recipe may be fantastic and my substitutions probably just destroyed the original dish. I encourage you to give the original recipe a try for yourself. 


Day 3 

Calories 1418, Carbohydrates 179 g, Protein 52 g, Fat 59 g 

Dietary lows (anything under 50% of DRI): Omega 6 3.26 g, Vitamin B3 5.85 mg, Vitamin C 18.40 mg (I am surprised this is so far off, I need to double check this one), Vitamin D 175 IU, Vitamin E 6.79 IU, potassium 1233 mg


Breakfast 

Amaranth porridge

(372 kcal) 

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Thoughts: Meh…… not one of my best creations! It was pretty to photograph, but that was about it. It had a bit of a gummy texture, I was distracted and over cooked the amaranth. I probably won’t make this little experiment again. 2.5/5 

Ingredients (I had half of this portion) 

  • 1/2 cup amaranth 
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk beverage 
  • 1 cup blueberries 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tbsp flax seeds 
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut 

Instructions 

  1. Put amaranth and coconut milk beverage into a pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Once at a boil reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed. 
  3. While amaranth is cooking place blueberries with water in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  
  4. Once blueberries are heated through, approximately 3-5 minutes, mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp cold water. 
  5. Pour cornstarch in with blueberries and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, just until the sauce has thickened. 
  6. Pour blueberries over amaranth. Serve with additional milk if you desire. 

Lunch

Spicy egg salad

(276 kcal) 

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Thoughts: This is one of those meals that I was so sad when it was done! I loved these donuts from the day before and thought it would work well as a sandwich. I was so right!!! I could eat this every single day for lunch! The sriracha was also a fantastic addition to the classic egg salad! I will definitely make this again 10/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 flax & chia cheddar onion donut (from lunch the day before) 
  • 1 egg, hardboiled & chopped  
  • 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha 
  • 1/4 cup spinach 

Instructions 

  1. In a small bowl mix together egg, mayonnaise and sriracha. 
  2. To assemble the sandwich layer spinach on one half of the donut, top with egg salad mix, followed by the second half of the donut. Enjoy! 

Dinner 

Quinoa Spaghetti Carbonara

(770 kcal I had 1 serving along with 1 cup mixed veggies: peas, corn & edamame. Makes 3 servings)

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Thoughts: This was yummy. How could it not be with bacon and cheese as the main ingredients?!!! I would probably make this again, it was quick and tasty. I just need to work on my technique, my sauce was a bit clumpy. I also used the quinoa spaghetti that I have used in the past. 5/5 

Original Recipe: Damn Delicious 

Ingredients 

  • 1 box Quinoa Spaghetti 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan 
  • 4 slices bacon, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped (I used 1 tsp dried) 

Instructions 

  1. Prepare pasta according to directions. Reserve pasta water. 
  2. In a small bowl combine together eggs and parmesan. 
  3. Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until brown and crispy. Drain excess fat into a heat-proof bowl. 
  4. Add 2 tbsp bacon grease back into pan with bacon along with minced garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant and golden about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. 
  5. Move quickly: stir in pasta and egg mixture, gently toss to combine. 
  6. Add reserved pasta water one tbsp at a time until you reach your preferred consistency. 
  7. Serve immediately and garnish with parsley. 

 Day 4 

Calories 1203, Protein 36 g, Carbohydrates 202 g, Fat 40 g 

Dietary Lows (any nutrient under 50% of DRI): Omega 6 0.45 g, Vitamin B1 0.43 mg, B3 4.94 mg, B5 1.78 mg, folate 106 mcg, Vitamin D 62 IU, Vitamin E 5.43 IU, zinc 2.96 mg 

Note: this is one of the frustrations with the current nutrition labeling on prepared foods, they provide only a small glimpse of what you are actually eating. They lack lots of important information. These dietary shortages are not reliable. 


 Breakfast 

Blueberry pie smoothie

(277 kcal per serving. Made 2 servings) 

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Thoughts: This was so good and super filling! I would definitely have this again. 5/5 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats 
  • 1 cup blueberries frozen 
  • 1 cup coconut milk beverage 
  • 1 cup coconut water 
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 cup ice 
  • 1 frozen banana 

Instructions 

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Lunch

(326 kcal) 

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Thoughts: I was so full from the smoothie I really had no desire for a large lunch. I kept it simple crackers, cheese, and an apple! Have you ever had applewood smoked cheddar cheese?!!! My friend Amy got me hooked on it several years ago. It is amazing!!! If cheese is your downfall, the nice thing with applewood smoked cheddar is the flavour is so rich and wonderful that a small portion goes a long way to satisfy a craving. 5/5 

Ingredients 

Dinner 

Gyoza & Bok Choy

(380 kcal for 9 gyoza, sauce, and 2 cups bok choy) 

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Thoughts: After a week of elaborate meal planning, promising myself that I would begin to slow down I decided to go with a more convenient dinner for the evening. Overall these pre-cooked gyoza from Costco are on the healthier side for convenience food. Obviously cooking from scratch is always the healthiest, but that is not reality for many of us. The main problem with everything that is prepared, no matter how healthy a product attempts to be, they are always high in sodium! This is no exception. But overall a healthier convenient choice and super yummy! 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 package Sum-m ginger sesame chicken gyoza 
  • 8-10 baby shanghai Bok Choy, washed well
  • 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/4 cup water 

Instructions 

  1. Prepare gyoza according to packaged directions. 
  2. Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and seasoning to pan. Add bok Choy and stir. Add water and cover pan until water has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. You want bok choy al dente.  

Evening Snack 

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots 
  • 10 g dark chocolate 
  • 4 small carrots

Free Meal Plan 53

…And on to year two!

Free Meal Plan 53


So last week was amazing! Thank you again to everyone who participated in the contest and who sent me such loving words of encouragement! I am so blessed to have each one of you in my life! Congratulations Melissa on winning the Anthropologie gift card! I had so much fun with this contest that I am already looking for another excuse to have another draw!

I also wanted to provide an update from my appointment with my cardiologist. So Many of you have been amazing checking up on me. First of all, all of your prayers have been so appreciated! My cardiologist has decided that it is best to go ahead with the ablation. I am beyond relieved that was the decision. There are still some major concerns with the surgery/procedure, because of the nature of my disease. They are not sure how invasive the procedure will be for me until they are inside. I have multiple spots that are damaged. To reduce the stress on the pump function of my heart they are going to try and ablate the areas with the most damage. I am still waiting to hear when I will be heading in, but they want it done as soon as possible. They said it would definitely be within the next few months. I will keep you updated when I find out more. I am nervous, but also relieved and hopeful that I will be able to have a better quality of life for a little while. Thank you for your continued prayer and concern.

With the family day long weekend I only planned for a 3 day meal plan. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Enjoy the meal plan! 


Day 1 

Calories 987 kcal, Protein 51.15g, Carbohydrates 127.64g, Fat 35.92g

Dietary Lows (nutrients under 50% of DRI) due to a low caloric intake quite a number of micronutrients are low: Vitamin A 172.96 mcg, Vitamin B1 0.32mg, Folate 106.42mcg, Vitamin B12 0.97 mcg, Vitamin D 70.34 IU, Vitamin E 7.15 IU, Calcium 343 mg, Magnesium 102.82 mg, potassium 1141.76 mg, Zinc 2.95 mg


Breakfast (390 kcal) 

Cinnamon sugar flax seed waffles

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Thoughts: I am a huge fan of Nature Path’s Flax Plus Waffles I am not paid by Nature Path to promote this product, I just really enjoy these waffles. With my heart acting up so much I have been having to find ways to simplify and utilize healthy convenient foods. This product is amazing! They are fairly expensive so I only purchase them when I can find them on sale. I felt like cinnamon sugar toast and thought I would use waffles instead of bread! Best decision ever! This was super yummy, the perfect comfort food, I will definitely make this again. 5/5 

Ingredients (this was my portion)  

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven broiler on high. 
  2. Lightly toast waffles. 
  3. Evenly spread 1/2 tsp butter/margarine on each waffle. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp brown sugar on each waffle as well as 1/4 tsp cinnamon. 
  4. Place waffles on baking sheet and place under broiler until sugar begins to caramelize, approximately 1-2 minutes. 
  5. Serve with raspberries and hardboiled egg. 

Lunch

Chicken Taco Soup (244 kcal for 2 cups) 

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Thoughts: In an attempt to simplify and find some more ‘convenient’ healthy foods I thought I would try the Kirkland Chicken Taco Soup. It was okay, definitely a healthier option. However a is the nature with any prepared meal this option is high in sodium. The soup was okay, but I found the chicken was kind of rubbery. I am not sure I would purchase this again. 2.5/5 

Dinner 

Yakisoba Spaghetti Squash (284 kcal) 

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Thoughts: I could eat this every single night for dinner! The entire family loved this dish!!! Jordan went back for seconds and said he really enjoyed it! I adapted the sauce just to add some more flavour, but this was fantastic!!! 10/5 

Original Recipe: Pickled Plum

Ingredients 

  • 2 small spaghetti squash (cook an extra for breakfast the next morning)
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 small onion, finely diced 
  • 10 shiitake or button mushrooms 
  • 2 cup coleslaw mix (I used Eat Smart Kale salad) 
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds 
  • 2 chicken breasts, fully cooked and sliced 
  • 2 green onions, chopped 

Sauce (I changed from the original recipe)

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp ponzu 
  • 1 tsp sugar 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Brush spaghetti squash with oil. Place in oven for 45-50 minutes or until spaghetti squash can easily be separated from skin into strings. 
  3. Warm grapeseed oil a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until they become translucent and fragrant. 
  4. Add coleslaw mix and cook for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. 
  6. Add spaghetti squash and sauce. Mix well and cook for another 2 minutes remove from heat. 
  7. Top with sesame seeds, green onion, and sliced chicken. Serve.

Day 2

Calories 1165, Protein 77.59 g, Carbohydrates 124.87 g, Fat 43.14

Dietary lows (any nutrient under 50% of DRI): Omega 3 0.15g, Omega 6 1.41g, Calcium 479 mg


 Breakfast

Spaghetti Squash Waffle (354 kcal) 

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Thoughts: I pleasantly surprised myself when I whipped this recipe together. I had leftover spaghetti squash from the night before that I wanted to use up. I have been using bruschetta as a regular ingredient. It provides a lot of flavour to a dish without a lot of calories. I would definitely make this dish again! 5/5 

Ingredients (my portion) 

Waffle 

  • 2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked and removed from skin 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tbsp bruschetta 

Topping

  • 2 tbsp bruschetta, 1/2 tbsp of shredded parmesan cheese 

Instructions 

  1. Warm waffle maker. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together squash, eggs, and bruschetta. 
  3. Spray waffle maker with cooking spray. Pour mixture into waffle make and cook 2-4 minutes. 
  4. Serve immediately. 

Lunch

Taco quinoa bowl (289 kcal) 

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Thoughts: This was fantastic! I had a craving for nachos, which clearly do not fit with my new lifestyle. My craving inspired this dish and quite frankly I would select this over nachos! This dish was extremely satisfying, I was full and content until dinner! I will definitely have this again. I could easily eat this every day for lunch! 5/5 

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked 
  • 1/2 cup chick peas (I would have gone with black beans, but I ran out. Chick peas worked great too)
  • 1/2 cup corn 
  • 1/4 cup salsa 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1 sprig of green onion 

Instructions 

  1. In a bowl combine quinoa with corn and beans. Top with salsa, cheese, and green onions. Enjoy! 

Dinner 

Steak with roasted vegetables (522 kcal) 

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Corn on the cob is always a hit in our house!
Corn on the cob is always a hit in our house!

Thoughts: I thought it would be nice for a family valentine’s meal to make something a bit more extravagant. The weather has also been fantastic so I felt like BBQ was the way to go, and boy was I right! This was phenomenal! However, on the actual day of Valentines Jordan was really sick so our fancy dinner was postponed for a blog night! 5/5 

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 125 g beef tenderloin 
  • 1 cup green beans 
  • 1 corn on the cob 
  • 1/4 tsp margarine 
  • 1 cup carrots 

Instructions 

  1. Warm BBQ to a high heat. Place steak on grill when heat is high to sear. Cook 2-3 minutes and then flip. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until preferred doneness. 
  2. Serve with roasted vegetables. 

Note: To test if your steak has reached your preferred doneness you can tell by texture.

Depending on which finger touches your thumb, the firmness of the fatty pad on you thumb will reveal the doneness. Check the firmness of steak in comparison to the firmness of your thumb. Steak will be hot you can tell firmness with tongs. 

Index finger to thumb – medium rare 

Middle finger to thumb – medium

Ring finger to thumb – medium well 

Pinky to thumb – well done 


Day 3 

Calories 1170, Protein 77.25 g, Carbohydrates 129.20 g, Fat 40.80 g

Dietary Lows (any nutrient under 50% of DRI): Omega 6 4.24g, Vitamin A 80.33mcg, Vitamin B1 0.34 mg, Vitamin B5 2.21 mg, Vitamin B6 0.51mg, folate 108.03mcg, Vitamin E 4.47 IU, Magnesium 82.36 mg, Potassium 1097 mg, Iron 8.06 mg, Maganese 0.64 mg


 Breakfast 

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding (103 kcal) 

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Thoughts: I attend a mom’s group at our church each week. I was on snack this week so I made this. Unfortunately I did not make enough, but I was happy with how it turned out. I will definitely make this again. 5/5 

This made 13 servings 

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups coconut milk beverage 
  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 10 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 
  • 1 bag mango, frozen 

Instructions 

  1. In a large bowl mix together milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and coconut. 
  2. Cover and place in fridge over night.       
  3. Warm a sauce pan over medium heat. Add mango to sauce pan with 1/4 cup water. Warm mango. Use immersion blender and roughly blend mango. Top chia pudding with mango and serve. 

Lunch 

Buckwheat & Mushroom Instant Noodles (300 kcal) 

Thoughts: All I can say is today was crazy busy!!! Lunch was rice ramen noodles. I love these noodles! I wouldn’t have them everyday, but they are good for when you are in a rush! 5/5 

Dinner 

Turkey Apple Meatloaf (1 meatloaf is 211 kcal, 767 kcal for all components) 

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Thoughts: This has always been a family favourite and one of my regular go to meals before the blog. You can find this recipe in the very popular Looneyspoons cookbook. I love every recipe! I did make some changes. I used the left over quinoa from lunch on day 2 as a binder instead of rolled oats. It worked really well! I also sped up the cooking process by making individual cupcake tin meatloafs. This is always delicious 5/5

Original Recipe: Original recipe: Podleski, Janet, & Podleski, Greta. (2012). The Looneyspoons Collection. Kitchener, ON: Granet Publishing Inc.

Ingredients (slightly adapted from the original) 

  • 1lb ground turkey 
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 2 small granny smith apples, cored and chopped 
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage 
  • 1 tsp dried parsley 
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. Warm oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and apples to pan. Cook until onions are translucent, fragrant, and apples are still Al dente (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. 
  3. Mix quinoa, egg, sage, parsley, apples, and onions into ground turkey. Be careful not to over mix. 
  4. Scoop turkey mixture evenly into each muffin tin. 
  5. Place in oven and cook 20-30 minutes, until turkey is completely cooked through and no longer pink. 
  6. Brush the tops of each meatloaf with BBQ sauce and place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Serve. 

Note: I served this dish with asparagus, 1 cup pasta, and 2 tbsp pasta sauce. I had two meatloafs. 

A Year Without Exercise – Memoirs of a Sedentary Personal Trainer

A Year Without Exercise 

Memoirs of a Sedentary Personal Trainer


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Lifestyle photos by Jenn Roach @One, Two, Three Photography Thank you to Auzridge Estate Hotel for the use of their facility.  

           Well I just posted my fifty-second week of meal planning. As I sit here taking the time to reflect back on how this year has transformed me, physically and mentally, I am genuinely overwhelmed with gratitude for all that has happened this year. 

Before I share my thoughts and progress over the course of this past year I am very excited to share a contest that I will be running to celebrate one year of Fitless Flavor! 

CONTEST!!!! 

          To celebrate 1 year of fitless flavor I am giving away a $100 (CAD) Anthropologie gift card. To enter go to the Fitless Flavor Facebook page. Like the Fitless Flavor Facebook page if you have not already and like and/or share this post. You are not obligated to share the post to be entered into the draw, you can just like the post, but it would be a huge support to me if you would share the post! Since starting this blog Anthropologie has become one of my new love languages. I love all of their dishes and cookware! I will draw the winner next Thursday, February 18th, 2016. I will post the winner in the evening. 

Wow!!! The support from everyone from my latest post has been tremendous! I am genuinely overwhelmed and feel abundantly blessed to have such amazing friends and family!
 
I did some research after a few requests, and yes I can allow a second entry for the Anthropologie gift card if you like and share the following post. So for everyone who has already liked and shared the post you will have two entries in the draw for the $100 Anthropologie gift card on February 18th.
 
If you do not want to share that is completely fine all you have to do to get an entry for the draw is to like the post below.
 
Options for entering:
 
To get 1 entry – like the post below
To get 2 entries – like and share the post below
 
If you have only liked the post and would like a second entry you have lots of time to still share the post for a second entry! Again please know how truly grateful I am for each and every one of you! Thank you for supporting me in my journey!

Thoughts and Progress on this past year

The Mental Transformation 

          Since starting Fitless Flavor a year ago I have had so many incredible opportunities. It all started with a personal phone call from the lovely Janet Podleski ! I was over the moon and completely star struck when I answered the phone. She generously shared some advice and provided me with the warmest words of encouragement.  Later in the year I was floored to receive an email from the Managing Editor (at the time) from Food Network Canada about how amazing she thought the blog was! A couple of months later I was completely humbled when a reputable production company said they wanted to propose my blog as a television show! 

For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor-5          There was interest in the concept, but the major food broadcasters wanted someone already famous! (Lol! unless you count 2 articles in the Calgary Herald I am definitely not famous!) Even though nothing developed further with the Food Network or with a television show (likely for the benefit of everyone!!! I feel like I would be terrible on television!!! ??), I feel so abundantly grateful to have had a year of reprieve from the heaviness of the past three years! 

          While my heart is definitely more stable from the start of this journey back in 2013, I have been having some terrible arrhythmias over the past couple of weeks. This is a concern, and my cardiologist has called me in to see her sooner then we had planned for. I will be heading in on Thursday. I was not suppose to see her until April. 

          They have been keeping a close eye on me since the summer. The arrhythmias that I am still having are now causing damage to the pumping function of my heart. I was having just electrical troubles, but now it is turning into plumbing issues as well.  There are two possible solutions to potentially help the situation, but neither one of them is ideal. 

          The first solution is surgery. The actual surgery itself is really quite routine. It would be an ablation, you probably even know someone who has had an ablation performed. The concern with my situation is that the damage to my heart is is multiple locations so I will need a number of areas ablated. Additionally, there is the concern that due to the nature of ARVC, after the damaged areas have been ablated, damage will just show up again in other areas. 

For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor-6          I was confused by this, I asked my cardiologist what the likelihood would be that further damage would actually occur now that I have eliminated all exercise. I was informed by my cardiologist and my husband that I do not fully understand the extent of my condition (in all honesty I have stuck my head in the sand since I was diagnosed, I don’t see the need in understanding a condition that has no cure. My husband is a researcher so he knows everything about it). They both explained to me that exercise just prevents accelerated deterioration of my heart, essentially every time my heart beats it is causing damage. This reality has really hit me hard. At my appointment in November my cardiologist decided to give me another 6 months to see how everything was doing. I am nervous that I am not going to be allowed to wait any longer, and that the appointment on Thursday will be to discuss surgery or a change of meds. Surgery would be the best of the two options. The medication they want to change me to will work great for 10-15 years and then cause me major health complications. The medication is often prescribed to individuals in their late eighties, without a second thought, an additional 10-15 years would be great, but I am 29! 

          There are still a number of concerns that will continue to make this journey that I am on difficult. The blog has been such a nice distraction from my health issues. Aside from providing me with the lifeskill of cooking, this blog has been tremendous in connecting me with the most amazing community. I was shocked to find out that my 6 months later…, post had 13,000 views. The outpouring of love, encouragement, and support from all of you has genuinely been overwhelming. I hope that you have all found blog helpful and that you have been able to benefit from the meal plans and recipe ideas. 

          On August 20, 2013 my diagnosis of arrythmyogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy (ARVC) became official, changing my life forever. The physically active lifestyle I once valued is no longer an option. Starting this blog one year ago has been the most therapeutic step in coping with my new reality. This journey has given me the opportunity For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor-4to get to know myself without the fitness filter that has been such a significant component of my life since I entered into competitive swimming. My diagnosis has forced me to redefine what truly defines me. I have always known myself as a fitness enthusiast. It was my passion, my hobby, and my career. 2013 really broke the foundation and core of who I thought I was. As challenging as my diagnosis and new reality has been I am grateful for the journey. There has been something so revitalizing about having a complete paradigmatic shift in who you think you are. I have learned I am so MUCH more than a lover of fitness. I really limited my potential by living in that comfort zone. The adversity of my diagnosis has pushed me to discover this deep love and passion that I have for cooking. A year ago I hated cooking. It was chore. Now I find it so relaxing and good for my spirit. It is one area in my life that I still have some control. I would have never reached this place without facing the refining that comes with suffering. 

The Physical Transformation 

          Apart from the mentally therapeutic attributes of this project I have also been very happy with the physical transformation. I am actually quite surprised with the changes I have seen in my body without exercising and without giving up bacon, cheese and bread! With my background and understanding of exercise physiology my results are not what I would have expected. My weight loss has not been significant over the course of a year, only 15 pounds, but as I have mentioned before, when I was a personal trainer I never paid any attention to the scale because it is not an accurate reflection of the body composition changes that occur with exercise. However, with a dietary approach to weight loss I thought the scale would be key. The pictures seem to argue otherwise. Even though the numbers have not been shocking, my body change has definitely been significant. I realize I may never have a Victoria’s Secret Body, but I am fine with that. I am not willing to give up the little joys in life like eating pizza while binge watching Netflix with my husband to get rid of ‘the last 10 pounds!’ I am just happy that I still have some control over my body without exercise. 

February 2015                                              February 2016

      2 years of no exercise                                                                    3 years of no exercise

Before 1                                              For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor

Before 2                                                       For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor-3

              Before 3                                           For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor-2 

          My plan is to continue with the blog. I may have to develop a new approach to the blog as I head into this next year, just for sustainability with my heart not doing well. I will know more after my appointment on Thursday. Additionally, I am working on another project that I am extremely excited to tell you all about. Hopefully I can share the news soon, but it is a really big project that is requiring more of my time than I had anticipated. One thing I have discovered about myself over this last year is that I am terrible at underestimating the amount of work involved in the many random ideas I develop in my head! 

Free Meal Plan #51 & 52

Week 51


I have been pretty open in sharing with you that my heart has been really causing me some grief in this last week and a half. I have been having some pretty relentless arrhythmias. I am actually seeing my cardiologist next week. I was not suppose to see her until April. I am a bit anxious about what the discussion will be. Anyways, this is my reason for the late post and why this weeks meal plan is more of an addition of “here are some recipes I had this week!” Rather than a well-planned out menu for the week. I hope you enjoy these recipes. 


 

Slow cooker Peanut Chicken

273 kcal for 75 g chicken and 1 serving of sauce

Made 7 servings

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Thoughts: I received some really positive feedback from the family on this meal. Everyone really enjoyed it! Personally I found the texture of the sauce was funny. It was almost too thick, or too grainy. I am not one hundred percent what it was that threw me off, but hey if the rest of the family loved it I am not going to try and figure it out! 4/5 

Original Recipe: Wholesomelicious 

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter 
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper 
  • 1 tbsp lime juice 
  • Garnish: green onion & sesame seeds 

Instructions 

  1. Place chicken evenly on the bottom of slow cooker. 
  2. Combine together peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, and lime juice.  
  3. Pour sauce over chicken and cook on low for 6 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked; juices run clear and there is no more pink. 
  4. Serve with rice and salad. (I served with one of the new Eat Smart salad blends and roasted sugar peas) 

The classic spaghetti dinner 

388 Kcal per serving made 6 servings

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Thoughts: Sometimes you have to keep dinner simple. I swear simplicity is the key to true comfort food! Having such a rough week with my heart I chose not to reinvent the wheel and just enjoy a classic. The pasta I used was from the Cowichan Pasta Company. A friend of mine brought it back for me from Vancouver Island. I am always nervous trying a new whole grain pasta. The texture can often be terrible. Well I LOVED this product!!! The texture was amazing and the rustic flavour was fantastic! I would definitely use this product again! You can purchase Cowichan pasta directly from their website, or you can pick it up directly from Sunterra Markets. 

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb ground sirloin 
  • 1 jar tomato sauce 
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (I usually always add the full can) 
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary 
  • 1 tsp dried organo 
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 box Cowichan Fettuccine 

Instructions 

  1. Brown meat in medium-hot frying pan until just fully cooked. No more pink. 
  2. Once meat has browned, reduce heat to a simmer and add tomato sauce, tomato paste, rosemary, oregano, and basil. 
  3. Allow sauce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. 
  4. Just before you are ready to serve prepare your pasta according to package. 
  5. Top cooked pasta with sauce and a garnish of parmesan cheese. Enjoy! 

Cinnamon Chai Cream of Wheat Pancakes 

121 kcal per pancake, recipe made 10 pancakes

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Thoughts: The flavour for these pancakes were incredible, but the texture needs some work. They were very dry. Some yogurt or applesauce would probably be a big help to remedy the dryness of these pancakes. 3.5/5 

Original Recipe: Cream of Wheat – http://www.creamofwheat.com/recipes/?recipe=CREAM+OF+WHEAT®+Pancakes 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup cream of wheat cereal 
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp chai baking spice 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used melted coconut oil for flavour) 

Instructions 

  1. In a large measuring cup combine together flour, Cream of Wheat, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chia spice. 
  2. In a separate small bowl whisk together egg, milk, and oil. Add wet mixture to dry. Do not over mix. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
  3. Warm a non-stick pan over medium heat. Ladle 1/4 cup batter onto pan and spread into a circle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and then flip to brown the other side. 

Avocado Kefir Biscuits 

122 kcal per biscuit, recipe made 11 biscuits

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Thoughts: I am always intimidated to experiment with baking, but I pleasantly surprised myself with this creation! These biscuits were very moist and the family raved about them! I served the biscuits with ham and split soup from Costco 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder  
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup kefir 
  • 1/8 cup mashed avocado (1 small avocado) 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 tsp butter 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. In a blender or food processor mash avocado and blend with oil. 
  4. Cut in kefir and avocado mixture to dry mixture until just combined. DO NOT over mix! 
  5. Using a pastry cutter or a greased glass, cut biscuits into circles. 
  6. Place on non-stick baking sheet. Brush biscuits with melted butter and top with parmesan.
  7. Place in oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. Until biscuits are cooked through and are golden brown. 
  8. Serve warm with soup! 

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

483 kcal

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Thoughts: YUM! This week I tried to focus on dishes that were convenient; already partially prepared in some fashion. This allowed me to give my heart a bit of a break, while still allowing some healthier meals! I used the the fully cooked Buffalo Chicken Chunks from Costco This was one of Jord’s favourite dinner’s. It was super fast and yummy. This could easily make a quick lunch as well. I will definitely make this again. 5/5 

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  1. Heat chicken according to package directions. 
  2. Assemble tortilla by topping with kale slaw, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese & ranch dressing! Yum! 

 WEEK 52!!!! 


One Year Of Meal Plans!

I won’t spend too long talking about the blessing this past year has been, I am going to do a full write up with my one year photos in a separate post, but wow!!! I cannot believe it has been an entire year of meal planning already! I really hope you enjoy this week’s meal plan! 


Day 1 

Calories 1648, Protein 104 g, Carbohydrates 145 g, Fat 73 g

Dietary Lows: Omega 3 only 0.53 g & Omega 6 only 3.87 g, Vitamin E only 4.12 IU


Breakfast 

Toasted Coconut Nutella Quinoa 

511 kcal recipe makes 1 serving

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Thoughts: I love starting the day with quinoa. It always keeps me full all morning. I also love any excuse to add Nutella to a recipe. If you are using quinoa for a sweet breakfast recipe I find you have to toast it first, otherwise the flavour is usually bland. It is really easy to toast quinoa and it adds a deeper level of flavour. I would definitely make this again. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa 
  • 1 cup coconut milk beverage 
  • 1 tbsp Nutella 
  • Garnish: Additional coconut milk and shredded coconut 

Instructions 

  1. Warm a sauce pan over medium heat. Once pan is hot add coconut oil and melt. To the oil add quinoa. Cook quinoa for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. 
  2. Add coconut beverage and Nutella to pan, stir and bring quinoa and milk to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow quinoa to cook until all the liquid has absorbed and the grain is nice and fluffy. Stir even few minutes, just to make sure milk does not burn to the bottom. 
  3. Serve quinoa with extra milk and shredded coconut. I also had 1 cup mixed blueberries and raspberries. 

Lunch 

Leftover Roasted Garlic and Chicken Lasagna 

438 kcal per serving, recipe makes 16 servings

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Thoughts: On the weekend I threw a baby shower for a good friend of mine. She is celiac so the menu was all gluten free. This Lasagna was leftover from the shower. I have hosted a vegan baby shower, and a wheat free baby shower in the past, but a gluten free baby shower felt like my most intimidating challenge to date! I ended up preparing two lasagnas. I made a classic lasagna and creamy chicken lasagna. I also served three salads. A caesar salad with gluten free dressing and obviously no croutons, my classic berry and Boursin salad with a gluten free balsamic dressing, and a quinoa and feta veggie salad with the same balsamic dressing. For dessert I served individual caramel apple cheesecakes, and kettle chip peanut butter bars. Everything was gluten free. It was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Products make it so much easier now to know if something is gluten free. I could not imagine being one of the first individuals to be diagnosed with celiac disease. For the rare time that the information I needed was not on the packaging, it was right at my finger tips. A two second search was able to tell me if something was gluten free or not. As you can tell from this menu though, I am going to be absolutely hooped if I ever have to throw a gluten and dairy free shower! I would definitely make this dish again. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs 
  • 1 jar gluten free creamy pasta sauce (I know a cop out to not make my own, but I am sorry I am not sorry) 
  • 1 package Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna noodles 
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 

Instructions 

  1. The night before you plan to have the lasagna, or the morning of, place chicken thighs in slow cook and add pasta sauce. Cook chicken on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 2-3 hours; until chicken is completely cooked through and there is not longer any pink. 
  2. Once chicken is fully cooked, shred the chicken in the sauce and set slow cooker to warm. 
  3. Warm oven to 375 degrees F. 
  4. Prepare brown rice noodles according to the package. 
  5. Be ready to prepare lasagna fast so noodles do not stick, or whisk an egg and mix noodles with egg. 
  6. To assemble lasagna coat a 9X13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  7. Evenly place a layer of noodles on bottom of dish. Top with chicken and sauce mixture, followed by shredded mozzarella. Repeat layers two more times with noodles, followed by chicken mixture and cheese, until there are three layers total. 
  8. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray and place foil so nonstick spray is facing in towards the lasagna. Place covered lasagna on baking sheet and cook in oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour. 
  9. After, turn oven to broil and allow the lasagna to broil just long enough for the cheese to become bubbly and golden brown. 
  10. Allow lasagna to sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Snack 

170 kcal

Chocolate pudding made with real skim milk 

Cheese stick 

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Dinner 

Pesto Chicken 

215 kcal per 75g portion chicken breast

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Thoughts: I really enjoyed this dish, it was super simple to prepare and only required a few minutes of prep work. I would definitely make this dish again. 5/5 

Original Recipe: My Fussy Eater

My portion: 1 chicken breast, 2 servings quinoa, 2 cups caesar salad light on dressing

Ingredients 

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast 
  • 1/2 tbsp basil pesto per chicken (careful not to cross contaminate!) 
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese per chicken

Instructions 

  1. Evenly spread basil pesto on top of chicken breast. Top with tomatoes and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. 
  2. Place chicken in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and chicken is completely cooked through: juices run clear and there is no longer any pink. 
  3. Remove from oven and serve with baked quinoa. 

Baked quinoa 

137 kcal per serving, recipe makes 12 servings

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Thoughts: I served the pesto chicken with a with a baked quinoa. It was super yummy! I even had it for lunch leftovers the next day. Rather than a baked a pasta, this baked quinoa dish does not leave you feeling like you have a rock in your stomach! You feel full and content! 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (I used a quinoa trio, the black quinoa adds a nice crunchy texture) 
  • 3 cups water 
  • 1 can tomato sauce 
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 375 degrees F (It should still be at 375 F from the chicken). 
  2. In a medium sauce pan bring quinoa and water up to a boil. Once a boil is reached reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow quinoa to cook for 15-20 minutes; until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is nice and fluffy. 
  3. Mix quinoa together with tomato sauce and place in an oven-safe casserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and place in oven to bake. 
  4. Bake quinoa for 15 – 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and is golden brown. 
  5. Serve with pesto chicken.

Day 2 

Calories 1268, Protein 62.95g, Carbohydrates 148.91g, Fats 48g

Dietary Lows (anything under 50% of DRI): Omega 3 0.12g  & Omega 6 0.60g, total folate 173.41 mcg, Vitamin B12 1.14 mcg, Vitamin D 57.02 IU, Vitamin E 5.88 IU, Calcium 450 mg, & potassium 1712 mg


Breakfast 

Oatmeal pizza 

302 kcal per serving, pizza makes 3 servings

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Thoughts: This was very satisfying! The taste was amazing and I felt content the entire morning until lunch. I only ate 2/3 of the pizza. But you could actually serve it and eat it like a pizza. I would definitely have this again. The prep was only a few minutes. I was able to get some other tasks done while the crust was cooking. 5/5 

Original Recipe: Athletic Avocado  

Ingredients 

Crust 

  • 1 cup oats 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 

Toppings

  • 1 apple sliced and chopped with skin 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp all natural peanut butter 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Combine crust ingredients in a medium bowl. 
  3. Form oatmeal mixture into a pizza crust on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone liner. 
  4. Place in oven to bake for 10-15 minutes. 
  5. While crust is baking mix apples with cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until apples are fork tender. 
  6. To assemble pizza, spread peanut butter evenly on oatmeal crust and top with cinnamon apples. Cut into pizza wedges and serve. 

Lunch 

Leftover Baked Quinoa 

274 kcal

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Thoughts: This dish is definitely more than just a simple side dish. I really enjoyed this dish all on its own for my lunch. It reheated really well. 5/5 

Dinner 

Boursin Bacon Kale Bake 

461 kcal per servings, recipe makes 6 servings

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Thoughts: Yes you just heard that right! Boursin and Bacon in the same dish on a health food blog!!! It is possible! With smart proportion sizes I can still enjoy some wonderfully rich foods! This dish was not at all what I had planned. I had to make it up on the fly! Sunday my heart was so bad that I ended up sleeping literally all day. I was up for a couple of hours for lunch, but I could not keep my eyes open. Obviously I did not end up going grocery shopping on Sunday. I actually went during the afternoon. I had everything picked up for my original recipe plan, except for the key ingredient!!! Ugh! Being creative and fast on my toes this fantastic dish came to be! It was my own version of Chopped!!! But I survived and Jordan loved the dish! Charley was not so much a fan, but the only food she seems to have a hard time with is gnocchi. She appears to not be a fan of the texture. She is not a picky eater at all so I do not really get on her for not liking gnocchi. Anyways for just Jordan and myself I would definitely make this dish again. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 500g gnocchi 
  • 2 tbsp butter/margarine
  • 2 tbsp flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 package Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon 
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken, or half of a cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cup kale  
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

Instructions 

  1. Cook bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees F. Bacon should take 20-25 minutes to cook, depending on your preferred level of crunch. Chop bacon once cooked. 
  2. While bacon is cooking, warm a sauce pan over medium heat. Melt butter/margarine and stir in flour. It should form a doughy consistency and smell like shortbread. At this point slowly add milk to the mixture and stir over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until sauce thickens. 
  3. Once sauce has thickened reduce heat to medium-low. Reserve some of the Boursin®, about 1/4 and add the rest to the sauce pan. Slowly stir sauce until cheese has completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  4. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. 
  5. In an oven-safe casserole dish mix together, gnocchi, bacon, kale, tomatoes, chicken, and Boursin® sauce. 
  6. Crumble reserved Boursin® over casserole and place in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, just until casserole is bubbling and cheese is golden brown. 

Day 3 

Calories 1077, Protein 37g, Carbohydrates 163g, Fat 31g

Dietary lows: Omega 6 2.60g, Vitamin E 6.13g, Vitamin A 192g, Vitamin B1 0.52, Total folate 137mcg, Vitamin D 33g, Calcium 249mg, Magnesium 117mg, Zinc 3.79 mg


 Breakfast

The Egg, Bacon & Syrup on a Waffle

415 kcal including fruit

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Thoughts: This was surprisingly fantastic!!!! The sweet savoury combination works for some reason. I would definitely have this breakfast again. I made an extra slice of bacon during dinner the night before, so my prep time for this dish was really fast, about 5 minutes. I went with the Flax Plus Frozen Waffles from Nature’s Path and they are incredible!!! They are high in fibre and iron as well as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids! I will definitely buy this product again. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Flax Plus Frozen Waffle, toasted 
  • 1 egg, poached 
  • 1 slice bacon, cooked 
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup 
  • 1 cup mixed blueberries & raspberries 

Instructions

  1. Prepare egg to preference, just avoid using added oils and fats (that is why I prefer poached). 
  2. Top toasted waffle with bacon, egg and syrup!  

Lunch 

Homemade Instant Noodles 

224 kcal

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Thoughts: This is my NEW FAVOURITE lunch!!!! It took less than 10 minutes to prepare and was so delicious!!!! I have never heard of Tom Yum before, and it has changed my life! I love the spice and lemongrass flavour. Sadly I did not notice until after it has MSG in it. Sad :(! Does anyone know if there is a similar product to Tom Yum that does not have MSG in it? It was so delicious and convenient I could eat this lunch everyday!!! 10/5 

Adapted from: The Londoner 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tsp Tom Yum 
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha 
  • 1 tsp chicken boullion 
  • 45 g dried rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup kale cabbage slaw mix 
  • 1 sprig green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups boiling water 
  • Glass pyrex 
  • Sesame seeds for garnish 

Instructions 

  1. In a heat-safe glass container add Tom Yum, sriracha, and chicken bouillon. Top with dried rice noodles, followed by slaw mix and green onions. 
  2. When ready to prepare your noodles, boil water and add to glass container. Cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes; until noodles have softened. Top with sesame seeds if desired! Enjoy! 

Dinner 

BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potato with green beans 

439 kcal including green beans

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Thoughts: Well I have had a run of some really good recipes this week! I thought I was going to love this dish, but for some reason it kind of left me disappointed. I have no specific reason why. There was just something that I was not 100% sold on. If I had to guess I think it might be the taste of the BBQ sauce with the sweet potato. I don’t know if it was just too sweet together or what. Anyways I love the idea of a stuff sweet potato so I am not going to give up on this recipe, I am just going to experiment with it some more. 3/5 

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 yams, thoroughly washed 
  • 1/2 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed or 1/2 a rotisserie chicken 
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese for each potato 
  • 2 sprigs green onion, chopped 
  • 1 bag green beans, washed and trimmed 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Score sweet potatoes with a knife, and brush with a drizzle of oil. 
  3. Wrap potatoes in tin foil, place on a baking sheet and put in oven. 
  4. Cook potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Long enough that you can pierce your sweet potato with a fork. 
  5. Just before you remove your potatoes from the oven, mix cooked chicken with BBQ sauce in an oven-safe dish and warm in oven for 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove sweet potato from oven and from tin foil, top with BBQ chicken, cheese and green onion. 
  7. Serve with steamed green beans. 

Day 4 

Calories 2260, Protein 99 g, Carbohydrates 293.90 g Fat 80.11g

Dietary Lows: Omega 3 0.19 g, Omega 6 0.34 g, Vitamin E 9.55 IU, Total Folate 128 mpg, Vitamin D 6.45 IU


Breakfast 

Tropical Carrot Smoothie 

443 kcal

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Thoughts: I had some pure carrot juice that I needed to use up, it worked wonderfully in this smoothie! It made it wonderfully sweet! 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups pure carrot juice 
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango 
  • 1/3 cup frozen peaches 
  • 1/3 cup frozen strawberries 
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt 
  • 1 large banana 

Instructions 

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and combine until smooth. 

Lunch 

Fatburger Turkey Burger 

 

IMG_6996 2Thoughts: I caved on the last day of my first year and had a burger! One of my favourite “healthier” take out options is the Traditional Turkey Burger from Fatburger!!! It is fantastic!!! Turkey, cranberries, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a whole grain bun! Okay seriously I am getting hungry just talking about it! I was going to get just the burger, but I ordered Yam fries as well! Yam fries are the healthier option when compared to the regular fries from nutrient density perspective. If you want some other “healthier” selections from Fatburger, the classic grilled chicken sandwich is 388 kcal, the blackened cajun cheddar chicken sandwich is 552 kcal, and the veggie burger is 508 kcal. If you are in a bind and have to eat out, here are just a few options that will help you to make the wisest decision. I easily give the Traditional Turkey Burger a 100000000000000…../5 

Dinner 

Enchilada Pizza 

357 kcal per serving and a simple green salad, recipe makes 8 servings

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Thoughts: This was a yummy and unique approach to a classic pizza. I love refried beans and was trying to find a unique way to use them, I was also looking for some creative new ideas for a pizza sauce base. My two challenges turned into the creation of the enchilada pizza. I would definitely make this again. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust (or you can make your own, I just like to save time) 
  • 1 can refried beans 
  • 1/2 bag plus 2 tbsp Frontera Enchilada Sauce (or you can use your own) 
  • 250 g ground sirloin 
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced 
  • 1/2 onion sliced 
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, brown ground beef until fully cooked and no longer pink. In the last minute of cooking the beef add two tbsp of enchilada sauce to the beef to season. 
  3. When beef has finished cooking remove from heat and set aside. In the same frying pan sauté peppers, onions and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes. Just until veggies become tender and onions become fragrant. Remove from heat. 
  4. To assemble to spread approximately 1/2 can of refried beans on pizza crust. Top with 1/2 a bag of enchilada sauce, followed by peppers, mushrooms, onions, ground beef and cheese. 
  5. Place pizza on an oven safe baking sheet and put in oven for 12-15 minutes. Until cheese has melted and turned golden brown. 
  6. Drizzle with some additional enchilada sauce and serve with a green salad.